Consumer advocate and presidential candidate Ralph Nader has hired North Woods Advertising to manage his media campaign. North Woods' offbeat work helped former wrestler Jesse Ventura become Minnesota governor.
The Minneapolis agency's success with unlikely candidates, such as Ventura and liberal U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone, who won a seat in 1990, captured Nader's interest.
"We are working with North Woods because of their demonstrated communication techniques that have helped bring underdog candidates to victory," said Nader deputy press secretary Laura Jones.
Agency founder and chief creative officer William Hillsman said he plans to develop a media strategy that will capitalize on Nader's 35 years of helping American consumers.
"Who in the country has done more for consumers than Ralph Nader?" asked Hillsman. "If you have ever bought a product in this country and were satisfied with it, Ralph Nader had something to do with it. If you wanted to take it back, chances are Ralph Nader had something to do with that, too."
Nader has raised a little more than $1 million of the $5 million he hopes to raise. In contrast, the Democratic and Republican candidates each get $67.6 million in taxpayers' money for their campaigns.
"It is pretty evident we will have the [least money], but we are going to do our usual job of squeezing every penny of usefulness out of these dollars," Hillsman said.
The immediate plan is to get Nader in the three expected national debates. Republican and Democratic party rules say a candidate must have at least 15 percentage points in polls to take part. Current polls show Nader has about 6-7 percent support.
Nader's campaign will likely target voters who feel abandoned by the major parties. Said Jones: "Ralph Nader has demonstrated he is the real reform candidate who gets things done." K