Military Ad Cutbacks

Mullen is proceeding as if funds will be allocated to support a multimedia campaign for the U.S. Department of Defense’s Joint Recruitment Ad-vertising Program, according to agency CEO Joe Grimaldi.

The final budget level, however, re-mained in question last week. A DoD representative said no decision will be made on this year’s funding for JRAP until mid-February.

The department has been considering eliminating JRAP media spending for 2002 in order to free up money for the continued war against terrorism.

Mullen in Wenham, Mass., de-feated J. Walter Thompson of Atlanta and incumbent Bates,D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles and Foote, Cone & Belding, all New York, to win what had been estimated as a $15-20 million account.

Sources, speaking on terms of anonymity, told Adweek that JRAP spending is not likely to be “more than a couple of hundred thousand dollars” this year.

Mullen’s job is to create recruitment advertising for the four U.S. military branches, Grimaldi said.

Leading Mul-len’s pitch team were account director George Rogers and chief creative officer Edward Boches, along with art director Michael Ancevic and copywriter Tim Roper.

Sources said Mullen presented work that eschewed overtly military or patriotic themes and focused on the role the armed services play in defending the home front. Committee chair Anita Lancaster noted in a statement: “They convincingly showed how to craft a meaningful and motivating message without merely relying on flag-waving.”