Legacy, the non-profit anti-smoking organization, has selected WPP’s MediaCom as its new media agency for planning and buying, according to sources.
Annual spending on the account going forward is estimated at between $50 and $60 million.
The organization confirmed in July that it was reviewing both its creative and media agency assignments for its youth smoking prevention campaign, truth.
The reviews are being conducted in advance of “a significant effort to expand the campaign at a time when the US Food & Drug Administration and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be in the marketplace with bold anti-tobacco mass media initiatives” Legacy stated in July. “Together, the campaigns will serve as catalysts intended to spark a second wave of historic declines in tobacco use.”
The incumbent on the media assignment was Omnicom’s PHD. Publicis Groupe’s Zenith was said to be a finalist.
No word yet on the outcome of the creative review. Arnold is the creative incumbent on the account. A Legacy rep said the media review process was not finalized and the group was not commenting on it. The rep added that the creative review was “months away” from completion. Agency veteran Robin Koval, who just joined Legacy as CEO is expected to be very involved.
When the review was launched Legacy CMO Eric Asche stated, “Every dollar counts when we have to compete with the billions of dollars that the tobacco industry spends each year promoting its deadly products. It’s a David versus Goliath fight and we’re dependent on great partners to help us battle for market share. We have nothing but the highest praise for Arnold Worldwide [and] PHD… With this new infusion of funding and support for truth, we’ve got an unprecedented opportunity to look at the campaign anew.”
Pile & Co is overseeing the review process for Legacy. Earlier the group said it hoped to have both assessments completed by the end of the year.
MediaCom officials didn’t return calls inquiring about the decision.