Baltimore Sun Up For Grabs

WASHINGTON, D.C.: The Balti-more Sun has hit the pavement with a request for proposal for its $1.5 million advertising account.
The 160-year-old daily newspaper is seeking a partner as it steps up efforts to market its brand and products–from classified advertising to sports coverage–to consumers. Baltimore agencies which have been asked to participate include Eisner & Associates, Trahan, Burden & Charles and Gray, Kirk Vansant, among others. Eisner and Trahan, Burden & Charles are participating, according to sources.
It was not clear at press time whether incumbent W.B. Doner would participate in the review. Roger Gray, principal of Gray, Kirk Vansant, said his agency had declined to participate in a letter sent to the client last week.
“We’d love to pursue this high-profile account–there aren’t many of them,” Grey said. “But too many pieces of the puzzle are missing, and not enough time has been allowed.”
Agencies received a letter in late October asking for strategic and speculative creative by Nov. 7. A select group of shops will be invited to make formal presentations on Nov. 17.
In its recent request for proposal, The Baltimore Sun said it wanted to attract new readers and subscribers as well as increase the retention and loyalty of its current subscribers.
The newspaper is especially focused on increasing circulation in the market’s outer counties, where household growth is highest. It also wants to dispel public perceptions that it is arrogant–“the only game in town.”
Specifically, the questionnaire asks agencies to develop a branding strategy. It also asks for promotional ideas, media recommendations, and a tagline.