The U.S. Army wasted tens of millions of dollars on marketing programs that failed to demonstrate significant returns in fiscal year 2016, according to an internal review conducted over nearly two years and acquired by Adweek through a Freedom of Information Act request.
According to Adweek, these findings “follow an earlier version of the audit, first published in January,that labeled dozens of taxpayer-funded projects “ineffective” and concluded that the Army spent $930.7 million “on marketing efforts that potentially didn’t provide best value to support Army recruiting” between 2013 and 2016.
The audit’s results will lead to “more stringent oversight” of the military’s own advertising, according to a spokesperson for the Army Marketing and Research Group (AMRG), which was established in 2013 to oversee that work. You can read the full report at the end of this story.
One source in the U.S. Department of Defense, who asked to remain anonymous, said the marketing group’s budget has been significantly reduced now. The AMRG declined to directly address that claim, writing, “Improved business practices will enhance our ability to measure the return on investment from the Army’s marketing programs.””