DTLR shuns COI's agency services

By JENNY WATTS, campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 23 November 2001 12:00PM

The Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions has

decided to bypass COI Communications, the body which handles government

agency appointments, to establish its own creative and media agency

rosters.



The news is a serious blow to agencies on the DTLR roster, which include

Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, D'Arcy, Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R, and

MediaVest. As COI roster agencies, they now have to decide whether or

not to apply for the DTLR briefs.



While the government departments are not obliged to use COI for their

marketing, DTLR's decision is an unexpected move, which will spark fears

that other departments could follow suit.



However, Carol Fisher, the chief executive of COI, played down the news,

saying: "Clients are entitled to do this. We're not a monopoly service

but, clearly, the DTLR will have to demonstrate best value to the

taxpayer, as we do."



However, the IPA has expressed its dissatisfaction that the DTLR is

retendering its business only three months after COI finished an

overhaul of its creative and media planning rosters after a four-month

procurement process.



Bruce Haines, the president of the IPA, told Campaign: "As COI has gone

through a very exhaustive tender process so recently, it's a bit rich

for a major government department to then tender again - and include

those agencies that have already been approved."



Charles Skinner, the head of marketing and corporate communications at

the DTLR, said: "This is the only way to thoroughly test the best means

of providing services. Agencies who have spoken to me have been

supportive of it."



Some of the most high-profile government briefs are controlled by the

DTLR and AMV handles the bulk of them. The drink-drive and the "kill

your speed" accounts are handled by AMV, while energy efficiency is held

by Rainey Kelly, which produced the recent campaign that featured

farting lamp shades.



This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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