U.S. Army Is Reaching Out to Agencies Again for $500 Million Account

McCann Worldgroup retained business in 2011

The U.S. Army's account is up for grabs again, a few years after McCann Worldgroup retained the business in April 2011 in a hard-fought battle.

The Army is about to issue an RFP for its global marketing business that is worth $500 million over the contract period. An Army rep said overall marketing spending on the business is $184 million to $200 million annually. The government's pact is a one-year contract, which is renewable for four years, effectively making it a possible five-year working relationship.

An Army request for agency information in the mandated process first went out in June. The Army is holding an industry forum on Dec. 3 in San Antonio, as an initial capabilities assessment and networking opportunity for agency reps to meet with contracting officials. It's expected the Army will hire an industry consultant to help manage the process and a new agency contract is scheduled to be awarded in March, 2016.

McCann, which is being invited to pitch the business, has worked with the Army since 2005. It's estimated the account generated revenue of $15 million to $20 million for the Interpublic agency.

The RFP covers general advertising, public affairs support and direct marketing to aid Army personnel acquisition and retention programs. At the time of the 2011 renewal, Worldgroup employed some 300 staffers on the Army account from 11 companies, including McCann Erickson, MRM Worldwide, UM (Universal McCann), NAS Recruitment Communications, Momentum, Weber Shandwick and Casanova Pendrill.  

The Army business last went into play during August 2010 and, aside from McCann Worldgroup, other review finalists were WPP agencies Grey and Y&R as well as McCann's Interpublic sibling Draftfcb, now FCB.