USPS Seeks to Consolidate Advertising Account

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The U.S. Postal Service has begun a review to select one agency to handle most of its $104 million advertising and marketing account.

The USPS issued a request for proposal last week on Commerce Business Daily, a government Web site. The USPS expects to award the contract in June with the official change in account management taking place in September. The contract will be for one year with options for the following five years.

"We're looking to consolidate into a single agency to make [the advertising process] more efficient and to achieve cost savings," said Larry Speakes, USPS manager of advertising. Foote, Cone & Belding in New York, part of the FCB Group unit of the Interpublic Group of Cos., currently handles the direct marketing component of the USPS account.

Other current agencies include Frankel, part of the Publicis Groupe, for in-store and point-of-purchase ads; MediaCom Worldwide, part of the Grey Global Group, for media buying services; and Leo Burnett USA, part of the Leo Burnett Worldwide unit of the Bcom3 Group, which is the lead agency for strategy, creative and production.

The USPS said the accounts up for review represent more than $90 million. Work totaling $10 million in advertising aimed at minorities is not being put in review. Three New York agencies handle postal service campaigns aimed at minority-group consumers: Asianese Partnership; Bravo Group, part of the Young & Rubicam division of the WPP Group; and Chisholm-Mingo Group.

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