MINNESOTA ANTI-SMOKING GROUP SEEKS AGENCY

11 Shops Contacted for 10-Year, $80-$110 Million Account

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Eleven undisclosed agencies are participating in a review for a 10-year, $80 million to $110 million Minnesota state anti-smoking account, according the Minneapolis-based consultant handling the review.

The review was

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initiated by the Center for Tobacco Reduction and Health Improvement, which was formed by Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Minnesota. The campaign's spending comes from a $252 million endowment the insurer received as part of Minnesota's settlement with the tobacco industry in the late 1990s.

The 11 participating agencies will be cut to five or six by May, and a final decision is expected in early July, said the consultant, Jan Apple.

Interpublic Group of Cos.' Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis, which is agency of record for BCBS' corporate branding, will participate in the anti-smoking review.

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