Thursday, November 13, 2014

12222: Truth Not So Well Told…?

Adweek reported the $500 million U.S. Army account is going into review, and the incumbent since 2005—McCann Worldgroup—will be defending. Given that U.S. presidents are only allowed up to eight years in office, it seems strange for a White advertising agency to hold a governmental account with no time restrictions (besides the regular reviews, that is).

Also worth noting are two comments posted for the Adweek article:


Biggest challenge? How about convincing young Americans to risk their lives on behalf of corporate multinationals who won’t take care of them when they come home no matter what they’ve done.

G’luck with that.


Jazmín Matz

Your comment couldn’t be more accurate. As publicists we are permanently struggling between selling with honesty or super selling through lies. I guess our compromise with people is not to lie to them, but with an account like this one, how could you not possibly be scamming people all the time?

Plus, a recent story from The New York Times detailing how cuts at the Army have hit officers particularly hard included the following quote:

“They recruit with all kinds of promises, whether it’s career benefits or something more amorphous like being part of something bigger,” said Beth Bailey a professor at Temple University who studies the Army. “They support families in a way that makes it a whole lifestyle. People become part of an insulated Army culture. For that to suddenly be taken away, I’m not surprised they feel betrayed.”

A comment posted for The New York Times article read:

Glen Scutt, Class of ’64 (Newark, N.J.)

When recruited, you are always promised more than will be delivered in the end (promise them anything, then give them a rifle!).

So what makes all the comments especially interesting? Since 1912, McCann has boasted the trademarked line: Truth Well Told. Fortunately, no one has ever legally challenged the White advertising agency on its claim.

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

McCann Worldgroup retained business in 2011

By Noreen O’Leary

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, and it’s expected a new agency contract will be awarded in March, 2016. It’s expected the Army is hiring an industry consultant to help manage the process.

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.

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