COLOMBIA COFFEE GROWERS SEEK AD AGENCY

$9 Million Account Will Promote the Return of Juan Valdez

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Colombia's National Federation of Coffee Growers is seeking an advertising agency to help bring back Juan Valdez.

Mr. Valdez, the legendary marketing icon played by real-life Colombian Carlos Sanchez, is the symbol of the worldwide campaign to promote the sale and consumption of Colombian coffee. Mr. Valdez and his trusty mule, Lana, has been on hiatus for more than a year.

$9 million
According to a request for credentials now being circulated to interested parties, the federation is inviting marketing and communications agencies to pitch its $9 million account. The federation can be contacted through its Web site at cafedecolombia.com/contacto.html.

The assignment covers a wide range of responsibilities including the promotion of Colombian coffee, the trademark Juan Valdez and the federation's presence in North America. The federation's office in Bogota did not wish to discuss its current review.

The document suggests that the coffee association has some ambitious plans for the revival of the coffee icon that was put on hiatus in December 2001. Juan Valdez was created in the 1960s by ad agency Doyle Dane Bernbach and went on to become one of the most recognized marketing symbols in the U.S. DDB Worldwide had held the account until Colombian government cutbacks forced the federation to reduce its advertising activities and retire Mr. Valdez.

A DDB spokeswoman said the agency was still evaluating whether it would participate in the pitch.

Working knowledge of Spanish
The federation requests that agencies have competencies in the areas of consumer marketing, public relations, entertainment marketing, corporate positioning and market research. Agencies are also asked to have substantial knowledge of Colombia and experience of working with non-governmental organizations as well as employing an account staff with a working knowledge of Spanish.

The document also suggests a tight time frame with finalists notified by April 25, a winner selected by May 9 and work due to begin on June 2. The request for credentials also says the campaign will be targeted at 18 to 34 year olds and "youth oriented niche markets."

It has previously been reported that the federation is also planning to establish its own coffeehouses serving Colombian brews in the U.S. and Europe.