The Government is putting its outdoor media buying business up for
grabs, with the incumbent, Concord, facing a challenge from four rival
companies in a statutory review of the pounds 3 million account.
The Central Office of Information pitch will see Concord present against
International Poster Management, Portland, Poster Publicity and
Pitches will be held on 12 January, with a decision expected the
The review will look closely at price, outdoor research and evaluation,
added value and pro-activity. The new contract will run for five years,
but the COI will reserve the right to launch an earlier review if
changes in the marketplace require one.
’Outdoor is increasingly important to us,’ Peter Buchanan, the COI’s
director of marketing communications, said. He added that the COI was
interested in ambient media, which has grown from an industry value of
pounds 10 million in 1995 to a forecast value of pounds 58 million this
’The accelerating pace of change in the media market will not leave
outdoor untouched,’ Buchanan said. ’We will be interested to know about
all developments planned by the industry.’
The COI is looking to increase its use of outdoor and its spending has
already jumped by 230 per cent in the past 12 months. The account is now
worth more than pounds 3 million a year.
According to the COI, Concord obtained a media value of pounds 1.69
million through an actual spend of pounds 1.3 million on Government
poster campaigns in the financial year ending in March, by winning
discounts worth pounds 389,000.
This 23 per cent saving for taxpayers was in line with the discounts won
on buying radio airtime but was lower than those achieved on television
(29 per cent), and press (38 per cent).
As ministers prepare for another review of the COI’s efficiency
(Campaign, last week), the organisation is under pressure to get maximum
value for money from the Government’s pounds 59 million a year
Recent Government campaigns include Action 2000 on the Millennium bug,
Army recruitment, the London referendum, drinking and driving, the
Energy Saving Trust, the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Authority, and
the New Deal for Lone Parents.
The outdoor review follows a review of the COI’s other media accounts