USPS to Award $140 Mil. Account

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

FCB Worldwide in 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 the service’s media planning and buying.

The Bravo Group in New York will still handle Hispanic marketing and is the only unit from incumbent lead agency Young & Rubicam to continue working on the account.

Also out on the business is DraftWorldwide in 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 Postal Service declined comment.

Burnett’s creative will continue to use the “Fly like an eagle” theme developed by FCB in 1998, according to sources.

The service launched its agency review late last year [Adweek, Dec. 20]. The creative assignment involved in the pitch 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 government account to join Burnett’s roster this year.

In June, the notoriously private Chicago agency, which had shied away from government contracts due to a re luctance to let outsiders peer into the shop, was named the lead agency for the U.S. Army, which will bill an average of $100 million a year.

In February, the Postal Service sent questionnaires to 170 agencies. The review followed the expiration of contracts with the client’s roster shops FCB, Y&R, Draft and Frankel. K