ARMY SELECTS MCCANN FOR $1.35 BILLION ADVERTISING ACCOUNT

Interpublic Agency Beats Out Leo Burnett

By Published on .

WASHINGTON (AdAge.com) -- The U.S. Army tonight awarded its advertising account, the government’s largest, to Interpublic Group of Cos.’ McCann Erickson, New York. In doing so, it decided against renewing its contract with Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett USA.
Photo: AP
McCann Erickson now faces the task of devising advertising pitches capable of luring recruits for wartime military duty. Here, Army paratroopers radio for air cover after being shot at in Tal Afar, Iraq.
Related Stories:
U.S. ARMY TO DROP 'ARMY OF ONE' ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN
Leo Burnett Agency Moves Away From Slogan It Created
U.S. ARMY NARROWS ADVERTISING REVIEW
Grey Worldwide and Y&R Dropped
ARMY READIES ANOTHER CONTRACT EXTENSION FOR BURNETT
Latest Contract Move Will Not Effect Agency Review
U.S. ARMY EXTENDS LEO BURNETT AD CONTRACT
Agency Gets Six More Months; Account Review Still Expected
U.S. ARMY CANCELS LONG-RUNNING ADVERTISING REVIEW
Six Agencies Left in Lurch After Spending Big Bucks to Prepare Pitches
THE U.S. ARMY NEEDS A FEW GOOD IDEAS
$200 Million Ad Campaign Must Lure Recruits in Wartime

Five years
The contract, which includes advertising for the U.S. Army Reserve, could be worth up to $1.35 billion over five years. (It’s a two-year contract that can be renewed for three subsequent one-year periods, or up to five years total.) The Army said the figure represents a maximum contract amount and actual spending is closer to $1 billion.

The Army is expected to drop Burnett’s “Army of One” slogan, though the Army didn’t confirm the switch.

Finalists
Beyond Burnett, the finalists in the government review were WPP Group’s Ogilvy & Mather, New York, and Omnicom Group’s BBDO, Atlanta.

Paul Boyce, an Army spokesman, tonight said the announcement “reflects many months of careful work to ensure a full and open competition among some of the best advertising agencies in America. ... Both the U.S. Army and the American public are the clear winners given the dedicated professionals we have had working account in the past and the creative talent we will be working with in the future.”

Mr. Boyce said Burnett will continue working on the account through a three-month transition period and that the earliest creative from McCann is likely to be next summer. No specific tagline or theme has yet been determined.

Missed recruitment goal
The Army fell short of its recruitment goal for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, meeting only 92% of its target. But Mr. Boyce said the Army has met its goals for each of the last five months.

The ad review had drawn fire because Burnett’s original contract, slated to end more than a year and a half ago, was repeatedly extended because of problems in rebidding the contract.

McCann WorldGroup Chief Operating Officer Eric Keshin led the team that pitched the account. Worldgroup sgencies involved include: creative agency McCann; media agency Universal McCann; MRM, for digital and interactive; Momentum, for event marketing; and public relations agency Weber Shandwick.

In a statement, Burnett said: "We are extremely proud of the work we have done to help ensure the U.S. Army attracts capable, committed men and women to serve and defend our country. We thank the U.S. Army for their partnership over the past five years and wish them the best."

~ ~ ~
James B. Arndorfer and Lisa Sanders contributed to this report.

Most Popular