The Army announced Wednesday that it is switching advertising agencies, dropping Leo Burnett Worldwide, which created the "Army of One" slogan nearly five years ago, in favor of McCann Erickson of New York.

The new contract is valued at an estimated $1.35 billion over a maximum of five years, with the first two years guaranteed and the Army holding an option to renew at one-year intervals after that. An Army spokesman, Paul Boyce, said the contract is expected to average about $200 million a year in the first two years.

Boyce said the decision to drop Leo Burnett had nothing to do with the fact that the Army missed its recruiting target for the budget year ended Sept. 30 for the first time since 1999. After a dismal recruiting season last winter and spring, the Army has met each monthly target since June. It has not yet announced results for November, but officials said Wednesday it appeared that it would be the sixth straight month on target.

"Today's announcement reflects many months of careful work to ensure a full and open competition among some of the best advertising agencies in America," Boyce said. "Both the U.S. Army and the America public are the clear winners given the dedicated professionals we've had working on the Army account in the past and the creative talent we'll be working with on future communications about Army recruiting."

The Chicago-based Leo Burnett was hired by the Army in July 2000, replacing Young & Rubicam Inc. of New York.