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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.