COI puts pounds 3m outdoor account up for review

The Government is putting its outdoor media buying business up for grabs, with the incumbent, Concord, facing a challenge from four rival companies in a statutory review of the pounds 3 million account.

The Government is putting its outdoor media buying business up for

grabs, with the incumbent, Concord, facing a challenge from four rival

companies in a statutory review of the pounds 3 million account.



The Central Office of Information pitch will see Concord present against

International Poster Management, Portland, Poster Publicity and

Posterscope.



Pitches will be held on 12 January, with a decision expected the

following week.



The review will look closely at price, outdoor research and evaluation,

added value and pro-activity. The new contract will run for five years,

but the COI will reserve the right to launch an earlier review if

changes in the marketplace require one.



’Outdoor is increasingly important to us,’ Peter Buchanan, the COI’s

director of marketing communications, said. He added that the COI was

interested in ambient media, which has grown from an industry value of

pounds 10 million in 1995 to a forecast value of pounds 58 million this

year.



’The accelerating pace of change in the media market will not leave

outdoor untouched,’ Buchanan said. ’We will be interested to know about

all developments planned by the industry.’



The COI is looking to increase its use of outdoor and its spending has

already jumped by 230 per cent in the past 12 months. The account is now

worth more than pounds 3 million a year.



According to the COI, Concord obtained a media value of pounds 1.69

million through an actual spend of pounds 1.3 million on Government

poster campaigns in the financial year ending in March, by winning

discounts worth pounds 389,000.



This 23 per cent saving for taxpayers was in line with the discounts won

on buying radio airtime but was lower than those achieved on television

(29 per cent), and press (38 per cent).



As ministers prepare for another review of the COI’s efficiency

(Campaign, last week), the organisation is under pressure to get maximum

value for money from the Government’s pounds 59 million a year

advertising budget.



Recent Government campaigns include Action 2000 on the Millennium bug,

Army recruitment, the London referendum, drinking and driving, the

Energy Saving Trust, the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Authority, and

the New Deal for Lone Parents.



The outdoor review follows a review of the COI’s other media accounts

last year.



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