Mering Mounts Defense of California Produce

LOS ANGELES The California Department of Food and Agriculture has launched a review for its “California grown” campaign.

Billings for the 11-month contract are estimated at $5-10 million. The assignment includes creative and media.

Mering and Associates in Sacramento, Calif., currently handles the account and is participating in the review, said agency CEO Dave Mering. The shop won the business in April 2002 following a review. The other finalists were Runyon, Saltzman & Einhorn, also in Sacramento, and Amazon Advertising in San Francisco.

Work from Mering has included TV spots tagged, “Be Californian. Buy California grown.” One spot played off California stereotypes and included lines such as “I don’t want to be an actress” (delivered by a waitress) and “I don’t own a car.” The actors in the spot noted that they are still Californians and look for produce that is grown in-state.

An optional bidders’ conference is expected to take place on Aug. 19. Bids are due by Sept. 12, according to the state’s Web site.

Representatives for the CDFA did not return calls, and additional details of the review could not immediately be determined.