COI revises Govt roster with a 'big bang' review

The Government is taking a big step towards a more integrated

approach to its campaigns as it opens the review of its advertising,

direct marketing, sponsorship and public relations rosters.

It is the first time COI Communications has called a 'big bang' review

of all the agencies, marketing and PR companies which handle its pounds

200 million-a-year budget.

COI has traditionally used the breathing space created by a general

election to revise its roster of 30 agencies. But it has decided to

launch an across-the-board review to meet growing demands from its

clients in government departments for more through-the-line


The review could attract bids from up to 1,000 companies, including 250

agencies. COI hopes to finalise its new lists by this summer.

A few agencies are expected to be dropped from the Government's roster

to accommodate shops launched since the last review four years ago.

Under the new policy, companies can make a bid for a single area of

activity or a combination of different funct- ions. Application forms

can be obtained by e-mailing and forms must be

in by 14 May.

Peter Buchanan, COI's director of marketing communications, said he

still wanted small agencies without a through-the-line capacity to

apply. 'We want a spread of different agencies, some large and some

small,' he said.

COI chiefs decided to launch the review immediately even though Tony

Blair delayed the election. 'We were ready to go, so we decided to press

ahead anyway,' Buchanan said.

For the first time, COI will recruit a specialist operation to give

companies applying for a place on the roster a financial 'health


Last year, the Government spent pounds 113 million on advertising

through COI, pounds 35 million on direct marketing and promotions,

pounds 25 million on publications and pounds 4 million on events.


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