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ONDCP Kicks Off $150 Mil. Review

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The 111-page RFP issued last week by the White House Office of National Drug Control Pol icy states that a new contract will be awarded between January and April 2002, leaving the possibility that lead shop Ogilvy & Mather will still work on the campaign after its contract expires on Jan. 4.

ONDCP on Thursday released an RFP for its estimated $150 million ad contract after deciding in August to rebid Ogilvy's contract over a dispute about the agency's billing practices. It is unclear if Ogilvy will bid again. A representative for the shop did not return calls.

The solicitation process will be administered by the Department of Navy, which will certify that the winning agency's accounting system meets federal standards before a contract is awarded, sources said.

ONDCP's National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign will enter its final year next year. The RFP is for a one-year contract with three options to renew. President Bush must ask Congress for more money to continue the campaign beyond its five-year limit, a decision that will be made in February.

In their written submissions, which are due Nov. 29, shops must address how they will manage the campaign and target ethnic audiences, as well as describe their past performance on a similar federal, state or local government contract, or a private one.

ONDCP will limit the amount an agency can spend on media buys to $130 million and travel to $300,000. The RFP requires shops to submit their fee and estimated costs for handling the campaign. Ogilvy is budgeted to receive $160.3 million this year; $1.7 million of that is the fixed fee it charges ONDCP.

Shops that have expressed interest, sources said, include Bates, D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Grey, Foote, Cone & Belding, McCann-Erickson, Saat chi & Saatchi, Young & Rubicam and Zenith Media, all New York; Initiative Media, Los Angeles; and Leo Burnett, Chicago. Agencies can partner with media companies, and those with tobacco clients will not be disqualified.

A bidders' conference will be held Nov. 8 at 10:30 a.m. in Washington.