U.S. Army Issues New RFP

WASHINGTON The U.S. Army has issued a new proposal request for its advertising contract after tossing out the results of last year’s review.

The contract, valued at $200 million annually, makes the Army the largest federal government contractor.

The initial contract is for two years and has three renewal options.

Bidding agencies will be required to complete two tasks. First, agencies must develop a message strategy to attract recruits, given “the challenging recruiting environment resulting from…continuing conflict in Iraq, a relatively healthy economy, and a multitude of ‘safer’ accessible secondary education options.” Agencies will have to prioritize their target audiences and provide a recommendation of how much money they think should be spent on each group.

A second task requires agencies to devise a specific direct marketing approach to “jump-start” recruitment in the first quarter of next year. The Army has had trouble meeting its recruitment numbers.

The Army said in May that the five shops that competed in last year’s review would have no competitive advantage when bidding for this new contract. The previous finalists were Publicis Groupe’s Leo Burnett; Omnicom Group’s BBDO; Interpublic Group’s McCann Erickson; and WPP Group agencies Grey, Ogilvy & Mather and Young & Rubicam. Burnett has said it would again defend [Adweek, May 9].

The Army dropped the results of last year’s review on April 22 because of “inconsistencies in the evaluation approach.”