FleishmanHillard to handle US Army PR as part of Omnicom win

Weber Shandwick previously worked on the account.

(By Specialist Steven Hitchcock, U.S. Army - https://www.dvidshub.net/image/1161165/75th-ranger-regiment-task-force-training, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons)
(By Specialist Steven Hitchcock, U.S. Army - https://www.dvidshub.net/image/1161165/75th-ranger-regiment-task-force-training, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons)

NEW YORK: FleishmanHillard is handling PR duties for the U.S. Army, as part of Omnicom’s account win, PRWeek understands.

Omnicom’s DDB landed the U.S. Army’s 10-year, $4 billion ad account, displacing incumbent McCann Worldgroup, the Department of Defense confirmed on Tuesday evening. WPP was reportedly the other finalist in the pitch. OMD will handle the media portion of the business. The business had been with IPG for 12 years and involved many firms beyond McCann creative, including Weber Shandwick.

Omnicom Group’s PR firms, which reported an organic revenue increase of 2.3% in Q3 to $356 million, include FleishmanHillard, Ketchum, Marina Maher Communications, Porter Novelli, Cone, Mercury, and Portland, among others.

"We never comment on client wins or losses," said John Saunders, Fleishman’s president and CEO.

Porter Novelli is "not involved," said CEO Brad MacAfee.

Portland is not working on the Army account, said Noah Black, partner and GM for North America.

Omnicom PR Group CEO Karen van Bergen said she could not comment.

Mercury, Ketchum, Marina Maher, Cone, and DDB representatives were not immediately available for comment.

The Department of Defense declined to comment beyond its statement.

Last week, the U.S. government denied a bid protest filed by incumbent McCann Worldgroup upon its elimination from the review.

Revenue for Omnicom as a whole was up 2.9% organically compared with Q3 2017 to $3.7 billion, but down 0.1% on a non-organic basis in the period. (Organic revenue growth represents change without taking into account the impact of acquisitions and disposals).

McCann first won the Army account in 2005, and again after a 2010 review. The firm developed the well-known "Army Strong" recruiting campaign in 2006. Weber Shandwick CEO Andy Polansky was not immediately available for comment about the account loss.

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