Legacy Shifts Media to PHD

BOSTON The American Legacy Foundation said it has named Omnicom Group’s PHD to handle media buying and planning following a review.

Independent Media Head in New York handled the media component for the past four years. Other contenders in the review led by Boston consultancy Pile and Co. could not immediately be determined.

Legacy has spent about $35 million in measured media in each of the past two years, per TNS Media Intelligence.

“We have been fortunate to work with best-in-class agencies. PHD will be a welcome addition to our roster,” said Eric Asche, svp, marketing at Legacy, in a statement.

The foundation periodically reviews its advertising and marketing relationships.

“They demand real creativity and that plays to our strengths. They are a terrific organization with great people and we look forward to partnering with them,” said Peter Mears, head of knowledge at PHD in New York.

When the media review began, Legacy said a competition for the creative portion of the business would follow, though no timetable had been set. A Legacy rep today said, “There is no creative review planned at this time.”

Creative chores, consisting mainly of executions in the “Truth” anti-smoking campaign, are mainly handled by Havas’ Arnold here and MDC Partners’ Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Miami. GSD&M in Austin, Texas, an Omnicom Group shop, also works on Legacy creative.

Legacy’s media outlay is way down from 2004, when the client spent $70 million on ads. Spending crested at more than $90 million in both 2002 and 2003.

Even so, Legacy is a high-profile client that has provided a consistently award-winning creative showcase for its agencies.

Recent Legacy work from Arnold and CP+B debuted in January. It shows body parts in New York garbage cans. On-screen text reads, “Every month, tobacco kills more people than there are trash cans in NYC.”

As its ad budget dwindled, Legacy has attempted more creative uses of media in its battle against Big Tobacco. For example, the foundation last summer aired a six-part weekly TV series, Warped: Inside & Out on the Fuse cable network. The show chronicled, in documentary fashion, a music and extreme sports festival.