Ogilvy & Mather in New York attended a bidders’ conference on Thursday for the $150 million anti-drug media campaign for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy – the account from which it was unceremoniously ejected amid allegations of overbilling [WAMN: 24-Aug-01].

Other attendees included Bates, Grey, MediaCom, McCann-Erickson, Saatchi & Saatchi, Zenith Media, MindShare and Foote, Cone & Belding (all New York), plus Initiative Media North America in Los Angeles and two Chicago shops, Leo Burnett and Starcom.

The ONDCP warned prospective bidders that the successful shop would have to cover media buying costs of up to $40m until reimbursement by the government. However, it assured attendees this was the way federal payment worked, not a means to shift the cost of advertising from client to agency.

The winner will get a one-year contract, though this could come with three annual renewal options should Congress approve the continuation of the campaign. The closing date for written submissions has been postponed to December 3.

News source: AdAge.com