CPUC Sets Ad Budget; DDB Subcontracts

LOS ANGELES-The California Public Utilities Commission has finalized a budget of $89 million, allotting an estimated $70 million to be spent on various forms of advertising for its Consumer Education Program.
The commission, formerly known as the Electrical Restructuring Education Group, selected DDB Needham’s Los Angeles office as its advertising agency of record last May after a review that included J. Walter Thompson’s San Francisco office. The budget had not been finalized at that time, but it was estimated at $20 million.
Print, radio and TV ads are expected to break throughout California on Oct. 15. Outdoor ads, direct mail executions, a Web site, collateral materials and telemarketing and community relations efforts will support the program. Ads are expected to run at least through May 1998, according to Dave Park, president of DDB Needham’s Los Angeles office.
The program was formed to distribute utility deregulation information to consumers before competition among utility companies begins on Jan. 1, 1998.
Several subcontractors have been hired by DDB Needham to support its general market advertising campaign. Those include: Rogers & Associates in Los Angeles for lead public relations, Durazo Communications in Los Angeles for Hispanic public relations and Imada Wong Communications Group in San Francisco and Los Angeles for Asian public relations and Asian advertising.
DDB Needham has also retained the services of Young Communications Group in Los Angeles for African American and low-income public relations; Carol H. Williams Advertising in Oakland, Calif., for African American advertising; Anita Santiago Advertising in Santa Monica, Calif., for Hispanic advertising; and Flair Communications Agency in San Francisco for promotions and direct marketing.