American Cancer Society Picks The Richards Group to Help Set Its Brand Apart

Charity looks to increase engagement

It's one of America's best known nonprofit groups. Image: American Cancer Society
Headshot of Patrick Coffee

The Richards Group has won creative agency of record duties for the American Cancer Society after a review.

The ACS, which is one of America's most-recognized charities, issued an RFP late last year as part of an effort to help differentiate itself in an increasingly crowded nonprofit field. "We're very fortunate in terms of high brand awareness, but we need to create greater stickiness," said svp of strategic marketing and alliances Irma Shrivastava.

The group's most recent review occurred in 2015, with DDB Chicago winning the business thanks, in part, to a relationship with then-svp of marketing and Wrigley veteran Daniela Campari. Last year, the organization went through some changes on the marketing side, hiring Coca-Cola veteran Sharon Byers as its chief development and marketing officer in October after ending its relationship with DDB and going on what Shrivastava describes as an advertising "hiatus."

Shrivastava, who also held top marketing roles with Coca-Cola, said, "The irony is that for-profits and not for profits are looking to do the same thing in terms of connecting with consumers. One thing we liked about Richards in addition to creative and strategy was their long-term relationships with clients, which have been very impactful." Those clients include Motel 6, Salvation Army and Home Depot, all of which have been with Richards for 15 years or more.

American Cancer Society's marketing budget has remained somewhat consistent over time. The latest numbers from Kantar Media have the group spending just under $35 million on paid media in 2015 and $15 million from January to September of 2016.

The Richards Group's first work for its new client will debut in late summer or fall of 2017.

@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.