COI promotes integrated strategy

Agencies were warned this week that they will need to become much better at delivering through-the-line campaigns if they are to win future government business.

Agencies were warned this week that they will need to become much

better at delivering through-the-line campaigns if they are to win

future government business.



The warning came as the Central Office of Information unveiled plans to

give top priority to integrated campaigns - a move that is expected to

result in a cut in the Government’s pounds 63 million-a-year advertising

budget.



The COI has merged its advertising, direct marketing and promotions, and

research divisions into a new marketing communications department to cut

costs and ensure a more integrated approach. Some 40 per cent of its

briefs from Whitehall departments demand through-the-line work and, in

the past, COI divisions were competing against each other.



Peter Buchanan, the new director of marketing communications who was

previously head of advertising, said the shake-up would enable the COI

to deliver better value for money for government departments through

more effective budget setting and getting the right mix of marketing

tools.



For example, smaller departments might be advised that direct mail is a

better way to reach their target audience than advertising.



Buchanan said: ’I could envisage a bit less spent on advertising and a

wider investment in techniques like direct marketing. The aim is to make

sure we get the message across as efficiently as possible.’



The COI chief said the change reflected private sector practice, but

warned that agencies on the Government’s roster would have to ’get their

act together’ on integrated work.



’One or two agencies do it quite well but the majority still seem to

operate as independent businesses and profit centres,’ he said. ’When

they are asked to respond in an integrated fashion, somehow it does not

quite come together.



’Agencies that deliver through-the-line campaigns would win new

business.



That is an area of opportunity. If agencies can set out their stall

better on integrated marketing, they would see a benefit,’ he added.



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