DRUG OFFICE DISCUSSES REIMBURSEMENT WITH AGENCIES

Bidders Assured They Weren't Footing Bill for Campaign

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WASHINGTON (AdAge.com) -- Prospective bidders for advertising contract of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy were assured today that they were not expected to fund the nation's war on drugs.

Drug office officials told ad agencies that the winning media buyer might have to carry up to $40 million temporarily while waiting for government reimbursement.

Reality of monetary disbursement
The need for the agency to do this reflected the reality of federal monetary disbursement, officials said, not some desire to have the agencies carry the burden of government advertising.

Representatives of virtually all major agency groups attended the bidding conference, among them incumbent WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide.

The drug office's annual $150 million media spending budget is one of the biggest government ad accounts.

The drug office account is for a single year, but could be renewed for up to four, depending on how the agency performs and whether Congress reauthorizes the and anti-drug ads.

Drug office officials said today the final date for the bids had been postponed until Dec. 3.