The agency, which handles the main creative account for the DVLA's road tax evasion strategy, pitched with its media partner MediaVest, which will plan the campaign due to break later this summer.
The two pitched against BMP DDB and Manning Gottlieb OMD, Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners with Mediaedge:CIA and Leo Burnett partnered by Optimedia, in a continuation of COI Communications' recent strategy to pair creative and media agencies at the time of briefing.
The DVLA wants to raise the importance of vehicle registration documents, or V5 papers. These will be needed to apply for road tax from Post Offices after the Government abolishes V62 forms in November. The V65 form is used by car owners without a V5 to renew their tax.
COI estimates that two million people apply for road tax using the V62.
The campaign will be aimed at consumers buying second-hand cars and the dealers in the trade, although it is unclear whether it will focus on above-, below- or through-the-line activity. D'Arcy declined to comment on the creative angle that it might take.
The communications drive is part of a programme of activity recommended by the Vehicle Crime Reduction Team, which wants to further harness the DVLA's vehicle register database, which contains information on vehicles and their registered keepers. The information is passed onto the police to run checks on vehicles if they are in accidents or suspected of being used for criminal activity.
D'Arcy's latest TV work for the DVLA was a pastiche of the film musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, showing the perils of road tax evasion. Previous print, poster and TV work showed famous cars, including the Thunderbirds character Lady Penelope's pink Rolls Royce, which had been clamped for not paying road tax. The agency also won an Ariel award for a radio ad featuring The Dukes of Hazzard's theme tune, Just the Good Old Boys.