The announcement was made by the Department of Defense; the U.S. Navy handled the technical details of administering the $150 million-a-year contract for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. The Partnership for Drug Free America continues to do most of the creative for the campaign.
Ogilvy didn't have a required government accounting system in place when it won the account in 1998, and it eventually settled for $1.8 million government charges that it overbilled the government for 1999 work.
A criminal investigation looking into alleged changes Ogilvy made to employee time sheets used to support the bills is continuing.
Ogilvy put a new accounting system in place, but with the ad agency's billings under attack from several legislators, the drug office put the account in review.
Besides Ogilvy, the other ad teams pitching were Interpublic Group of Cos.' Foote, Cone & Belding Worldwide, New York, pitching with Initiative Media; Interpublic's McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York, partnered with Universal McCann; Cordiant Communications Group's Bates Worldwide, New York, bidding with Zenith Media; and Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi, also bidding with Zenith. Each of the teams also had paretnerships with agencies specializing in minority marketing.