YMCA Seeks Agencies for National Account

Multiple Shops Could Get Piece of $7.9M Business

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The YMCA is searching for a creative agency for a national account, Ad Age has learned.

A spokeswoman for the nonprofit confirmed the search, adding that the YMCA -- or The Y as it now brands itself -- recently "issued an RFI [request for information] for creative services related to our national marketing communications efforts."

She added that the organization currently does has not have a national agency of record, and it's possible the nonprofit would hire more than one agency, "however, we have worked with various creative and branding agencies in the past." Agencies that have worked on national YMCA advertising previously include Omnicom's BBDO, Chicago, sibling agency GSD&M, and the former independent Kohnke Hanneken, which was eventually absorbed by Milwaukee-based Laughlin/Constable.

It also has employed numerous agencies for local advertising, including Preston Kelly for its Minneapolis-St. Paul area and Agency Creative for the Dallas market. Some local agencies work for the Y on a pro bono basis, but the national account will be paid.

The search for agencies comes a year after the YMCA rebranded as The Y, a reimagining for which it hired Omnicom Group's Siegel & Gale.

The Y, which was founded nearly 160 years ago, in 2010 upped it measured media spending by 15% to $7.8 million, according to Kantar, up from $6.7 million in 2009.

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