BBC to begin review of £10m media business

The BBC is about to launch a statutory review of its £10

million media planning and buying business, currently held by PHD.

Agencies will be invited to tender for the business through an ad in the

Official Journal of the European Community next month. The corporation

has a requirement to review all its agency arrangements after five


The account covers the BBC's public services, including TV, radio,

online, sport and factual programming.

The move coincides with statutory reviews for PHD on public sector

business, including the £9 million TV Licensing account and

Transport for London.

The agency was recently appointed to COI Communications' strategic

planning roster.

The BBC will conduct the review through the AAR. It will be overseen by

David Grint, its head of marketing. PHD handles the BBC's buying and

planning for press, ambient and outdoor activity. The BBC's own internal

planning department handles planning in all other media.

Last year, the BBC conducted a seven-month review of its creative


It appointed Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, Duckworth Finn Grubb Waters and

Fallon, and dumped Leagas Delaney.

Grint said: "In the past five years, our internal planning capacity has

changed. It now handles planning for radio, TV and online. We want to

develop much closer relationships between the agencies and internal

services to make campaigns more integrated."

It has not been decided if a single media agency will be appointed, but

a roster of several agencies is thought to be unlikely.

Marketing spend at the BBC is expected to increase significantly if

Tessa Jowell, the culture secretary, gives the go-ahead for the

corporation to launch new digital services.

The BBC has submitted proposals for two new digital channels: BBC3, a

youth service, and BBC4, an arts and factual programming service. It is

also proposing to launch four digital radio channels.

The BBC is also reviewing its design agency roster.