Saatchis ditched from Army brief

The Army has called a review of its £6 million advertising

account and has not asked its eight-year incumbent, Saatchi & Saatchi,

to repitch.



Peter Buchanan, the COI Communications deputy chief executive, said the

decision came from a need for "fresh creative work", but admitted the

departure of key account staff from Saatchi & Saatchi, including the

former executive chairman, Tamara Ingram, had also led to the

decision.



He added that the departures of the former account director, Jeremy

Pyne, who left to set up the London arm of The Leith Agency, and the

planner Ben Hayes were also factors in looking to move the account.

Saatchi & Saatchi restructured its management team and cut staff earlier

this year following the appointment of its new chief executive, James

Hall.



COI is seeing pitches from Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, Leo Burnett,

Publicis and Lowe Lintas. Buchanan said they had been selected for their

size and proven track record in long-term brand building.



The review comes barely two weeks after the launch of Saatchi &

Saatchi's officer recruitment campaign for the Army, titled: "People

aren't easily led." It targeted potential officers as the UK's armed

forces prepared to become more involved in the attacks on the Taleban in

Afghanistan.



COI's head of marketing, Mark Bainbridge, said the Army is planning a

further advertising drive in April 2002. "The first stages of the

campaign have been extremely successful, and we are now looking to build

upon that awareness." He explained that the next stage would help people

to see the range of career opportunities available in the Army.



Since it won the account in 1994, Saatchi & Saatchi's above-the-line and

direct work has largely focused on depicting soldiers in the field.



This strategy changed last year when it launched a campaign depicting

how everyday skills could translate into an Army career.



Golley Slater won the regional advertising account in March in a bid to

raise the Army's profile in an increasingly competitive recruitment

market.



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