As the mandatory five year review period approaches J Walter Thompson’s Atlanta office, in appropriate Gung Ho! mode, prepares to repel all usurpers aiming to break its 54-year hold on the US Marine Corps account.

The business, which includes all elements in the promotional mix - traditional advertising, below-the-line marketing, and media - is valued at an estimated $50 million annually. The review is managed by New York consultant Richard Robbins, unavailable for comment yesterday.

Meantime, the Pentagon’s Joint Recruiting Advertising Program is also up for review, currently encamped with Bates USA and its Cordiant sibling Zenith Media. The duo will defend the estimated $15m-$20m business against all comers and the battle will be umpired by Chicago consultancy Jones Lundin Beals.

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