US Army puts PR account up for review

FORT KNOX, KY: The US Army posted the solicitation for its multi-million dollar marketing, advertising, and PR program, opening the door for the industry's top agencies to bid against incumbent McCann Worldgroup.

FORT KNOX, KY: The US Army posted the solicitation for its multi-million dollar marketing, advertising, and PR program, opening the door for the industry's top agencies to bid against incumbent McCann Worldgroup.

Tasks cited in the 94-page solicitation include PR, social media, mobile, advertising, digital marketing, direct marketing, and events and sponsorships, along with multicultural outreach to the Hispanic, African-American, and Asian-Pacific Islander markets.

Susan Irwin, worldwide communications director for McCann, confirmed the global marcomms group plans to pitch for the business again, although it hasn't yet formally registered its bid. Fleishman-Hillard, Edelman, Young & Rubicam, Qorvis Communications, and MS&L Group are listed as other interested vendors.

The McCann team, including PR lead Weber Shandwick, won the $1.35 billion contract in 2005, later debuting the "Army Strong" slogan and campaign. The Army's marketing and advertising account comes up for review every five years.

Weber Shandwick chairman Jack Leslie told PRWeek then that the account was “one of the most important assignments we've ever had."

One of the challenges for the incoming agency will be to address what the Army says is a declining population of recruits, due to medical issues such as obesity, asthma, and drug use, legal issues, competition from colleges, and an overall declining interest in military service.

The deadline for responses is September 24.

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