US Army solicits firms for marketing account worth millions

The Army generally spends about $200 million per year on marketing and advertising.

Photo via the US Army

FORT SAM HOUSTON, TX: The US Army has issued a pre-solicitation notice for a firm to provide marketing and advertising services in support of its recruitment and retention programs.

The Army generally spends about $200 million per year on marketing and advertising, according to the sources sought document. (Sources sought documents typically precede formal RFPs.)

In 2011, the Army awarded McCann Worldgroup, along with an Interpublic Group network including sister agency Weber Shandwick, a one-year contract with four one-year options.  The services have so far totaled $624 million, but the existing contract is worth more than $960 million if all options are exercised, according to the document.

Eric Pehle, Weber Shandwick Minneapolis GM and EVP who runs the firm's Army work, said McCann plans to respond to the sources sought notice and participate in the RFP, which he expects to be released in 2015. The solicitation was "fully expected" given the length of the contract, he added.

The document states that the Army would require an agency to provide services such as TV, radio, print, and online advertising; event marketing; direct marketing; and social media. Respondents must also describe their capabilities in PR, crisis management, and media relations.

The communications efforts would target high school students and graduates, college students and graduates, physicians, nurses, dentists, chaplains, attorneys, and members of the general public, according to the document.

Replies to the notice are due by December 19. The Army will also hold an Industry Day Forum on December 3 at the Fort Sam Houston Golf Course for meetings with interested firms.

This story was updated at 5pm ET with comment from Weber Shandwick. It was updated on November 17 to clarify that McCann plans to respond to the sources-sought document.

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