Obama Taps GMMB, SS&K for Campaign Effort

Dem Presidential Hopeful Already Has Axelrod as Chief Media Strategist

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WASHINGTON (AdAge.com) -- Illinois Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign has enlisted Omnicom Group's GMMB and independent SS&K. The agencies will work with AKP Media's David Axelrod, who is the campaign's chief media strategist.
Presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama
Presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama Credit: Alex Wong

The campaign announced the hirings yesterday. Jim Margolis, a partner at GMMB and a veteran Democratic media strategist, will consult on media and strategic efforts. The agency is also handling media buying for the the campaign. GMMB, based in Washington, has traditionally been the biggest of the Democratic Party's media-buying agencies and handled buying for Sen. John Kerry's presidential campaign.

Courting young voters
SS&K, a New York agency that counts Delta Air Lines among its clients, is going to advise "on non-traditional media and outreach and mobilization of young voters," said Bill Burton, an campaign spokesman for Mr. Obama.

He also said Mr. Axelrod and his Chicago agency will also help produce spots. Mr. Axelrod, a former Chicago Tribune reporter who switched to political consulting, has produced numerous ads for Democratic candidates for the party's committees and is a close friend of Mr. Obama. He was a consultant for former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards in the last presidential campaign.

Mr. Margolis, besides handling a number of gubernatorial and senatorial campaigns, produced some early ads during Mr. Kerry's primary race four years ago that were widely credited for the Massachuesetts senator's strong showing in Iowa. He left the Kerry campaign early in April 2004 in a split described then as a fee dispute.
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