Although an agency contract has not been awarded, Blue Cross said it would have chosen MDC Communications Corp.-backed Crispin Porter following a review that included finalists Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide and Interpublic Group of Cos.' Carmichael Lynch, both Minneapolis. Jan Apple, a Minneapolis-based consultant, handled the review.
$412 million endowment
A lawsuit filed last
Blue Cross had earmarked $252 million of that endowment to health improvement programs, including the $80 million to $110 million anti-smoking campaign.
"We are extremely disappointed that we must halt this process, but we will not be spending any of the proceeds from our landmark tobacco settlement until this recent lawsuit is resolved," Bill Gold, chief medical officer at Blue Cross, said in a statement.
Carmichael Lynch remains agency of record for Blue Cross' corporate branding. But Crispin Porter could still get some assignments.
"We may explore opportunities with Crispin on health improvement work unrelated to either the tobacco proceeds or our corporate brand work," Mr. Gold said.
A spokesman for Crispin Porter referred all calls to the client.