The Army has appointed Publicis to handle its &£7m recruitment advertising account.
The agency picked up the business following a pitch, managed by COI Communications, which included Abbott Mead Vickers. BBDO, Leo Burnett and Lowe Lintas. Saatchi & Saatchi, the eight-year incumbent on the account, was not asked to repitch. The review was overseen by the AAR.
Publicis’ first task will be a television advertising campaign for the Territorial Army in the spring. The Army plans to launch the third stage of its long-running recruitment campaign in the autumn, which will focus on the range of career opportunities, from IT to engineering, available in the armed forces.
While the Army claims that Saatchi’s “Be the Best” campaign increased the number of recruits by more than 300 per cent, figures published by the Ministry of Defence earlier this year show that the number of soldiers has fallen to its lowest level since the 19th century. Recruitment rates were down 14 per cent in 2000
It is understood that the departure of key account staff from Saatchi, including account director Jeremy Pyne and executive chairman Tamara Ingram, played a part in the Army’s decision to part with the agency. The review was called in mid-November, just days after the launch of Saatchi’s latest recruitment campaign, titled “People aren’t easily led” (MW November 15, 2001).
Media planning and buying will continue to be handled by Zenith Media.