George W. Bush is forming a “Park Avenue Posse'' to help produce television advertisements for his Republican presidential campaign.
His top media strategist, Mark McKinnon, said Sunday the campaign has recruited New York advertising executive Jim Ferguson to head up a group of Manhattan ad men to advise Bush's Austin, Tex.-based team.
Ferguson is president and creative director of Young & Rubicam Inc., one of the nation's most prominent advertising firms. Ferguson and his recruits will work outside their agencies on a volunteer basis, McKinnon said.
“We have been talking for some time about the desire for the general election to reach out and bring some creative people in for the advertising. We've talked to a lot of people and looked at a lot of models for how this works and doesn't work,'' he said.
“The name that kept coming up ... was the name of Jim Ferguson,'' he said.
Ferguson and Bush's current team already have recruited other New York-based talent; McKinnon said their names would be released once the team was in place.
Campaign aides have nickamed the group “the Park Avenue Posse.''
McKinnon heads up Bush's Austin team, which includes GOP consultant Stuart Stevens.
“Our goal is to take this up a notch. We think we do what we do very well, but we think (the New York advertisers) do what they do very well,'' he said. ``They'll be bringing us fresh ideas.''
Bush is expanding his team as the Democratic National Committee prepares to spend more than $20 million to promote Vice President Al Gore's Democratic campaign before the party's convention. The Republican National Committee is expected to respond with a multimillion-dollar ad campaign of its own.
It is unclear how early Bush will begin airing the ads.
RON FOURNIER, AP Political Writer, May 28, 2000, AP via NewsEdge Corp.
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