D.C. Paper Picks Beltway Insider

The Washington Post has delivered its account to Arnold.

The McLean, Va., agency bested Adworks and McCann-Erickson, both of Washington, D.C., and one other undisclosed shop for the estimated $10-15 million business.

Eleven-year incumbent Berlin, Cameron & Partners of New York did not defend. Adworks will continue to serve washingtonpost.com.

Selecting a local shop was The Post’s first priority, along with size and global affiliation. The winning agency is a part of Boston-based Arnold Worldwide, a subsidiary of Havas Advertising in Paris.

“Washington is unique,” said Steve Hills, vice president of sales and marketing for the client “To understand it, you need to be here.

“We were looking for a full-service agency with world-class creative,” added Hills, who listed capabilities, business acumen and an understanding of the local community as further reasons for his choice. “But you don’t make a selection because of any one thing; it’s a leap of faith.”

According to agency executive vice president and account director Wendy Hagen, “The Post is nationally and internationally renowned, but it serves the community in and around this area.”

Arnold’s approach to the Washington newspaper’s request for proposal was strategic. “They asked us to outline the process we’d take to increase readership,” said agency president Ken Umansky. “Instead of focusing on obstacles, we look to the people who like and know the product well and build our premises on that.”

Arnold’s first task will be to continue the branding process established during the review. “We don’t know how extensive the campaign will be,” said Umansky. “I suspect a combination of branding and promotional messages.”

Creative executions, which will include television, print and collateral, are not expected to appear until the third quarter.

“We found that readers feel The Post gives them a sense of belonging and allows them to feel more engaged in their own community,” said Hagen. “Not everyone who lives in D.C. is an insider. The people who live here want to be able to talk about the news in-depth.”

The challenge, said Umansky, is reaching all the constituencies. “The Post is a unique brand,” he said. “What we read over morning coffee drives the conversations and debates we have throughout the day.”

The morning daily and Sunday paper is the flagship publication of The Washington Post Co.