Campbell-Ewald Picks up Agency of Record status for USAA

Financial-Services Marketer Has Spending of $50 Million

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- The agency has been in need of some good news, and Campbell-Ewald has finally gotten some: It has been named agency of record for USAA, a financial-services firm that markets to military personnel and their families.

The assignment will include the creative strategy and execution, as well as media planning and buying assignments. The win is a welcome one for the Interpublic Group of Cos.-backed agency, which has been forced to slash up to 100 jobs due to big budget cuts by its main client, Chevrolet. Interpublic sibling Deutsch, New York, was the previous agency.

According to TNS Media Intelligence, USAA, which has more than 6 million members, spent $14 million on domestic measured media in 2007, but when non-measured media is factored in, actual spending has been upward of $50 million annually, according to an earlier story in Ad Age.

USAA did not detail spending, but said Campbell Ewald's government and military experience played a key role in the decision to award it the business. "Campbell-Ewald shares our values, passion, and understanding of the USAA membership, the U.S. military and their families," said USAA's chief marketing officer, Roger Chacko. "It's strong military and government experience, and specifically their longstanding relationship with the U.S. Navy, was very compelling."

Aside from its problems with Chevrolet, the agency has also lost some business, including key accounts such as Farmers Insurance to independent Richards Group, Dallas, last week and Michelin North America to Omnicom Group's TBWA without a review earlier this summer.

Last month the agency did land Buffalo Wild Wings' local media-planning business.

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