The Mexico Ministry of Tourism is once again preparing to issue a request for bids for its estimated $7-10 million advertising account, currently at Noble/D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles in Mexico City.
A source said the official request will likely go out within the next month, though a date has not yet been specified by the client. Noble's contract with the ministry expires on April 6.
In the past, the ministry has devoted an average of two months to the review process, though in one case the search was scrapped and restarted after agencies failed to supply all of the information requested in the initial request.
Ministry officials had not returned calls at press time.
The account includes television and print advertising that runs in the U.S. and Canada. Noble created the current tagline, "Mexico. An endless journey." Ads also promote the ministry's Internet site.
Teodoro Husemann, executive vice president of client services for Noble, said he expects a significant amount of competition for the account once the process is formally launched. Asked if Noble plans to defend, Husemann replied, "Most definitely."
Husemann said past competition for the account has included the Mexico City offices of McCann-Erickson and J. Walter Thompson. Noble began working on the Mexican tourism account in 1995 and rebid the business in 1996. The contract runs for a two-year period.
Noble managing director Santiago Hinojosa said last year that the contract has ranged from $10-20 million annually in the past. Husemann said budgetary cuts could reduce the future value of the contract.
Agencies with Mexico City offices will likely be front-runners for the tourism account, though the ministry has worked with smaller U.S. shops, including The Atkins Agency of San Antonio, for specific destination efforts.