Today we hear from reliable sources that San Francisco’s VB&P is one of several agencies that have been contacted in recent weeks by the staff of former Senator, Secretary of State and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton for potential work on future campaigns. (In case you missed it, she is currently running for President of the United States for the second time.)
The Clinton campaign appears to have very specific taste in agency partners. Last November– approximately one year before the 2016 presidential election–spokespeople confirmed to The New York Times that the operation had chosen Droga5 to work on an unspecified project that turned out to be a series of spots starring individual women who explained their plans to vote for Hillary this fall. The Clinton organization is not like most clients, and it did not launch a formal review before reaching out to Droga5.
Various outlets also reported in November that the Clinton campaign chose Chicago’s Burrell Communications to work on a series of campaigns targeting African-American voters. David Droga himself later promoted his agency’s work on an ad called “Children” which compiled footage of the candidate restating her dedication to the titular Americans throughout her more than 30-year political career.
Details regarding the campaign’s current outreach efforts are sparse at the moment, as is expected given legal regulations on activities related to an election. But we hear from multiple parties that Venables was one of “several” shops contacted by the organization. Tipsters tell us the ads we will eventually see as part of a project that allegedly goes by code name “Dragon Slayer” will be directed against one Donald J. Trump and that they may depict the man with the dubious hair as a divisive and even hateful character. However one may feel about the prospective candidates, it’s hardly a stretch to imagine that theme running through Clinton’s TV and digital efforts as we move closer to Election Day.
If VB&P ends up working for Clinton in an official capacity, the news would mark its first definitive move into the political arena. But the subject is not new to creative director Lee Einhorn: in a December 2015 Q&A with AdAge, he mentioned meeting then-Senator John Kerry while discussing a potential role in the latter’s ultimately unsuccessful presidential campaign.
A VB&P spokesperson declined to comment for this post. The Clinton campaign’s PR department has not responded to multiple emails and phone calls today.
According to our sources, the Clinton organization will continue working with Droga5 on future advertising efforts. The goal of this latest outreach move is simply to add new agencies to its existing roster.