COI to review communications planning

LONDON - COI is launching a review of its communications planning roster, which covers the Government's £211 million media spend.

CCOI...launching communications planning review
CCOI...launching communications planning review

The pitch process, which affects the 13 agencies currently on the roster, is expected to kick off in October and follows the recent news that COI is separately reviewing its media buying rosters to consolidate into one agency.

According to agency sources, COI is looking at the possibility of taking some communications planning activity in-house, as the government office boosts its planning activity, led by the communications planning director Mark Cross.

Agencies on the current communications planning roster are Arena BLM, Carat, Experience, Manning Gottlieb OMD, MediaCom, Mediaedge:cia, Mindshare, Naked Communications, PHD, Rise Communications, Starcom MediaVest Group, Universal McCann and ZenithOptimedia.

After the most recent communications planning roster review in 2005, seven new agencies were added, with COI claiming the enlarged list would give government departments greater choice.

Agencies on the communications planning roster pitch project by project for COI business, often in tandem with an ad agency.

COI began the tender process for its media buying requirements at the end of July, with all interested media agencies invited to participate in the review.

Agencies are submitting responses to the buying tender by the end of September with pitches taking place in October. Senior marketers on the Government Strategic Marketing Advisory Board will be briefed on the COI buying review at their September meeting.

Members of the board include Bernard Balderston, the recently retired associate director of media at Procter & Gamble.

A COI spokeswoman said: "We will be redefining the framework in the light of how we see comms planning needs for government communications evolving over the next few years.

"We expect to initiate the process this autumn."