Chicago-headquartered Leo Burnett has been named lead agency on the US Army account, worth up to $95 million annually over four years, Army Secretary Louis Caldera told a Pentagon news conference on Tuesday.

Burnett outgunned Campbell-Ewald to win its first significant slice of federal business. Incumbent lead agency Y&R Advertising, New York, was not ordered on parade for the review.

Caldera said the Army’s choice represented an attempt to find "the absolute best agency in the nation." Although the four-year contract is estimated to be worth $95 million yearly, actual funding will depend partially on defense appropriations.

He also refuted accusations that that the Pentagon’s decision to limit its lead agency shortlist to full-service shops billing upwards of $350m annually, effectively ruled out minority agencies to the detriment of the Army’s interests. The minimum billing requirement, said Caldera, was necessary for the "large and complex account."

News source: Advertising Age - Daily Deadline