WASHINGTON: The US Army has poured an additional $500 million into a recruitment campaign designed to build its ranks - raising the total value of the program to $1.3 billion.
The RFP was amended less than a week after the Pentagon announced that the Army had failed to reach its May recruitment goals.
In what has been an ongoing problem, the Army last month enlisted just 75% of its target number of recruits. In comparison, the Air Force, Navy, and Marines all met or exceeded their goals.
The Army is now turning to a full-service firm to help reverse the persistent shortfalls.
The Army's outstanding RFP calls for a single marketing communications agency to oversee all advertising, media relations, internet campaigns, event marketing, and other promotional activities.
Publicis agencies Leo Burnett Worldwide and MS&L are the incumbents on the account.
Taxed by two all-volunteer campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Army's recruitment effort has been made more difficult by dwindling support from key influencers, like parents and teachers.
The campaign, which is slated to begin September 30, will target those influencers by appealing to their sense of patriotism.
June was the fourth consecutive month that the Army failed to reach its target. It is also struggling to meet fiscal-year goals.
The recruitment problem has raised questions about whether the Bush administration will be able to hold to its commitment not to reinstate the draft.
The account is for five years, with two base years and three renewal options.