When the New York City Police Department decided to launch a recruitment drive meant to bring more city residents on to the force--just weeks after the fatal shooting of an unarmed West African immigrant in the Bronx--the pundits were skeptical of officials' motives.
Nonetheless, when the NYPD began talking to shops about a $10-15 million ad assignment for the effort, agencies as diverse as J. Walter Thompson, Foote,
Cone & Belding and Spike/DDB jumped at the chance--despite a three-week turnaround.
Around the same time, Arnell Group Brand Consulting offered to work for free. The city accepted the offer and New York-based Arnell hit the ground running. The first ads are expected in a few weeks, in time for the city to start taking applications for its next police exam, in September.
Undeterred by the recent wave of police criticism, Arnell, a police booster, said, "This is my city and it's a fantastic opportunity to help." His past efforts for a police-sponsored scout program also influenced the choice. His price also was a "very large contributing factor," a police representative said.