Bay State Provides ‘Tremendous Opportunity’

Irma S. Mann to Pursue Convention Center Authority Contract
BOSTON–The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority is seeking an agency to handle its $1-1.5 million account as it prepares for the opening of a new exhibition center.
The recent closure of 15-year incumbent CC and D Communications in Boston did not prompt the review because its three-year contract was set to expire this year, said Convention representative Andy Antrobus.
CC and D president Peter Kostopoulos and creative director Judy Austin surfaced last week in consulting roles at McKay Communications in Boston.
They will work on various accounts and help pitch new business, but there is no plan at present to pursue the Convention Center Authority, said chairman John McKay. He expects to name Kostopoulos and Austin to permanent posts in the next 90 days “if things work out,” he said.
The last time the Convention Center Authority held a review three years ago, CC and D bested crosstown rival Irma S. Mann, Strategic Marketing. Gary Leopold, president of Irma S. Mann, said his shop will again pursue the Convention Center Authority.
According to Antrobus, the scheduled opening of the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center in October 2003 will be the dominant theme of the review. The new 600,000-square-foot waterfront facility will be three times the size of the Hynes Memorial Convention Center.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for any agency,” Antrobus said. “The South Boston waterfront is going to be one of the engines for the city in the next century.”
Initial proposals are due Sept. 15. Three finalists will make presentations to a selection committee during the week of Sept. 20. The Convention Center Authority plans to award a three-year contract that includes an option of three one-year extensions by Sept. 24.
To qualify, agencies must be at least five years old and have a Massachusetts office. They also must have worked for a minimum of three comparable clients within the past 10 years and placed at least $1 million in ads for no fewer than two clients in one of the past three years.