Burnett marches off with Army

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The U.S. Army on June 27 named Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, lead agency on its account, worth up to $95 million annually over four years. Army Secretary Louis Caldera made the announcement at a Pentagon news conference. Burnett beat Campbell-Ewald, Warren, Mich., in a shoot-out to win its first major chunk of federal government business. Incumbent lead agency Y&R Advertising, New York, didn't participate in the review. Chisholm-Mingo Group, incumbent for creative aimed at the African-American market, was part of the Campbell-Ewald team of agencies vying for the Army account. Also pitching with Campbell-Ewald were Accent Media, Miami, and Initiative Media, Los Angeles. Pitching with Burnett were Images USA, Atlanta, for African-American creative; Cartel Creativo, San Antonio, for Hispanic; and Starcom USA for media. Secretary Caldera joined Leo Burnett USA CEO Linda Wolf, and two of Burnett's pitch partners--Bob McNeil, president of Images USA, and Victoria Hudson, president of Cartel Creativo--in making the announcement. Mr. Caldera said the four-year contract would be for $95 million a year but actual funding would depend in part on defense appropriations, and said the choice represented an attempt to find "the absolute best agency in the nation."

The secretary also denied that the Army's decision to limit its choices to full-service agencies of $350 million in billings--effectively ruling out minority agencies as prime contractors--would hurt the Army, saying it was necessary for the "large and complex account." Burnett's compensation will be based in part on its performance, but officials said the details haven't yet been worked out.

Copyright June 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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