- The Washington Times - Monday, December 24, 2001

The National Restaurant Association is planning to add more money to a public awareness campaign that will "help America turn the tables."
The campaign, which started running about a month after the September 11 terrorist attacks, is designed to make people aware of how important restaurants are to the economy.
"Restaurants are an essential part of people's lives," says Steven C. Anderson, president and chief executive of the association. "When people are going through rough times, restaurants are a social oasis. They revive their spirits."
Restaurants generate an annual economic effect of $1 trillion.
The association, which represents 858,000 restaurants, hired Alexandria-based Smith and Harroff Inc. and research firm Wirthlin Worldwide in McLean. to handle the advertising component of the campaign.
So far the association has spent about $2 million to cover the cost of the ads that have run on radio and in national publications like the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times. That money came from the association's "reserve fund" and donations from the industry including suppliers and restaurateurs.
But Mr. Anderson says that's not enough. He would like to spend at least another $3 million to keep the campaign going and is willing to dip into the association's operating budget to make it happen.
Since the terrorist attacks, restaurants especially those in areas that rely on tourism for business have been hit hard. But the outlook for next year isn't so bad.
Sales at full-service restaurants are expected to grow 4.5 percent next year to reach $146.7 billion, according to the association. Sales at quick-service restaurants, like fast-food locations, are expected to increase by 3.7 percent with sales totaling $115.2 billion in 2002.
Narrowing the prospects
The Go RVing Coalition has narrowed down the number of agencies vying for its three-year, $40 million account.
In addition to the incumbent agency, Eisner Communications of Baltimore, six other agencies are in the running.
The only other local shop is the Martin Agency in Richmond. The other contenders are WestWayne and Fitzgerald & Co., both headquartered in Atlanta, the Atlanta office of J. Walter Thompson the Richards Group of Dallas and McKinney & Silver of Raleigh, N.C.
Next month three agencies, along with Eisner, will be chosen to move on to make final presentations at the coalition's meeting on March 6 in Orlando, Fla.
The new contract will begin fiscal year 2003.

Team effort
Washington Convention Center Authority has awarded it's advertising account to the partnership of Porter Novelli and Walker Marchant Group both based in Washington.
The team will be responsible for promoting the new 2.3 million square-foot Washington Convention Center, which is scheduled to open in spring 2003. Porter Novelli will primarily handle the marketing, creative and advertising parts of the project, while Walker Marchant will work on public and community relations.
The $400,000, one-year contract has three optional renewal years.
The authority had to chose from 19 proposals and reviewed presentations from seven groups.

Sallie Mae selection
USA Education Inc., better known as Sallie Mae, has chosen Mark Russell & Associates to handle its estimated $5 million to $7 million advertising account.
The firm, with offices in Syracuse and Atlanta, beat out local finalists Adworks in the District and Laughlin, Marinaccio & Owens in Arlington for the win.
Donna De Marco can be reached at 202/636-4884 or [email protected] Advertising & Marketing appears every other week.

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