Looking to burnish an image tarnished by a series of recent lawsuits, American Family Publishers Sweepstakes has invited seven agencies to pitch its ad account. The estimated $12 million budget of parent American Family Enterprises could go higher, a company representative said.
Shops being asked to make credentials presentations, according to the representative, are: DeVito/Verdi, Gotham, Mad Dogs & Englishmen, DDB Needham, Partners & Shevack and Berlin Cameron & Partners, all in New York, and The Communications Consulting Co. in Washington, D.C. All duties on the account are currently handled in-house.
The Jersey City, N.J., client, a marketer of magazine subscriptions and sweepstakes organizer, plans to pare the initial agency list to two or three, which will be asked to present speculative creative ideas. A winner will be chosen by mid-August.
American Family's name has been marred by its involvement in several lawsuits which claimed wording in its promotional materials was misleading. The company has since worked to set standards for promotional direct mail and wants to bolster consumer confidence in its product.
The winning shop will be expected to craft a brand campaign for the client that will begin airing on television before the end of the year, said the representative.
The main competitor to American Family is Publishers Clearing House, handled by Deutsch in New York. American Family's ad pitchmen are Dick Clark and Ed McMahon.