- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 18, 2003

The National Trust for Historic Preservation wants Americans to protect historic places right in their own back yards.

To get the word out, the District-based nonprofit organization has joined forces with the Ad Council in New York for the first time to create a public service campaign.

“We want to make preservation issues more visible to Americans,” said Richard Moe, president of the National Trust. “We’re trying to make people aware of the historic structures in their own communities.”

Mr. Moe notes a perception that historic preservation applies only to famous buildings and landmarks but says the nation is filled with historic houses, churches, schools and other buildings. If these places aren’t protected, he said, they will continue to be replaced by new development.

“Once they’re lost, they’re lost forever,” Mr. Moe said.

The campaign, created pro bono by Arnold Worldwide, includes television, print and radio ads urging people to protect and save their communities’ historic structures. Each ad shows a scenario where a historic building has been torn down or lost and replaced with something new.

One TV spot shows a wedding party dressed in vintage clothes posing in front of a modern gas station. The voice-over says, “When your children ask where you got married, will you have to tell them, ‘Over there, by the unleaded’?”

The campaign, called “History Is in Our Hands,” directs people to the group’s Web site, www.nationaltrust.org.

The ads were sent to 28,000 media outlets across the country at the end of April and were to run in advertising time and space donated by the media. Although it is too early to tell how much of an impact the campaign has had, Mr. Moe said visits to the Web site have increased.

The final four

Amtrak has narrowed its agency review to four finalists for its $27 million advertising account.

Industry sources say incumbent White & Baldacci, based in Herndon, Arnold Worldwide in McLean and the Martin Agency in Richmond are the three local contenders. Sources say the fourth competitor is WKP/YPB&R;, a joint venture between Orlando-based Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown & Russell (YPB&R;) and New York-based Warren Kremer Paino (WKP).

In April, the struggling rail carrier, which has an agency review every two years, sent out requests for proposals to 16 agencies and recently narrowed down the choices. Amtrak expects to make its decision by the end of June.

Ogilvy & Mather in New York, a member of the WPP Group, handled the account before it went to White & Baldacci, formerly E. James White Communications, in 2001. White & Baldacci has worked with Amtrak for more than 20 years on various projects.

Matt White, chief executive at White & Baldacci, would not comment on the account.

In other news

• The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration has selected Design House to handle an annual campaign to fight aggressive driving in Maryland, Virginia and the District. The advertising and marketing campaign for the “Smooth Operator” initiative, as well as other safety-related programs, is worth $3.5 million over the next three years, with a possible two-year extension, for the District-based agency.

• The Campbell Group in Baltimore has been named agency of record for Oakworks Inc., a therapeutic equipment company based in Shrewsbury, Pa. The ad agency will handle the company’s brand research and development, advertising and public relations efforts.

Got news? Donna De Marco can be reached at 202/636-4884. Advertising & Marketing runs every other Monday.

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