Draftfcb Lands 2 FDA Assignments

Part of new anti-smoking initiative

The New York office of Draftfcb has won two Food and Drug Administration assignments that are part of the FDA’s new initiative to keep teens from trying tobacco products and convince others to quit.

The Interpublic Group agency declined to comment, but sources close to the FDA said media spending on the two campaigns would collectively total $115 million in the next two years.

Draftfcb will partner with Fleishman-Hillard on public relations, subject-matter firm Danya International, social media company NMS and Initiative for media buying. The integrated campaign is expected to break in late 2013 or early 2014.

In September, after a year-long bidding process, the FDA selected six agencies to work on the anti-smoking effort. Draftfcb, Grey, Mullen, Campbell-Ewald, American Legacy Foundation and Riester, a Phoenix agency that has previously been involved in youth tobacco prevention advertising, were chosen to submit proposals for assignments in a competitive scenario.

While the FDA has awarded other smaller contracts to specialized agencies for niche consumer targets, the two Draftfcb assignments are the first national campaigns.

The FDA was given authority over the manufacturing, marketing and distribution of cigarettes and tobacco under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act signed into law in June of 2009. Fees levied on the tobacco industry fund the FDA’s efforts.

“Research has proven that public-education campaigns reduce the number of illnesses and death caused by tobacco. We plan to creatively capture the attention of teens between 12-17 to illustrate why they should stay away," Jeff Tarakajian, the Draftfcb evp, group management director who led the pitch, said in a statement.

In recent months Draftfcb has added other government assignments from Amtrak and more work from the U.S. Census.