DDB SEATTLE BOOSTS ITS 'ISSUES' ADVERTISING PRACTICE

Acquires D.C.-Based Bass & Howes

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SAN FRANCISCO (AdAge.com) -- In what has been dubbed an alliance between Capitol Hill and Madison Avenue, Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide, Seattle, has acquired Bass & Howes, a Washington- and New York-based agency specializing in issues advertising.

DDB said it has developed an "issues and advocacy" practice dedicated to using paid advertising to bring awareness to environmental or social issues.

The concept started three years ago when DDB picked up assignments for the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Abortion Reproductive Right Action League and the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority.

Billings for the practice will grow to $46 million with the acquisition of the $13 million Bass & Howes. The operation will be headed by Washington-based Candy Cox, managing partner, issues and advocacy practice.

DDB said the practice, which is designed to ferret out issues and then bring them to the public's attention, in the first quarter of this year has picked up five new pieces of business worth $7 million in the area of civil rights, the environment and health care.

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