KSL Adds Michigan Stem Cell Group

NEW YORK Independent KSL Media has won the account of a Michigan public interest coalition that plans to promote the potential benefits of stem cell research. The coalition hopes to place a proposal on the ballot in November that would authorize embryonic stem cell research in the state. KSL won the $10 million account after a review. Other contenders were not disclosed.

KSL will provide analytics, strategy, media planning and buying across print, broadcast and online channels.

The client, called Michigan Citizens for Stem Cell Research & Cures, has until July 8 to collect 380,000-plus signatures needed to place its proposal on the November ballot.

That push is controversial, at least in the eyes of the Pro-Life movement, which opposes such research on the grounds that embryos — which fit their definition of human life — must be destroyed in order for the research to be conducted. Proponents of such research say it would save lives by identifying treatments for various types of cancer and other diseases that have so far been incurable.

“It’s a controversial subject and a challenging account,” said David Sklaver, president of KSL. (The shop may also elect to support similar efforts in other states, Sklaver said, declining to elaborate.)

KSL has enjoyed a winning streak since the year began, adding the $10 million Publishers Clearing House account without a review and picking up a similarly budgeted assignment from direct marketer Telebrands. KSL also added the $5 million Double Coin truck-tire business.

Sklaver attributed the shop’s success to its “hybrid” focus on digital, direct response and traditional media.

KSL now manages $550 million in business annually, having added 12 new accounts and over $200 million in billings in 2007, its best year ever.