Maryland’s advertising contract for tourism and business development is up for grabs with a Jan. 3 deadline for proposals.
The state is searching for one or two agencies to handle its $35 million Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) advertising account which includes work for both the Office of Tourism Development and the Office of Business Development. The separate offices are included in one contract, but two agencies could win, says Tori Leonard, director of public relations for DBED.
Trahan, Burden & Charles Inc., which has had the account since 1998, faces fierce competition from agencies around the area.
Requests for proposals were sent last month for the three-year contract, which has two one-year renewable options. Representatives from about 30 interested agencies attended a Nov. 19 pre-proposal meeting, Ms. Leonard says.
“There is a great deal of interest,” she says. “It’s such a great project to work on.”
The overall goal of the state’s advertising is to bring people to Maryland, but the two departments target different audiences. The tourism division focuses on consumers, while the business development side focuses on business-to-business marketing.
The responsibilities of the winning agency or agencies run the gamut from market research, analysis and strategic developments to public relations, creative work and media placement.
The account historically has been worth about $35 million over a five-year period. The tourism office receives a $30 million budget while the business development office gets about $5 million, Ms. Leonard says.
“I think we’ve been very effective and efficient with the flat funding we’ve had,” said Hannah L. Byron, director of the Office of Tourism Development. “We’re very pleased.”
The account’s worth in the future, however, is not set in stone. With a new administration taking office in January, the budget for the state’s DBED ad contract could change.
“We’re fighting for full funding to do the job,” Ms. Leonard says. “Obviously, advertising in both areas is a critical piece in tourism attraction and business attraction.”
The anticipated contract is expected to go before the state’s Board of Public Works for approval in April or May. The new contract begins July 1.
New wins and more
Sport & Health Clubs, with nearly 30 locations in the Washington area, has named New York-based Wilson Rusch as its agency of record. The shop, which will work to acquire new customers and retain old members, will handle broadcast, direct mail and online marketing for the health-club chain.
The Campbell Group (TCG), based in Baltimore, has been named agency of record for American Radiology HealthScan, which is affiliated with Johns Hopkins Medicine. TCG will provide marketing services including advertising, promotions and public relations.
A series of ads has been created as part of a drunken-driving prevention campaign started 10 years ago by the Advertising Council and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The ads, which include print, radio and television, use the familiar tag line “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk.”
The spots, created pro bono by DDB Worldwide, are part of the “Innocent Victims” campaign that features real photographs and home video footage of those who have died as a result of drunken driving.
Got news? Call Donna De Marco at 202/636-4884. Advertising & Marketing runs every other Monday.