Draft, C-E to Bunk for USPS

DraftWorldwide is ex pected to move staff into Campbell-Ewald’s headquarters to work on the agencies’ U.S. Postal Service account, the client’s top marketer said.

The Interpublic Group team of C-E in Warren, Mich., and DraftWorldwide, Chicago, which had the direct portion of the USPS account several years ago, prevailed in a three-month review for the $100 million account. IPG’s Initiative Media will handle buying chores.

USPS officials were impressed with the number of top-level executives promised to the business, and with the agencies’ expertise concerning the technical aspects of the account, such as supply-chain management, sources said.

Cost was also a factor, according to sources, although USPS manager of postal advertising Larry Speakes downplayed it. He said all of the competitors were close in their pricing. Saving money was part of the impetus for the review, as the USPS wanted to pare down its agency list. Incumbents included lead creative shop Leo Burnett; Foote, Cone & Belding’s interactive unit, FCBi; and promotions shop Frankel.

IPG’s FCB teamed with Publicis’ Frankel for this review and was a finalist along with the Havas team of Arnold and Brann Worldwide, sources said. The USPS never confirmed finalists among contenders, which also included Burnett. Twenty-one shops were initially contacted.

Each of the agencies pitching the account was given a creative project for Priority Mail, Speakes said. He expects the tagline Burnett introduced this year, “Brought to you by the U.S. Postal Service,” to continue, unless “they come up with something head and shoulders above it.”

Burnett is working on a holiday campaign that the USPS ex pects to have in hand by the agency’s September termination. Given that, C-E’s first work is not expected until early 2003, Speakes said.

C-E will take the lead administrative and account role on the business. Part of the USPS’ objective in the review was to establish marketing responsibility with a single entity, sources said.

DraftWorldwide, under CEO Howard Draft, had svp of business development John Minnec leading its presentations to the client. C-E president Jim Palmer, who was integral in the lead agency’s pitch, will oversee the account for that agency.

—with David Gianatasio



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