US Army Issues Advertising Orders

12 August 2005

The US Army has adopted a new tactic in its battle to win an advertising agency.

Its $200 million (€162m; £111m) recruitment account, which was abortively put up for review last year, is now on offer as a two year contract with three one-year renewal options.

Among the shops pitching will be incumbent Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett, which defended last year against Omnicom's BBDO, Interpublic's McCann Erickson and WPP's Grey, Ogilvy & Mather and Young & Rubicam.

The army ditched the results of the 2004 review in April because of "inconsistencies in the evaluation approach".

It believes its new contract strategy will be more attractive to agencies, compared with the previous one-year offering and four reviews.

The US's expanding job market and the dangers faced by soldiers deployed in Iraq are taking their toll on the military's ranks, with fewer young people willing to fight for the flag.

From October 2004 to June this year the Army enlisted 47,121 recruits, eight thousand short of its target. The National Guard was 23% down and the Army Reserve was off by 21%.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff