CHOOSE CHICAGO NAMES NEW AGENCIES OF RECORD

Chicago’s Official Tourism Marketing Organization Selects New Creative and Media Buying Agencies

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 23, 2014

CONTACT
Meghan Risch
312-388-1174
mrisch@choosechicago.com 

CHICAGO, IL -- Desiree Rogers, Chair, Choose Chicago and Don Welsh, President and CEO, Choose Chicago today announced it has selected FCB Chicago as its new Creative Agency of Record and the Chicago office of Starcom USA as the city's Media Planning and Buying Agency of Record. Both agencies will collaborate to build fully integrated, multi-channel marketing programs to significantly increase leisure and business travel to Chicago from domestic and international markets.

"The response from Chicago's advertising community was incredible," said Welsh. "The energy and passion exhibited during this critical search was a significant testimony to the pride engrained throughout the entire industry. The process was transparent and it was fair. Ultimately, we selected the teams that we believe could creatively express the assets of our great city in the most compelling and creative manner."

Choose Chicago awarded its account to FCB Chicago and Starcom following an eight-week agency review process conducted in partnership with Chicago-based search consultancy R3:JLB. The goal was to secure a lead agency with a strong Chicago presence and proven global brand building capabilities in Consumer and B2B marketing. The review also focused on agencies with strong traditional and digital communications channels expertise as well as international marketing capabilities important to the city's tourism growth strategy.

"We are thrilled to partner with Choose Chicago to share the stories that make our city great," said Michael Fassnacht, CEO and president of FCB Chicago. "This is a humbling opportunity to make a true impact on Chicago."

"Chicago is our hometown, and we are thrilled to bring our talent, expertise and strong digital focus to showcase all that this great city has to offer," added Lisa Donohue, CEO, Starcom USA. "This is a truly special city, and along with Choose Chicago and FCB, we look forward to enticing countless others to visit and experience it along with us."

The agency review followed a nine-month project with the Executive Committee of the Chicago 4A's. As Choose Chicago works to achieve Mayor Emanuel's goals for increased annual visitation, the Chicago 4A's team was instrumental in providing resources to implement a global quantitative traveler research project. Leo Burnett Chicago conducted the research initiative in tandem with Choose Chicago and 4A's leadership led by Ron Bess and Laurie Stearn. Findings derived from this process identified priority consumer segments, geographic marketing targets, and a compelling brand positioning for the city. This brand position was used as the strategic foundation for creative and media concepts developed in the agency review process.

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About FCB
With more than 140 years of communications expertise, FCB's worldwide network spans 150 offices in 90 countries, with over 8,000 people, and is part of the Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE:IPG). For more information, visit www.fcb.com. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@FCBglobal) and Facebook (FCB Global).

About Starcom USA
Starcom USA (www.starcomusa.com) is a world-renowned media communications agency that simplifies human understanding insights to deliver meaningful brand experiences. With more than 1,200 employees and an estimated $11.1 billion in billings (RECMA 2012) in the U.S., Starcom USA helps get the right consumers' attention and delivers brand-building results for many of the world's leading companies, including Allstate, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Bank of America, Kellogg Company, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, Samsung and more. Starcom USA is part of Publicis Groupe [Euronext Paris: FR0000130577], the world's third largest communications group. Publicis Groupe is also ranked as the world's second largest media counsel and buying group and is the first global network in digital and healthcare communications.

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