ADVERTISING AND PR AGENCIES COURT CONSUMERS
The Commission listened to five major advertising agencies and chose the San Francisco office of D'Arcy, MacManus & Masius to represent them. Tom Allen headed the account team. The advertising campaign began to pick up momentum aided by an increase in the tax to 50 per cwt in 1981, which produced a budget of $3,113,325. The extra money afforded more-sophisticated TV commercials and double-page, full-color ads in foodservice magazines. And, as testimony to the reach of the advertising and PR activities, a survey taken by The Packer discovered that the brand Idaho® potatoes, was the most recognized nationally.
D'Arcy account executives were also making career moves but, when Sherry Parker was assigned to Idaho® potatoes in 1982, a continuity that was to last nine years was begun. Changes were taking place in Boise, too. James W. Davis, who had been active on the account at Cline, Inc, since 1957, moved to W. R. Drake agency and moved the Idaho potato in-state public relations services, as well.
In 1985, a merger changed the name to D'Arcy, Masius, Benton & Bowles (DMB&B), which became the world's fifth largest advertising agency. That same year, the IPC budget had reached $3,600,000 as inflation fueled rising advertising costs.
Mergers and consolidations in client companies and in advertising agencies brought about a great deal of change in four years, and in March of 1989, DMB&B announced that they were closing their San Francisco office. Another agency stood ready to step into the breech, however, and DDB Needham took over the abandoned office and hired several DMB&B employees, among them Sherry Parker who had the responsibility for the Idaho account. The Idaho Potato Commission decided to go along with the new agency.
Don Odiorne was hired by the IPC as vice president for foodservice in 1989, and Sharyl Strongman as foodservice specialist. With the added marketing emphasis on the eating-away-from-home industry, that portion of the advertising account was split off and, after presentations, awarded to Anderson Rothstein in March of 1990. The Anderson was the same Norm Anderson, now with his own business, that had once worked on the Idaho account for FC&B.