Omnicom has emerged victorious in the long, highly contested review for the Army’s marketing contract, according to the Department of Defense. WPP was the other finalist in the pitch.
The news comes less than one week after the U.S. government denied a bid protest filed by incumbent McCann Worldgroup upon its elimination from the review. The winning bidder will oversee a multi-billion dollar contract managing a variety of marketing and public relations activities over 10 years.
The DoD statement confirms that DDB’s Chicago office led the team that won “a $4,000,000,000 hybrid (cost, cost-plus-award-fee, cost-plus-fixed-fee, and firm-fixed-price) contract for services in support of the U.S. Army Marketing and Advertising Program.”
“Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Nov. 18, 2028,” the release reads.
After this story initially ran, an Omnicom representative confirmed that a group known as Team DDB will handle the business. Beyond the titular agency, it will include employees from media network OMD, data group Annalect, PR firm FleishmanHillard, CRM shop RAPP, experience design agency Critical Mass, multicultural agency Fluent360 and The Marketing Arm, which specializes in consumer engagement.
The win follows several controversies surrounding a personal relationship between a top executive at the Army Marketing and Research Group (AMRG) and a leader of the account at McCann, as well as an internal audit that found millions of dollars in ineffective spending.
As a result of that audit, the Trump administration moved to withhold 50 percent of the Army’s taxpayer-funded marketing budget.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Army did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
When news of McCann’s bid denial broke last week, the agency promised to take its case to federal court. An AMRG representative referred Adweek to the Department of Justice’s public affairs division “due to pending litigation.”
The business had been with IPG for 12 years and involved many agencies beyond McCann creative, including Momentum Worldwide, Weber Shandwick, UM and more.