The J. Walter Thompson/Wunderman merger takes its first casualty

Steve’s breakdown: I’ve made it no secret about my distaste for the J. Walter Thompson/Wunderman merger and here’s what happens when stupid things are done.

Since 1947, J. Walter has had the US Marines and just days after announcing this merger, BOOM! $35 million account heads for the door.

QUANTICO, VA: The U.S. Marines has issued an RFP for its advertising business, which has been with WPP’s JWT – now Wunderman Thompson – for more than 70 years.

According to a government document, the “purpose of this contract is to provide full-service advertising agency support to furnish the supplies and services to enhance the USMC’s recruiting efforts.”

The estimated range for the work associated this account is between $32 million and $40 million per period of performance, the document states, adding that “historical prices paid for paid media and other direct costs range between $48 million and $68 million per year.”

Representatives from JWT were not immediately available for comment.

Generally, the Marines has reviewed the government contract every five years until 2013 when it stretched to six years. JWT defended the business in a review that wrapped three years ago.

“The contractor must develop and execute an advertising strategy that includes a full range of services from development of a strategic and tactical advertising strategy to the production of a wide-range of advertising formats (e.g.: TV, radio, print media, internet, and direct marketing),” the document adds.

WPP announced at the end of last month that it is merging Wunderman and J Walter Thompson to form Wunderman Thompson.

Last May, JWT was behind the first spot for the Marines to ever feature a woman.


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