‘Do-Gooder’ for Md. Public TV

Stern Defeats 2 for State’s PBS Channel
ATLANTA–The Maryland Board of Public Works last week named The Stern Agency as agency of record for Maryland Public Television, based in Owings Mills, Md.
The two-year budget amounts to $1.8 million.
The Columbia, Md., shop will be in charge of creative development and media planning and buying for the nonprofit network.
There is also an option to renew the contract for up to three additional years.
Several in-state agencies qualified for the assignment. Three were invited to make presentations to the board. Incumbent Noble Steed and Siquis Limited were the two Baltimore shops that made the cut.
“People’s spec creative ideas were a very minor factor in the decision,” said Jeff Hanking, marketing vice president for Maryland Public Television. “It was a matter of who fits best into the team . . . a corporate personality factor. We’ve got over 20 marketing [personnel] here, and the melding of people gets to be very important.”
“We were only allowed to show them one ad,” said agency account executive Deborah Willtrout. “Do you know how hard it is to position [a network] with only one ad?”
Now in its 30th year, Maryland Public Television wants to modernize its image. Last month it introduced a new logo. Currently, the network is experimenting with digital high-definition television and multi-casting technology that will allow multiple-channel broadcasts.
“This tugs at our ‘do-gooder’ mentality,” said agency president Ed Stern. –T.W. Siebert