COI calls pitches for radical overhaul in new-media function

COI Communications is to launch the biggest ever review of its digital arrangements as it increases its expenditure on new media by more than 350 per cent.

The growth of new-media work has led COI to look to create a more structured roster system, including developing its first online creative agency roster.

As part of the review, COI is organising a pitch with a view to centralising all of its digital online planning and buying functions into one agency - an account worth more than £4 million.

Traditionally, COI has used a range of agencies, from digital specialists, such as i-level to the new-media arms of network agencies, such as interactive@optimedia from Publicis.

The second pitch COI is running will determine a formal roster of around six agencies to handle COI's creative online advertising work.

"The roster is being created because of the tremendous growth in digital," Jamie Galloway, the director of digital media at COI, said.

"A lot of existing above-the-line agencies have invested in developing digital capability. There is a number of excellent start-up companies that we don't currently have access to through existing relationships."

Galloway said COI aims to complete the review by April.

Until now, COI has only run a digital media, design and development roster, not a digital creative roster. A review was held more than a year ago, and after an extensive process was finalised late last year, to select a range of agencies for work, including web design and interactive TV work.