COI cuts DM agency list to emphasise creativity

Nine new agencies join COI's £36 million direct marketing roster but 12 depart.

COI has appointed nine new agencies to its £36 million direct marketing roster, placing a renewed emphasis on its roster's creative credentials.

The roster, which previously also covered call centres and sales promotion agencies, has been streamlined only to include creative direct marketing agencies. The full list has been reduced to 23 from 26. Twelve agencies have been removed, replaced by nine new shops.

Lida, DP&A - now called FCBi - and MRM Partners are among the most high-profile casualties of the review. Others that have been dropped include Langham Works, the defunct Cramm Francis Woolf and the not-for-profit specialist Whitewater.

As a result, three new network agencies have been appointed: EHS Brann, Harrison Troughton Wunderman and Tequila\London.

New independent roster agencies are the WCRS-backed Personal, Meteorite, Chemistry and Watson Phillips Norman.

Kitcatt Nohr Alexander Shaw, which produced the recent ads for the Department of Health/COI anti-smoking, made it through. One of its most recent campaigns showed the visible effects of smoking on young people.

Partners Andrews Ald-ridge, which developed the Department of Health's "together" pack (a programme to provide support to people giving up smoking), is also retained.

Other agencies still on the list include Claydon Heeley Jones Mason, Rapier, Proximity London, Publicis Dialog and WWAV Rapp Collins. Marc Michaels, the director of direct and relationship marketing at COI, handled the review. He said: "We wanted agencies who understand the broad impact of direct marketing on attitudes and brand, not just the traditional return on investment model.

"The new roster delivers this and has agencies who, we feel, understand a wide range of audiences and can use data to develop audience insights that benefit campaigns through more creative approaches."

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