Review Is Set for San Diego Zoo

LOS ANGELES The San Diego Zoo is putting its estimated $5 million creative account into review, said Ted Molter, the Zoological Society of San Diego’s director of marketing. Media may also be unbundled, depending upon the strategy presented.

“As a not-for-profit, we’re in a situation where there is a requirement to regularly look at all of our vendors,” said Molter. “We do it annually, but this year we’ve decided on a more formalized process.” The Society last conducted a formal search in 1989, when the since-absorbed independent agency Phillips Ramsey in San Diego won.

“The relationship has been long-standing,” said Molter. “We function in an integrated-marketing fashion, and the agency is a large part of our marketing expenditures. We’re looking at marketing all across the board.”

The zoo recently has concentrated on “partnership promotions” with Wendy’s restaurants and Coca-Cola, Molter said. Although the promotions include coupons as a measurable component, the results have not yet been evaluated, Molter added.

Select Resources International in Santa Monica, Calif., will conduct the search. The incumbent, independent MeadsDurket in San Diego, is a contender. “We’ve been told that the review is something of a formality,” said Gary Meads, president and CEO. “We intend to defend and feel that given our history and our numbers this year, we have every reason to believe we will be retained.”

The most recent campaign for the zoo included an outdoor effort that featured shots of animals with the tagline “San Diego Zoo: One of the world’s natural wonders”; a TV spot featured a montage of animal poses and an original lullaby [Adweek online, June 17].