In a further indication that US lawmakers are paying closer attention to government advertising arrangements in the wake of the Ogilvy & Mather anti-drugs account scandal, Congress is asking the comptroller general to probe the Department of Defense’s ad contracts.

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2003 demands that the investigation determine “the justification for each service’s advertising budget request, metrics used to determine the cost-effectiveness of each of the advertising programs, whether the advertising mediums are appropriate and the relationship of advertising budgets to recruiting outcomes.”

The Department of Defense spends around $250 million (€256.4m; £163.9m) a year on advertising, including $15m–$20m on the Joint Recruiting Advertising Program. It has requested a rise in its JRAP budget to $40m, but Congress is recommending that this figure be slashed by $24m.

The Act was approved by both houses of Congress in June, but has not yet gained presidential assent. Further changes could still be made when Congress reconvenes.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff