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DOD Advertising: Better Coordination, Performance Measurement, and Oversight Needed to Help Meet Recruitment Goals

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Technical Report

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U.S. Government Accountability Office Washington United States

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As part of its efforts to meet yearly recruitment goals for the military, DOD requested almost 575 million in fiscal year 2017 to conduct advertising intended to increase awareness of military service and ultimately generate leads for potential recruits. Senate Report 114-49 included a provision for GAO to assess DODs advertising activities. This report examines the extent to which DOD 1 has coordinated advertising activities among the military service components, 2 has followed commercial best practices to assess the effectiveness of advertising activities, and 3 has oversight of its components advertising activities.GAO identified best practices for assessing the effectiveness of advertising in consultation with advertising industry experts and reviewed DOD and service policies and the most recent version of each military service components advertising plans, from fiscal years 2014-16. What GAO Recommends GAO recommends that DOD develop a formal process for coordination among its components on crosscutting advertising issues ensure that the components fully measure the performance of advertising activities and issue department-wide policy that, among other things, defines DODs oversight role in advertising. DOD generally agreed with GAOs recommendations,

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