Messner, Vetere on Board in Race

Team Will Craft Creative for Franks’ N.J. Senate Campaign
WASHINGTON, D.C.–Congressman Bob Franks, R-N.J., tapped New York admen Tom Messner and Barry Vetere to create ads for his bid against Jon Corzine, former CEO of investment bank Goldman Sachs, for the Senate seat being vacated by Democrat Frank Lautenberg.
Messner and Vetere, of Messner Vetere Ber-ger McNamee Schmet-terer/Euro RSCG, are working on the campaign under a separate com-pany, Republican Advertising, which was formed in a joint venture with the media-consulting firm Smith and Harroff in Alexandria, Va.
So far, Messner said his candidate is being outspent by Corzine, who has never held public office. Corzine pumped $33 million into his campaign to win the primary, compared with the $2 million spent by Franks. Cor-zine spent about $20 million on ads.
“It is the shore versus the Hamptons,” said Messner of the race, referring to Corzine’s house in the Hamptons.
Corzine’s TV advertising is being handled by veteran Democratic consultant Bob Shrum, who is part of the core team of image makers crafting Al Gore’s message in his race against George W. Bush. His clients have included former New York City Mayor David Dinkins. He has also worked on the presidential campaigns of Missouri Rep. Richard Gephardt in 1988 and Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey in 1992.
Shrum was traveling last week and was unavailable for comment.
Corzine conducted an advertising blitz to win the primary, airing spots in January and continuing until the June primary. Franks limited airing his ads to two weeks before the primary and concentrated on 15-second commercials in the New York and Philadelphia markets, and 30-second spots on New Jersey cable stations.
Messner said the next round of ads for Franks will focus on analyzing Corzine’s proposals. “We will take Corzine at his word and tell New Jersey voters what his programs will cost,” Messner said.
Franks’ campaign manager, Charlie Smith, said his candidate’s record of leadership on the House budget committee will beat out Corzine’s lack of experience and promotion of policies that will likely punish voters with higher taxes.
Corzine representative Tom Shea defended his candidate’s campaign expenditures. “To suggest an election can be bought is both patronizing and condescending,” he said. “Voters respond to candidates, and they respond to messages,” he added. “What [money] does is enable you to get a message out to the voters.” K