Martin Passes Muster With Army

The U.S. Army last week narrowed the list of contenders for its $114 million advertising contract to three shops, according to sources.
The Martin Agency, Richmond, Va.; Campbell-Ewald, Warren, Mich.; and Leo Burnett, Chicago, are the agencies that advanced.
After issuing questionnaires and conducting “capability briefings,” the Army cut Arnold Communications, Boston; DDB, Chicago; and McCann-Erickson and Ogilvy & Mather, both New York.
The Army has been prequalifying shops through search consultant Jones-Lundin Associates. The intent is to limit the review to those agencies with at least $350 million in billings. The three shops will receive requests for proposals at briefings in Washington this week.
Maj. Ward Wood, the Army’s ad program manager, would not discuss specifics. Jones-Lundin of Chicago also declined comment.
Campbell-Ewald’s experience marketing Chevrolet to middle America may give it an edge. Leo Burnett is expected to play up its Kellogg’s work, while The Martin Agency will emphasize its ability to market to youth in the South. Army recruits mostly come from the Midwest and South, “where they still drive primarily American cars,” said a source familiar with the review.
The Army is using a precise grading system to judge contenders.
“It won’t be a case where the committee makes a decision and then the CEO comes in and says, ‘No, I want this one,'” the source said. Final presentations are scheduled for May 3-5.
Sixteen shops originally pitched for the account. That list was narrowed to seven before this cut.
New York incumbent Young & Rubicam will not defend. The shop was angered by reports that it was to blame for shortfalls in recruitment. Its contract expires July 31.