US Army aims for target market

In today’s booming dot-com economy, most young Americans want to “be all they can be” in some place other than the ranks of the US Army. With its recruitment numbers slumping, the Army has decided to drop that 20-year-old slogan and hire a new advertising agency that will focus more on the service’s potential as a high-tech training ground than as a college for combat.

The CHICAGO TRIBUNE reports that the Army will pay almost $400 million for a four-year contract with the Chicago-based agency Leo Burnett USA, which represents such American icons as McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, and Walt Disney. In pitching the Army’s educational and employment opportunities, the firm will enlist two “minority-oriented” agencies to help target African Americans and Hispanic Americans, groups which the Army says are “a growing market for us.”