Y&R Drops Out Of Army Review; Air Force on Tap

Young & Rubicam will not defend the U.S. Army’s $114 million advertising contract, but plans to compete for the U.S. Air Force’s $55 million account, sources said.
The Army’s search consultant, Jones-Lundin Associates in Chicago, has been inviting qualified shops with at least $350 million in billings to apply. Sources said the list includes Arnold Communications, Boston; Campbell-Ewald, Warren, Mich.; DDB, Chicago; Leo Burnett, Chicago; McCann-Erickson, New York; The Martin Agency, Richmond, Va.; and Saatchi & Saatchi, New York. Requests for proposals will be issued at the end of April.
Y&R, which held the account since 1987, was also asked to participate but declined, said Maj. Ward Wood, the Army’s advertising program manager.
Sources said the New York shop backed out after failing to convince the Army that its plans to launch a review and switch to a performance-based contract, where an agency is rewarded for ad campaigns that increase enrollment, were premature. Y&R’s contract expires July 31, but there is a one-year option to renew. The shop declined comment.
Y&R executives also felt stung by early reports of the review that implied the agency was to blame for shortfalls in enlistment, despite a booming economy, sources said. The Army wanted 74,000 new recruits last year, but missed the mark by 6,300, said Wood.
David Beals, a senior partner at Jones-Lundin, said the Army wants a full-service agency capable of handling an integrated-marketing campaign including TV spots, print ads, public relations, media buying and Internet marketing. Smaller agencies can also partner with other shops, he added.
The Air Force is also expected to issue requests for proposals next month. Bozell Kamstra, Dallas, handles the account and has been invited to apply again. K