$65 MILLION ANTI-SMOKING MEDIA ACCOUNT IN REVIEW

Incumbent Media Planning Group Says No Layoffs Planned

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BOSTON (AdAge.com) -- The anti-smoking group American Legacy Foundation has placed its $65 million-plus media account into review. The creative portion of the account will be reviewed in June 2003.

Media had been handled by Havas' Media Planning Group, New York, which confirmed the review. The creative assignment is shared by Havas' Arnold Worldwide Partners, Boston, and Miami's Crispin Porter Bogusky, which is partially owned by MDC Communications Corp. The agencies won the account in 1999.

No layoffs expected
Media Planning Group said

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there would be no layoffs as a result of the account loss.

Crispin could not immediately be reached, and Arnold referred queries to American Legacy, which said it hopes to have a media decision by the end of the year.

Body bags and rats
Ads for the "Truth" anti-smoking campaign have featured body bags deposited at tobacco company headquarters and a character dressed up as a rat. The most recent print ads feature good-bye letters from female former smokers to their families and the tobacco companies they blame for their impending deaths.

American Legacy was created in 1998 as part of an agreement with 46 state attorneys general to settle state tobacco suits. As it receives its last $300 million funding in March, it is reviewing all of its accounts from public relations to media planning and buying to creative. The group hopes that by investing some of the money and keeping its costs down it will have enough money to keep running programs through 2008.

According to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR, American Legacy spent $66.8 million in the first seven months of this year, $56 million last year and $113.3 million in 2000.

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