Aspen Prepares Patriotic Content for Red Cross

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Aspen Marketing Group's interactive division is creating content for the American Red Cross's Web site that will include offers of patriotic products.


Soon after the promotion and direct marketing agency could account for all employees in 24 offices nationwide, including 12 who work in New York's financial district, it began work on the Red Cross project.


"They wanted to provide some goods that directly relate to these events. We want to offer anyone who goes to the site an incentive, not only to contribute, but to go above and beyond," said Tom Breslin, president and CEO of Aspen, Los Angeles.


Though the project has not been finalized, Breslin said that patriotic-themed products would be offered, likely both for direct sale to the public and as rewards for contributions. A final version was expected by Sept. 21.


Meanwhile, all other Aspen clients involved in direct marketing, interactive marketing and retail promotions are re-examining planned marketing campaigns, Breslin said.


"Across the board, the one thing we're seeing that pleases us is a real interesting look at everything they do. It seems to go beyond the tragedy. It's simply 'Do I still like this, does this make me feel good?' Maybe it's a return to a better sense of values," Breslin said.


Also, there is a move toward a "patriotic theme of some sort" in marketing and advertising, Breslin said. "I don't know where that will go. Our role will be to help them with what they need to accomplish."


Meanwhile, many clients have postponed campaigns, including two hospitality companies that "really don't think this is at the front of people's minds," he said. "There will be a time when they want to do it [continue marketing]," Breslin said.


In addition, Aspen's automaker clients slowed direct mail campaigns last week, and the lack of air deliveries didn't help. At some point, the auto industry will "try to react with enhanced marketing," Breslin said. The scheduling of retail promotions are an "unknown" right now, he said.


Though Aspen will be financially affected by the business shakeout from the attacks, Breslin has not examined the impact.


"First things first," he said, noting that locating the firm's employees who were traveling last week was the top priority. "We had many people on the road, so it was quite an operation. By Friday morning, everyone was back in the office."


Aspen's New York employees returned to work at the office at 30 Broad St. this week after minimal cleanup.


"We're being appropriately lenient with folks as far as time. If somebody needs to be with family or whatever, there are no questions asked," Breslin said.


The company's employees are donating to the American Red Cross, and many Aspen executives are "matching that with heavier dollars."


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