JWT loses RAF work to DLKW after more than 30 years

LONDON - J Walter Thompson has lost the £3m Royal Air Force account after more than 30 years, with Delaney Lund Knox Warren winning the businesss after a four-way pitch.

JWT was shortlisted to defend the account, pitching against Mother and DFGW for the RAF/COI Communications pitch.

DLKW will start working on an advertising campaign due to appear in the new year. The aim of the campaign is to recruit people in priority areas, such as medics and gunners, and also to raise awareness of the RAF as a career option for 16- to 24-year-olds.

Richard Huthwaite, head of marketing for RAF Careers, said: "We see this as an investment for the future, not just an ad campaign running in January. We hope to work with DLKW for some years to come."

JWT has been working on the RAF account for more than 30 years and created ads including the force's 1998 'Top Gun'-inspired campaign, the first RAF ad to appear on television since the end of the Cold War. It introduced the "Rise above the rest" strapline.

JWT was also behind the first ever interactive TV ad for the armed forces in the UK, with a 2001 spot that encouraged people to give up the tedium of an office job for an exciting airforce career. It used the strapline "Don't work for a limited company".

The agency will remain on the COI Communications roster following the statutory review of the account. The shift to DLKW comes as the RAF takes delivery of its next generation of fighter in the much-delayed Eurofighter/Typhoon and the government unveils plans to cut 7,500 jobs at the RAF by 2008 as part of its controversial defence review.

The government has said that the cuts were part of moves to reshape Britain's armed forces for modern warfare, where the emphasis is on rapid reaction.

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