Mono Seeks New Client to Give $125K in Free Media

Mono recently issued a request for proposals to find a client for which it will develop a campaign-and give winnings from a recent award.

Minneapolis-based ad agency Mono has issued a rather unusual request: After being awarded $125,000 in free media for winning the “Small Agency of the Year” title from the American Association of Advertising Agencies, the local shop is sharing the wealth by giving away its winnings to a new client.

Mono has turned the traditional request for proposals (RFP) model on its head by accepting pitches from clients wanting a campaign. The RFP seeks “innovative corporations who are interested in using free media dollars while taking our creatives for a test drive with your brand.”

Mono will give away $125,000 in media to launch a campaign from July 1 through December 31. The proposals “should include why you think your corporation is worthy of receiving Mono's free media dollars, and why you'd like to partner with us,” the RFP states.

The award from the American Association of Advertising Agencies was one of two significant awards recently given to the local agency. Advertising Age named Mono-whose client roster includes Apple, MSNBC, and Blue Cross Blue Shield-the best ad shop in the country for its size: 11 to 75 employees. The company is among Minnesota's 15 largest advertising agencies based on net revenue, which totaled $7.1 million in 2009. Advertising Age estimates that the company's revenue totaled $6.4 million in 2010.

The recent RFP initiative got some attention in Advertising Age. Mono co-founder Jim Scott told the magazine that the agency hopes to attract a client that fits well with the company's approach. “We just hope clients don't only want us for our money or our looks,” he said. “We have brains, too.”

Proposals are due Friday, June 3. Download a copy of the RFP here. “Please act quickly,” the company wrote on its Web site. “That $125,000 is really burning a hole in our pocket.”