DeVito/Verdi Scores Twice

NEW YORK Independent shop DeVito/Verdi said it has added two accounts: Legal Sea Foods and a summer preparedness campaign for the New York City Department of Emergency Management.

For Boston restaurant chain Legal, the New York shop will create a print and radio summer campaign that will position the client in advance of its planned expansion. The company operates about 30 locations on the East Coast and plans to expand. Estimated billings are $1-2 million.

“They have all the setbacks of being considered a chain . . . a cookie-cutter company that is looking for mass appeal,” said agency president Ellis Verdi. “But they are really a purveyor that provides the highest quality.”

Verdi noted that the chain employs a wine master and buyers who visit local docks before dawn to get the freshest fish. “Anybody who lives in Boston knows that this is not just a fish restaurant, it is a phenomenon. It is one of those unique brands that speaks to quality, and growth has not hurt it and we need people to understand that,” he said.

The Department of Emergency Management has called upon DeVito/Verdi to make New Yorkers more aware of planning for calamities including blackouts, coastal storms and other disasters. Billings were not disclosed.

The campaign, which will also break this summer, will call on New Yorkers to assemble an emergency kit and “go bag,” a collection of essential items including water, flashlights, copies of important documents, credit cards and cash.

“This is a great opportunity for advertising to play a key role in communicating a true public service,” said Verdi. “Hopefully, this campaign will be a motivating message to get New Yorkers mindful and prepared for virtually any emergency.”

The DEM created its “Ready New York” program three years ago in response to city residents’ growing concerns about public safety. Since then, more than 2.5 million copies of household preparedness guides have been distributed citywide in nine languages.