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Caples Covets General Agencies

The John Caples International Awards is conducting a print, e-mail and direct mail campaign to solicit entries by Sept. 30 for its 28th contest next year.

Themed “I Covet a Caples,” the pro bono effort from Euro RSCG 4D, New York, uses four general-agency creative chiefs as pitchmen to attract entries from shops whose forte typically isn't direct marketing.

“The thinking behind it is that these days direct marketing is very much popular with clients because they want to know what they're getting for their money,” said Caples founder Andi Emerson in New York. “Therefore, a lot of general agencies are suddenly getting interested in direct marketing. We hope more general advertisers will enter their direct marketing ads.”

The general-agency executives are Lee Garfinkel, chief creative officer of DDB Worldwide; Richard Kirschenbaum, co-chairman of Kirschenbaum, Bond + Partners; Bob Greenberg, founder of R/GA; and Chris Becker, chief creative officer at Foote Cone & Belding. All of them are based in New York.

“The Caples campaign features these four creative directors from general advertising who say they're interested in getting a Caples award for direct marketing,” Emerson said.

Campaign services were donated for the all-volunteer-effort Caples. Pictorial Offset Corp., Carlstadt, NJ, donated printing services and paper for the 33,000 mail pieces that drop this month. Com-Pak Services, Moorestown, NJ, offered data and lettershop services, and GrayHair Software, Mount Laurel, NJ, donated the mail tracking/PLANET coding.

Also, trade publications in direct marketing, including this one, offered free ad space and access to their subscriber files. And ICS Interactive, New York, handled the call-for-entries effort for the Caples' Web site.

Caples typically gets about 1,000 entries globally. But the awards face stiff competition from the International Advertising Festival's Cannes Lions Direct and Cyber Lions and the Direct Marketing Association's Echo.

The next Caples ceremony is March 2 in New York. Entries should be submitted by Sept. 30 for judges — 97 creative directors from 11 countries already committed — to decide winners in early November. More details are available on www.caples.org.

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