Bids from consultants are due April 4.
The winning consultant will develop selection criteria in the search for agencies. Shops currently working on national automobile or regional dealer ad group accounts will not be considered. An agency is expected to be tapped sometime in August, with the campaign planned for this fall.
Mr. Barbin also chaired the 50-state group that sued Ford Motor Co. over false advertising for its popular Explorer SUV brand. Ford, he said, settled with the states last December, agreeing to pay $51.5 million. The group will use $30 million of that for a national campaign.
Mr. Barbin said the price tag will cover all expenses, including media and production. He said he anticipated the ads would be for TV, radio and print.