Minnesota Blue Cross/Blue Shield Puts Campaign on Hold

CHICAGO — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota has put its $80-110 million anti-smoking advertising program on hold pending a lawsuit, according to a company representative.

The company this week completed a review for the contract and the winner was Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Miami, said Karl Oestreich, a representative for the insurer. If the lawsuit is resolved in the insurer’s favor the company will likely go forward with CP+B.

Other contenders in the review were BBDO Minneapolis and Carmichael Lynch, which handles BC/BS of Minnesota’s main advertising account.

The suit filed late last month in Dakota County court in Minnesota seeks to have the money targeted for anti-smoking ads, which was part of Minnesota’s $6.6 billion settlement with tobacco companies made in 1998, refunded to BCBS customers, Oestreich said.

The agency referred all calls to the client.