State Says: ‘Show Me Proposals’

Missouri Launches Tourism Review After 5 Years at Muller
CHICAGO–The Missouri Department of Tourism has placed its $9 million advertising account in mandatory review after nearly five years with its incumbent agency.
The department placed a request for proposals on its Web site at last week and sent the 48-page document to 10 agencies that had requested it in advance, said department representative Renee O’Toole.
The search is not limited to Missouri agencies, but a presence in the state will be required for the winning agency, O’Toole said.
Initial billings for the account will be $9 million and could increase by $2 million in the next fiscal year, according to the document.
Muller + Co. in Kansas City won the account in 1995 after a similar state-run review. The agency is expected to defend its business.
A nonmandatory meeting regarding the review and proposal request and the state’s current tourism campaign is scheduled for March 10 in Jefferson City. Completed proposals are due by March 30. The field will be narrowed to finalists for creative presentations and a decision is expected by mid-May, O’Toole said.
Contending agencies will be required to show they have at least one client with billings topping $5 million and that no one account represents more than 30 percent of their annual billings. Agencies are also being asked to describe their travel and tourism experience.
The evaluation will be judged according to cost, experience, creative ability and proposed method of performance. The greatest weight will be given to cost, according to the document.
Duties for the account will include all advertising, media and marketing duties, including direct mail and Internet initiatives.
The initial contract is for one year, beginning July 1, with two possible one-year extensions.
The review does not affect the state’s African American and Hispanic advertising agencies for tourism–YP&B Christian in Orlando, Fla., and Keller and Associates in St. Louis, respectively. Both agencies have contracts that run through June 30, 2001.
In 1997, Muller introduced a new slogan, “Where the rivers run,” and a logo that turns the two s’s in Missouri into a river. Creative presentations will be expected to incorporate the logo, according to the RFP. K