Service Used New Government Selection Process to Chose Agency

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WASHINGTON ( -- The U.S. Marine Corps, becoming the first major government agency to select an ad agency using a new process that avoids formal bidding, retained WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson, Atlanta. The Marine Corps said it currently spends about $18 million a year on ads. JWT received a one year contract renewable for up to four additional years. JWT has held the account for 54 years. Instead of the normal bidding process, the Marine Corps used a new government process designed to speed selection of ad agencies. Ad agencies can qualify in advance for government contracts and then federal government offices ask three to submit formal proposals. The other two bidders on the Marine Corps account weren't identified. The Marine Corps says it intends to keep its "The few, the proud" motto but do a better job of targeting its advertising. 
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