RAF parts company with JWT as it takes its account to DLKW

The Royal Air Force is switching its £2 million account to Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners, putting an end to a relationship with J. Walter Thompson that stretches back more than three decades.

The review is the precursor to a new initiative aimed at raising awareness of the RAF as a potential career among 16- to 24-year-olds.

DLKW contested the pitch, overseen by COI Communications, along with Mother and DFGW. Media planning remains with Manning Gottlieb OMD.

The advertising goes ahead despite a planned radical overhaul of the armed services by the defence secretary, Geoff Hoon, which will see numerous redundancies. The RAF is set to axe 7,500 jobs over the next four years.

However, RAF chiefs claim they still need many specialist personnel, such as medics and legal officers, for whom they have to compete with private sector companies. "We need to be attracting the best young people that we can," a spokesman said.

The RAF signed up almost 1,900 new recruits in 2003 and plans at least to match that number this year.

The new advertising, scheduled to break at the beginning of next year, aims to drive people to the RAF's website and recruitment outlets.

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1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).