The Army Marketing and Research Group relieved its director of marketing in December after allegations of inappropriate conduct led to an investigation.

James Ortiz, director of the Army’s in-house marketing division, has been accused of having an inappropriate relationship with an employee of McCann Worldgroup, according to Adweek.

McCann has been the Army’s agency of record since 2005 and is authorized to purchase advertising time or space on behalf of the service.

The agency is currently competing for an extension of its contract worth about $4 billion, Adweek reported.

Video that appears to show the two people in question, dancing and kissing at a Washington-D.C.-area venue, was sent to competitors of McCann, Adweek reported. That raised concerns the McCann contract and agency competition were compromised.

A spokeswoman with the Army Marketing and Research Group told Army Times that Ortiz was removed from his director of marketing position and all duties associated with the advertising contract.

“[Ortiz] has been reassigned as an adviser to the director of the Army Brand Group and is working special projects as assigned by the director,” AMRG spokeswoman Ali Bettencourt said in a statement.

Ortiz did not oversee the current contract with McCann, she said, and was “firewalled from any involvement with or responsibility for the current source selection process since the beginning.”

This process continues under the leadership of the U.S. Army Mission and Installation Contracting Command, Bettencourt said.

The investigation is ongoing.

“It would be premature to discuss any further actions prior to its conclusion,” she said.

Charlsy is a Reporter and Engagement Manager for Military Times. Email her at

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