Runyon Keeps Family Planning

The California Office of Family Planning has chosen to keep Runyon Saltzman & Einhorn handling its estimated $40 million account.

The Sacramento, Calif., agency first launched creative work for the client in 1997. It beat out Asher/Gal & Partners, Los Angeles, and Deen + Black Public Relations, Sacramento, during a months-long open review.

The account’s estimated budget of $35-40 million covers the next three years.

“They got the highest score,” Anna Ramirez, interim chief for the family planning office, said of Run yon. “They know the goals of the program really well. One of the things that really put them over the edge was … creating awareness and referrals for clinical services.”

Runyon, which also retains media duties, scored points with the state with its past Partnership for Responsible Parenting campaign to curb teenage pregnancy—work that has focused heavily on abstinence, mentoring and adult-teen communication. State officials said they want to keep that focus while adding a new component to the assignment—an emphasis on family planning clinical services.

“We really came at it with a whole new angle, looking at youth with a positive outlook and put together a whole new program that combined public relations, advertising and community outreach,” said Kelly Coplin, the agency’s director of client services.

The state wants the message of abstinence to remain a key part of future print, outdoor, TV, and radio campaigns. It also plans to advocate contraception, reproductive health and other forms of birth control. State laws making sex with a minor a crime will remain a focus as well.

Runyon will continue to rely heavily on radio spots and bus and other mass-transit posters to get the message out.

While promoting abstinence among sexually active teens can be a daunting task, Ramirez said Runyon’s campaigns have effectively convinced many young men to take more responsibility for parenting duties, preg nancy prevention and adult-youth communication.

“Abstinence is a big part of the campaign,” Ramirez admitted. “I think we as adults have a res ponsibility to promote abstinence. It’s not appropriate for 13- and 15-year-old children to be having children.”