National Guard Begins Search for $150 Mil. Accounts

NEW YORK–The Department of Defense put questionnaires on its Web site last week for agencies to submit media and creative criteria on portions of its National Guard Bureau account.

The total media budget is estimated at up to $150 million [Adweek, Nov. 6].

Agencies can respond to any of the NGB’s six separate RFPs, which include traditional advertising, state media programs, classified ads, marketing, recruiting and retention, and Internet services.

The Arlington, Va.-based client seeks shops to create, plan and execute advertising for the NGB’s Army, Air, Public Affairs and Family programs, as well as separate public service announcements, among others.

Questionnaires are due back March 15.

The questionnaires’ release had been scheduled for December, but it was delayed until last week because “we had to further define the requirements, which took longer than expected,” said Elizabeth Keys, a contract specialist who is helping to coordinate the process.

One media-agency executive who had received the RFP but was undecided about whether to respond, said, “When we have pursued government business, we usually hire consultants skilled at navigating the minefield that are these questionnaires.”

He added, however, that government accounts are attractive because, although labor intensive, they are also “lucrative and prestigious.”

The Arlington, Va.-based incumbent, Laughlin, Marinaccio & Owens, is participating in the process. New York-based shops Grey and McCann-Erickson have been contacted, sources said.

The current contract expires in 2002. Any new contracts will run for one year and are renewable for up to four years.

Keys said multiple shops could be awarded pieces of the business and that final selections will be made anytime between June and September.