Third RFP Go-Round for Maryland Tourism

ATLANTA The Maryland Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts has re-reissued proposal requests for a new advertising contract.

In March, five-year incumbent Trahan, Burden & Charles successfully defended the estimated $5 million business. Before the three-year contract (with two one-year extensions) could be signed, however, the state cancelled the contract, citing budgetary concerns.

In May a second request for proposal was issued and subsequently cancelled by Governor Robert Ehrlich Jr. [Adweek, May 30, 2003], who wanted to revise the RFP. TB&C was granted a six-month extension of its existing contract.

Speaking for the incumbent, CEO Sandy Hillman said the agency is still considering whether to participate in the latest round of requests for proposal. Other Baltimore shops responding to the RFP include gkv communications and The Campbell Group.

Written responses are due Oct. 20. Agencies will vie for a one-year contract.

The account includes creative and media buying, but, said one source, there is no commission on media buys. The account’s call center, publications and fulfillment services are all handled in-house.

“I don’t think they’re going to miss a beat, but from a business owner’s standpoint I’d like a three-year contract,” said Brian Hall, partner and account director at TCG. “But if this is what’s in the offing, we have no choice.”

A decision is expected in mid-November. “Welcome” is the theme of the state’s current advertising.