U.S. Postal Service Awards $140 Million Account

The U.S. Postal Service is set to award lead advertising duties on its $140 million marketing account to Leo Burnett here after a protracted review, sources said.

FCB Worldwide, New York, which had handled the government agency’s corporate image account for about a year, will continue to handle direct mail and interactive marketing, sources said.

Frankel in Chicago will also retain its in-store retail and point-of-sale marketing business, while MediaCom in New York will handle USPS’s media planning and buying.

Bravo, New York, will handle Hispanic marketing. The division is the only unit from longtime incumbent lead agency Young & Rubicam to continue working on the account.

Also out on the account is DraftWorldwide, Chicago, which handled direct marketing, sources said.

The fate of Asian and African American marketing duties could not be determined at press time.

Officials with the agencies referred calls to the client. The USPS declined comment.

Despite being named lead agency, Burnett’s creative will continue the “Fly like an eagle” theme developed by FCB in 1998, sources said.

The USPS launched its review late last year [Adweek, Dec. 20]. The creative assignment had some decidedly unconventional elements, sources said.

“The pitch was about a made-up company and a made-up product,” according to one source. “The words ‘U.S. Postal Service’ didn’t appear anywhere in the pitch. Their thinking was that (by doing it that way) nobody would have an unfair advantage.”

The win marks the second governmental agency to join Burnett’s roster this year. In June, the notoriously private agency, which had shied away from government contracts due to a reluctance to let outsiders peer into the agency, was named the lead agency for the U.S. Army, which will bill an average of $100 million a year.