CA: Massive Navy contract brings ad agency to Memphis
“New York-based advertising agency Young & Rubicam Inc. (Y&R) will open a 50-person Memphis office to help the Navy Recruiting Command in Millington attract recruits.
Y&R last year won a Navy contract worth about $112.5 million in the first year and as much as $457 million over five years. The award had been tied up until last week by appeals from the recruiting command’s previous advertising firm, Lowe Campbell Ewald of Detroit.
Y&R said the new Memphis office at Brinkley Plaza Downtown will work in partnership with affiliates Wunderman, Burson-Marsteller, VML and MEC. The companies are part of global giant WPP plc.
“We are thrilled to officially welcome Young & Rubicam (Y&R) to the Navy team and to Memphis to formally begin our exciting partnership,” said Rear Adm. Jeff Hughes, Navy Recruiting Command commander.
Y&R’s arrival will boost WPP-affiliated companies to about 120 employees in Memphis, including about 60 at a Wunderman digital marketing unit at Clark Tower and eight at Burson Campaigns.
Y&R aims to grow in Memphis, Sable said, and the Memphis office’s managing director Ken Dowling is tasked with expanding its capabilities and client base.
Dowling was named global client leader for the Navy partnership. He worked for Y&R from 1985 to 1993 and recently returned after 15 years at Grey Advertising.
The Navy Times, a newspaper, reported last October that Lowe Campbell Ewald’s appeals were delaying development of a new recruiting tagline to replace “America’s Navy.”
Y&R prevailed in competitive bidding for a comprehensive advertising and marketing program covering research, creative and production work, operation of a call center to make recruiting calls and a fulfillment center to respond to requests for information.
The Memphis office opening has been held up since last May by the Detroit firm’s appeals, twice to the Government Accountability Office, and finally to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. The court granted a voluntary dismissal April 11 at Lowe Campbell Ewald’s request.
An online posting by the Navy last year said the work would be performed in Memphis, 46 percent; Nashville, 27 percent; New York, 19 percent; and Chicago, 8 percent.”