COI Communications has invited media agencies to pitch for a
position on its first strategic media planning roster.
The six places on the roster will be filled from a pitchlist of about
ten agencies, which is expected to be finalised over the next few
COI will look to turn around the pitch quickly, benefiting from its
enforced period of inactivity leading up to the general election. The
new roster will operate from 1 September.
Media planning is currently the responsibility of COI's creative
agencies, which develop their own partnerships with media specialists
when working on COI briefs. However, the increasing fragmentation of the
media and the complications of targeting consumers has led COI to take
more direct control of media strategy.
'We believe that the creative agencies' investment in strategic media
planning is starting to lag,' COI's group director of marketing
communications, Peter Buchanan, said.
The COI's current roster of creative agencies includes Abbott Mead
Vickers BBDO, which handles the Government's anti-smoking and
drink-driving campaigns, Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners, which
handles the anti-teen pregnancy campaign, and St Luke's, which developed
the Government's working family tax credit spots.
The planning roster will operate independently from the roster of media
buying agencies appointed by COI last July on three-year contracts.
MediaVest handles the pounds 40.4 million TV buying business, while
MediaCom holds the pounds 36 million press account.
Radio, worth pounds 8.6 million, is handled by OMD and Universal McCann
controls the pounds 3.1 million cinema business.
The planning review comes as the Conservative Party intensifies its
attacks on Labour's outlay on government ads. pounds 62 million was
spent through the COI during the first three months of 2001, when the
government agency became the country's biggest advertiser.
The Opposition has vowed to slash government adspend if it wins the