Army Eyes 6 Agencies for $180 Mil. Account

CHICAGO Six agencies, including incumbent Leo Burnett, are going forward in the review for the U.S. Army’s $180 million ad account, according to sources.

In contention along with Publicis Groupe’s Burnett in Chicago are Omnicom Group’s BBDO in New York and Atlanta, Grey Global Group’s Grey in New York, Interpublic Group’s McCann Erickson in New York, and WPP Group shops Ogilvy & Mather and Young & Rubicam, both in New York, sources said.

Agency executives either declined comment or referred calls to the client. An Army representative declined to confirm participants or say how many shops were involved.

“The thorough review continues at this time and a decision is anticipated well before the end of the calendar year, barring unforeseen world circumstance,” said Army rep John P. Boyce in a statement.

The search is being coordinated by consultancy Jones Lundin Beals in Chicago, where executives also declined comment on the participants or a timetable.

The size and complexity of the account, which requires the supervision of minority subcontracts, left only a handful of shop nationwide qualified to respond to an RFP issued in June and returned by agencies in August, sources said.

Burnett has handled the business since 1999, and created the current “Army of one” campaign. Burnett’s contract, which was to expire in June, has been extended to accommodate the mandatory review, which was late in getting started.