The Government is to compile a ’league table’ of agencies - and
those that score highly will be given priority on new pitch-lists.
The shake-up is also expected to pave the way for the introduction of
payment-by-results on some Whitehall campaigns from April 1999.
From next month, the Central Office of Information will treble from six
to 18 the number of ’performance measures’ used to assess government
advertising. Ten will be quantified and eight based on judgment.
At the end of each financial year, agencies will be told their relative
position in the rankings.
Tables may also be introduced later for other publicity work, such as
direct marketing and public relations.
After the first agency table is drawn up in a year’s time, the COI will
ask departments whether they want to link payments to results. The
formula for assessing each campaign will be discussed at the briefing
Peter Buchanan, the COI’s director of marketing communications, says he
believes the system will enjoy ’broad support’ from ad agencies. Seven
agencies on the COI roster have been consulted.
’We have worked hard to design a system that sets high standards and
stretches agencies while avoiding an overcomplicated bureau-cratic
approach. We have much to learn from using the new, sophisticated
evaluation techniques,’ he added.
The new system is aimed at motivating agencies, rewarding high
achievers, improving accountability, raising standards and providing
useful information for Government departments.
Agencies on the 35-strong government roster that do not hold any current
business will still be considered for campaigns. But the implication is
that those in the ’relegation zone’ will miss out when pitch-lists are
Buchanan said the system would impose extra responsibilities on both the
Government and agencies. ’Setting objectives, writing quality briefs and
investing in evaluation measures will be more important than ever,’ he
The shops consulted by the COI were Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, DMB&B,
Saatchi & Saatchi, BMP DDB, Leagas Shafron Davis, Ogilvy & Mather and
Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper.