Govt to launch a pitch-list league

The Government is to compile a ’league table’ of agencies - and those that score highly will be given priority on new pitch-lists.

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

stage.



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

drawn up.



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

said.



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.