8 Agencies Compete for SUV Safety Account

ATLANTA Eight contenders will vie for a national $30 million sport utility vehicle safety assignment being administered by the Florida Attorney General’s office, the client has confirmed.

They are: Publicis Groupe’s Publicis & Hal Riney in San Francisco and Bartle Bogle Hegarty in New York; Interpublic Group’s Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos in Boston; Havas’ Euro RSCG Tatham Partners in Chicago; and independent shops Wolf Group in New York, Fogarty Klein Monroe in Houston, MARC USA in Pittsburgh and Cramer-Krasselt in Chicago.

Funding comes from an agreement between Ford Motor Co. and the 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The states charged that Ford misled consumers about the safe use of sport utility vehicles. Consultancy Pile and Co. in Boston is overseeing the process.

The client by Dec. 9 will review the eight RFPs, agency reels and credentials and a committee will score all aspects. The three highest scoring agencies will be given an additional assignment for subsequent interviews with the evaluators. Those interviews are tentatively set for Jan. 20-22.

“We’re interested in what they think about the project, but not to do all the work before they know if they’ll get the project.” said client representative Lisa Raleigh.

The meetings will be followed by another round of evaluations, after which the top-ranked agency will be invited to negotiate a contract. A decision is expected later in the month.