USPS Begins Review

RFPs for $138 Mil. Biz to Be Issued in Jan.
NEW YORK–With existing advertising contracts set to expire in September, the United States Postal Service is sending out prequalification questionnaires to several agencies, sources said.
Roster shops for the estimated $138 million account are FCB Worldwide and Young & Rubicam, both New York. Draft Worldwide in Chicago handles its direct work; Frankel & Co. in Chicago creates the client’s in-store materials and Internet ads. The client did not return calls; roster-shop officials could not be reached.
After USPS officials evaluate the shops’ prequalification data, they will issue RFP questionnaires in January, sources said.
“The thinking is that the RFPs might be broken down into categories like Internet, direct, mass and media, and that each shop could elect to participate in all, some or even just one section,” said a source.
A decision is expected by June or July; work on the account will begin with the start of the government’s fiscal year, on Oct. 1, sources said.
“I would be shocked if only one shop emerged as the victor,” a source said, adding that the client prefers working with more than one agency.
In August, FCB won $40 million in duties from the USPS that were previously handled by Y&R [Adweek, Aug. 16]. FCB, which developed the much-touted “Fly like an eagle” campaign, now handles mass and targeted advertising, and the majority of the USPS business. Y&R handles
all media duties for USPS, and its Hispanic and Asian marketing.