FDA Picks 6 Agencies to Handle Anti-Tobacco Ads

Will spend as much as $390 million over 5 years

The FDA has picked six agencies to work on a new anti-smoking initiative, which together have a spend ceiling of $390 million over the next five years. Ending a bidding process that began in September 2011, Grey, Mullen, Draftfcb, Campbell-Ewald, American Legacy Foundation and Riester, a Phoenix agency that has previously been involved in youth tobacco prevention advertising, were chosen for the task.

The group of agencies will now be given assignments or will submit proposals in a competitive scenario.

Earlier this year, the federal government used scare tactics to urge Americans to stop smoking in a campaign which ran for 12 weeks between March 19 and June 10. But unlike that more mass-market anti-smoking campaign, the FDA, which has regulatory oversight of the tobacco industry, doesn’t want to demonize tobacco, sources said. The FDA’s advertising imagery will present a more positive image of life without tobacco and will target teens with the aim of preventing smoking or getting them to stop while they’re still young.