The U.S. Marine Corps has retained Wunderman Thompson—the WPP agency formed through the merger of J. Walter Thompson and Wunderman—as its lead agency following a review launched in December, a person close to the business says.
A Wunderman Thompson spokeswoman declined to comment, and the Marines' PR department could not immediately be reached.
J. Walter Thompson Atlanta has held the account for the past 72 years; the last time it defended the business was during a long and formal government review process in 2015. (These government-mandated reviews typically happen every five years, though this one came a bit early.)
Going forward, Wunderman Thompson will continue handling full-service advertising duties across TV, radio, print media, internet and direct marketing. Throughout the long partnership, JWT's notable work included "Battle Up," a 2017 campaign centering on a woman in combat, Capt. Erin Demchko.
According to Kantar estimates, the U.S. Marine Corps spent approximately $29.7 million on measured media in 2018, down from $32 million in 2017. During the first half of 2019, the department spent $15.8 million, a $10 million decrease from the $25.8 million it spent during the same period in 2018, Kantar reports.