The COI has approached five agencies: Euro RSCG London, CheethambellJWT, St Luke's, Leo Burnett and McCann-Erickson Manchester. Pitches are expected some time next month. The pitch will not involve media.
The project, which falls within the remit of the Electoral Commission, focuses on government plans to create three new regional assemblies in the north of England.
The Electoral Commission will oversee the campaign, which will run in these areas, to explain the purpose of the new bodies and how to take part in voting for delegates. St Luke's is the incumbent on the bulk of the Electoral Commission's business.
Becky Lloyd, the campaigns manager at the Electoral Commission, said: "If regional assembly referendums are called, we need to be prepared with a campaign ready to go."