GSD&M Holds on to Air Force Ad Contract

Account Could Carry Billings of $372 Million Over Nine Years

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NEW YORK ( -- Omnicom Group's GSD&M Idea City has successfully defended its U.S. Air Force account -- a potential nine-year, $372 million contract -- after a lengthy shootout with DraftFCB, New York, for the business.
Idea City's 'Above All' spots highlight the Air Force's technological expertise.
Idea City's 'Above All' spots highlight the Air Force's technological expertise.

Idea City, Austin, Texas, was the incumbent on the account, which it won in late 2000 after a review. The Air Force began its latest marketing review last summer, inviting the incumbent and Interpublic Group of Cos.' DraftFCB to pitch the business.

The Air Force's request for proposal called for the agency to use the ad contract to generate leads for the recruiting force. The contract also includes event sponsorship. Exact spending on the three-month contract, renewable for up to nine more years, depends on congressional appropriations, an Air Force representative said.

Transition for brand's position
Idea City last month began a repositioning for the Air Force; the agency will transition from its earlier "Do Something Amazing" campaign, which focused heavily on recruitment, to "Above All," a push highlighting the Air Force's technological expertise and daily tasks airmen engage in to protect the country.

Hanging on to its Air Force client comes at a critical time for Idea City. The agency is attempting to emerge from a difficult period that has seen the exit of major clients such as Wal-Mart, Chili's and the loss of a sizeable chunk of its AT&T business, which prompted the largest layoffs in the agency's history.

A DraftFCB spokesman declined to comment.

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Contributing: Jeremy Mullman
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