COI announces pounds 63m open review

The Central Office of Information is putting pounds 63 million worth of creative and media business up for grabs in a two-pronged overhaul of the Government’s advertising business.

The Central Office of Information is putting pounds 63 million

worth of creative and media business up for grabs in a two-pronged

overhaul of the Government’s advertising business.



The COI this week fired the starting gun on a full-scale review of its

media buying account, which it has been auditing internally since last

spring (Campaign, 5 April 1996). It is also set to revamp its creative

roster as soon as a general election is called.



National press and magazine buying, currently handled by the creative

planning agencies working on the individual COI accounts, will be pooled

with regional press buying, currently held by Zenith Media, and thrown

open to pitch. The move will create a pounds 20 million-plus centralised

account.



Radio buying, handled by Leo Burnett, TV buying, handled by the Media

Centre, and cinema will also be reviewed. The only media task excluded

from the overhaul will be the poster buying account, handled by

Concord.



All business will be thrown open to non-roster agencies.



The COI’s director of marketing communications, Peter Buchanan, said

that the COI was always striving for better value from its pounds 63

million ad budget and added: ’We will action any initiative that fits

that brief.’



The creative roster review, which takes place every five years, was not

due until the end of this year. However, since most Whitehall campaigns

are shelved during a general election, the COI will take advantage of

the breathing space to launch its review.



It is designed to streamline the COI’s 40-strong roster and may result

in more regional shops joining the line-up. A new section of the roster

will be devoted to integrated marketing agencies, in line with the COI’s

plans to develop through-the-line work (Campaign, last week). A separate

section, comprising seven recruitment agencies, is likely to be dropped.



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