9 Shops Move Ahead in Anti-Smoking Review

LOS ANGELES The California Department of Health Services, Tobacco Control Section this morning listed the roster of agencies vying for its estimated $45 million anti-tobacco account, a department representative said.

Requests for proposals were due this week, and the DHS/TCS said that nine shops would participate in the next steps of the review. The incumbent, Marina del Rey, Calif.-based Ground Zero, will be included, the rep said. For the past four years, the independent agency has crafted the department’s anti-smoking work, including the controversial 2001 campaign featuring fictional tobacco exec “Ken Lane.”

According to the rep, the other contenders are independents Davis-Elen and Ignited Minds, both Los Angeles; RPA and The Phelps Group, both Santa Monica, Calif.; Venables, Bell & Partners, San Francisco; MDC’s VitroRobertson, San Diego; Omnicom’s GMMB, Santa Monica; and Hakuhodo-invested Mendelsohn Zien, Los Angeles.

DHS/TCS officials plan to make agency visits and request sample assigments in the next two months.

The $45 million contract is meant to cover 36 months of work, and includes two optional one-year extensions. Although the contract’s term was originally expected to go into effect May 1, 2005, the review has been extended, the rep said.

The term is now set to begin July 1, 2005.