DECISION EXPECTED IN $65 MILLION ANTI-SMOKING REVIEW

American Legacy Considering Forming Its Own Media Shop

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WASHINGTON (AdAge.com) -- The anti-smoking group American Legacy Foundation is expected to make a decision next week regarding its review of its $65 million media buying account.

The foundation is said to be exploring three alternatives: staying with the incumbent, Havas' Media Planning Group, New York, or awarding the assignment to another unnamed agency participating in the review, which is being called an "audit."

The foundation is also considering

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creating its own a media buying shop to try to get media companies to treat it more like a public service advertiser.

Funding to expire
The foundation was created in 1998 as part of an agreement between state attorneys generals and major tobacco companies. 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.

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.

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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