Florida Reruns $30 Mil. Review

State Says Anti-Tobacco’s Initial Invitation Was Not Up to Snuff
ATLANTA–Less than a month after the Florida Department of Health reassigned its $30 million anti-tobacco account to Crispin Porter & Bogusky, the state agency has decided to scrap its decision and restart the review process.
“We’ve decided to do a request for proposal because the initial ITN [invitation to negotiate] had some technical flaws that questioned its fairness,” said Frank Penela, FDH director of communications and program marketing.
Penela said the FDH has extended the Miami incumbent’s contract through June 30, which will coincide with the state’s fiscal year. He said using the request for proposal method would make the process more specific and complete.
“Some questions were on the original [ITN] list but not on a later list,” Penela said. “It could have skewed [responses] one way. Other questions could have been misconstrued. When there are mistakes made, you don’t want to make a bigger mistake, especially when the results are that close.”
CP&B topped one other finalist for the account, BVK/Meka of Miami, by roughly three points out of a possible 100. The latter agency’s managing officer, Manuel Machado,said his shop had “questioned” the evaluation process after seeing the results and would reapply.
“The ITN process was designed to be a technical review of credentials and capability, [which] most certainly puts someone not the incumbent at a disadvantage,” Machado said. “Our approach is to develop a strategy in line with the current climate in the administration.”
Florida Gov. Jeb Bush recently appointed Dr. Robert G. Brooks FDH secretary. Penela said Brooks, who he called “Mr. Fair Guy,” decided to reopen the review.
A spokesperson for CP&B said they would defend.
Machado said a Feb. 14 letter to Adweek from BVK/Meka creative director Ileana Alem‡n-Rickenbach, calling CP&B “Disgrace of the Year,” was unrelated to the FDH development. K