To Develop Campaign for 'Forensic Files' Series

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NEW YORK ( -- New York ad agency DeVito/Verdi has picked up a new account, for cable channel Court TV, without a formal review.

The channel hired the agency to work on a third-quarter campaign behind its flagship documentary series, Forensic Files, which is described as a real-life version of the popular CBS network drama C.S.I.

$4 million to $5 million
Court TV's vice president of marketing, Evan Shapiro, said the budget for the new campaign was worth between $4 million and $5 million, and that it would be focused TV and print.

"Forensic Files is our No. 1 marquee show. We want to land it on the cultural landscape," Mr. Shapiro said. Court TV is owned equally by AOL Time Warner and Liberty Media and is seen in almost 80 million homes.

Court TV had talked on and off with DeVito/Verdi for some time before hiring the independently owned agency. The channel had previously used its in-house staff for a campaign that ran in January. Its last agency relationship was with the now-defunct firm Hampel/Stephanides. DeVito/Verdi had presented to the client previously.

Recent wins for agency
Commenting on the win, agency President Ellis Verdi quipped, "They chose us after a typically thorough investigation." In the past few months, Mr. Verdi said the agency picked up agency-of-record status on the $40 million account for Meijer, a Midwest-based supercenter, and launched a new TV campaign for the Grey Goose vodka brand.

According to a statement released today, Court TV had the highest rated July in its history, achieving a 0.9 rating, up 13% from last year. An average of 806,000 nightly viewers watched Court TV this month.

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