4 Remain in Washington’s Anti-Tobacco Review

Four in-state agencies have advanced in the review for Washington’s two-year, $5 million anti-tobacco account.

Three of the contenders are in Seattle: Cole & Weber/Red Cell, Sedgwick Rd. and Think. The fourth is White Runkle Associates in Spo kane.

State officials pared down the list after gathering responses to an RFP issued June 11. The account had been handled by DeLaunay/Phillips Communications in Seattle and Asher/Gal & Partners in Los Angeles.

Those pitching said the account is appealing because it provides the chance to effect social change. Several added that the issue hits home because they have children in grades 4-12—one of the groups the client is targeting.

“We typically do not pursue government business because of the hoops you tend to jump through, but we’re pursuing this business because we believe so much in the cause,” said Bill Toliver, managing director of Think.

All four agencies claim relevant experience either with state contracts or social marketing.

Cole & Weber has worked with the Washington lottery, the state Department of Tourism and Economic Development and the King County Health Department, promoting safe sex and condom use, said agency president Mike Doherty.

Sedgwick Rd. (formerly McCann-Erickson) also previously handled the state lottery account.

Think currently works with the Humane Society, and also has experience with the United Way, The Partnership for a Drug-Free America and the Northwest Aids Foundation.

WhiteRunkle currently holds two state contracts: the Department of Transportation and the Department of Fish & Wildlife.

The Washington Department of Health will hold agency visits and presentations on Aug. 1-2, said contracts officer Susan DeBlasio, who is overseeing the search. A decision is expected on Aug. 8.