Richards Is Still in It

The American Legacy Foundation has named Arnold Communications in Boston, Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG of New York and The Richards Group in Dallas as finalists in the review for its $150-225 million account.
New York-based Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, teamed with Asher & Partners of Los Angeles, was cut after a six-member selection committee spent last week visiting the four lead shops. “Obviously we are very disappointed and we wish the finalists the best,” said Barry Schoenfeld, Asher’s director of business development.
Chuck Wolfe, the foundation’s executive vice president and a member of the selection committee, said the decision was made after evaluating each team for capability, diversity, chemistry with their partnering agencies and overall strategy. “We have been very pleased with the presentations and as you narrow the field to a final agency, it gets more and more difficult,” he said.
Wolfe would not elaborate on specifics, but sources said agency size and teams with a national network of offices factored into the decision.
The Arnold-Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami, team has $1.28 billion in billings and four locations. Messner’s billings are $1.2 billion and it has four offices in the Euro RSCG network. Richards has $385 million in billings and is teaming with Western Initiative Media Worldwide.
The three teams will be asked to make final presentations focusing on a campaign to prevent smoking among youth under 18, young adults 18-24 and adults in general.
Wolfe said he hopes to recommend an agency to ALF’s board of directors when it meets next month.