Agency, Marketing Execs Join Returning Political Ad Veterans

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WASHINGTON (AdAge.com) -- President Bush's presidential campaign has added two advertising executives to its team of veteran political ad pros, according to an executive with the campaign.

Harold Kaplan, senior vice president and creative director for WPP Group's Y&R Advertising, had done some work for the Bush presidential campaign four years ago after Y&R's former president, Jim Ferguson, became involved following the GOP convention. He is being enlisted early as part of the core team. Mr. Ferguson, now chairman-chief creative officer of Interpublic Group of Cos.' Temerlin McClain, isn't expected to be as involved but could offer some strategy.

Also joining the Bush campaign is Vada Hill, senior vice president of marketing for Fannie Mae, who approved using a Chihuahua to market fast food as a marketing director at Taco Bell.

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The Bush-Cheney '04 campaign is expected to launch its first ads of the campaign shortly, but campaign officials declined comment.

The Bush ad team, which goes by the name Maverick Media, will again be led by Mark McKinnon, the political and advertising strategist who has been working for Public Strategies in Austin, Texas. The group, which worked out of Austin last time, will now be based in Washington.

In addition to Mr. McKinnon, other returning political ad veterans include Stuart Stevens, Russ Schriefer and Lionel and Kathy Sosa, now of Sosa Consultation and Design, San Antonio. Mr. Sosa founded Sosa, Bromley, Aguilar & Associates (now Bromley Communications) and with his wife did much of the campaign's Hispanic advertising.

The ad team this time includes several additional political ad veterans.

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National Media's Alex Costellanos, who four years ago did negative ads for the Republican National Committee while Maverick did more positive Bush ads, is now a formal part of Maverick. National Media's Robin Roberts will again buy ads for the Bush campaign.

Also added are three other Republican advertising gurus: Chris Mattola, a Philadelphia consultant who has handled a number of campaigns; Frank Guerra, of Guerra DeBerry Coody, San Antonio, a Hispanic political agency that has done work for the Republican National Committee; Fred Davis of Strategic Perception, Los Angeles, who did the campaign of Sen. Elizabeth Dole, R-N.C.; and Scott Howell, Dallas, who did ads for several GOP Senate candidates.

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