- The Washington Times - Monday, January 13, 2003

Equals Three Communications has won a federal advertising contract to help sell homes to minorities.
The Bethesda-based advertising agency has been awarded a $1.5 million, one-year contract from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The initiative is being run by HUD's Federal Housing Administration (FHA).
"One of the [ad] agency's goals is to educate families, particularly minorities, and remove barriers that prevent them from purchasing a home," according to documents from HUD.
Equals Three was one of five agencies selected to participate in the account review, according to Eugene Faison, chairman and chief executive of Equals Three.
The campaign will target black and Hispanic families and will be created in both English and Spanish, Mr. Faison says. It will provide information on how to purchase a HUD-owned property, including how to find property listings and who to contact for more information.
This initiative will target select markets with advertising and community-outreach programs.
It will focus initially on six markets for blacks in Georgia, Florida, Texas, Illinois, Missouri and Michigan and four markets for Hispanics in California, Florida, Illinois and New York, Mr. Faison says.
The media mix has not yet been determined, but the campaign will have a print component.
The creative work is likely to break in three to four months, Mr. Faison estimates. It will then be evaluated to determine its efficacy in getting consumers educated and ultimately selling HUD-owned homes.
As a contract requirement, Equals Three also has signed on several minority contractors to assist in the campaign.
Lucky winners
The D.C. Lottery has awarded its two media-buying contracts valued at $990,000 each to HR Communications and MDB Communications.
The lottery has been looking for two media buyers because it did not renew its contract with the District-based Kamber Group, which had the account for two years.
"This is a great way to start the new year," says Cary Hatch, president of MDB, based in the District.
The winning agencies are both quite familiar with the lottery's advertising account.
Reston-based HR Communications has handled the lottery's creative advertising for the past two years. The agency will continue to handle that part of the account in addition to providing media-buying services, says Bob Hainey, a D.C. Lottery spokesman.
MDB handled the lottery's creative advertising from 1994 to 1996. The lottery's total marketing budget is about $5 million annually, Mr. Hainey says.
Agency gets hotel account
The Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina has selected the Stern Agency to handle its first advertising account. The resort opened in Cambridge, Md., in August 2002.
"We will be trying to build awareness that it is there and all it has to offer," says Jane BenBassett, vice president and account management director of the Columbia, Md.-based ad agency.
The Eastern Shore Hyatt property includes a 400-room resort, 35,000 square feet of meeting space, an 18-hole golf course, a spa and a marina.
The Stern Agency, which has done work for other Hyatt properties, will focus on both business and leisure travelers in markets within driving distance, such as the District, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York.
Got news? Donna De Marco can be reached at 202/636-4884. Advertising & Marketing appears every other Monday.

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