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6 in Dogfight for U.S. Air Force

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Bozell Kamstra, GSD&M Vie in First Round for $50 Mil. Contract
DALLAS--The U.S. Air Force continues hearing presentations this week from six agencies competing for its $50 million account.
Among the presenters are incumbent Bozell Kamstra Texas, Irving, Texas; GSD&M, Austin, Texas; Image Media Services, McLean, Va.; and SiegelGale, New York. Two other contenders remain undisclosed.
Young & Rubicam, New York, most recently agency of record for the U.S. Army, chose not to pursue the Air Force contract after attending a pre-proposal conference held in early May at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio.
The first round of meetings now under way include presentations of creative strategy and a "subtask" of developing a Hispanic marketing program.
Most of the agencies have partnered with two, and in some cases as many as four, small or minority-owned businesses in response to the Air Force's stated intention of awarding a portion of its account to these groups.
Following the first round, the Air Force will cut to two or three finalists and hand out a creative assignment. The agencies will receive a stipend, possibly as much as $50,000 apiece, to help flesh out the spec creative. An agency source said the fee will help level the playing field between smaller and larger agencies.
Similar to other branches of the armed forces, the Air Force wants to change its current advertising contract to one based on a combination of fees and performance incentives. The agency search was initiated just a few months before its contract with Bozell Kamstra was up for a scheduled four-year review.
"Conceptually, I think [incentive-based pay] is a good thing as far as building a partnership," said Bob Horne, director of advertising at SiegelGale. "It's only reflecting the way the business as a whole is going, whether it's the Air Force or packaged goods."
SiegelGale, re-tained by the Air Force last year to handle strategic positioning and design projects, has been working with the incumbent agency on creative tasks.
Bozell Kamstra, formerly BJK&E in New York, won the Air Force business 14 years ago. The account was transferred to Texas, where it represents about half of the local office's billings. K