Marines, JRAP Launch Reviews

The U.S. Marine Corps is preparing to launch a mandatory review of its ad account, now at J. Walter Thompson in Atlanta, sources said.

A New York consultant — Richard Robbins — has been hired to draft an RFP, sources said. Robbins did not return calls.

Billings on the business, which includes traditional advertising, media and below-the-line marketing, are estimated at $50 million.

Separately, the Joint Recruiting Advertising Program has issued a questionnaire for its estimated $15-20 million account, at Bates USA, here. Replies are due back June 15. The RFP outlines a two-phase process for the business, which includes traditional advertising and media. Jones Lundin Beals, Chicago, which is managing the review, declined comment.

JWT has handled the Marines since 1947 and will defend, as will Bates, which has done creative and media planning for JRAP since 1991, agency execs said. Sister shop Zenith Media, here, does media buying for JRAP.

A Marines TV spot, which broke in November, showed retired members and photo albums to tout its 225th anniversary. A Joint Recruiting spot from last year positioned the client as a career option for teenagers with shots of teens at play.

The reviews come as the National Guard continues a search that began last year [Adweek, Nov. 6]. At least three shops are still vying for a five-year contract with total billings of $150 million, including West Wayne and Austin Kelley Advertising, both in Atlanta, and incumbent Laughlin Marinaccio & Owens in Arlington, Va. The other military branches, such as the U.S. Army and Navy, completed reviews last year.