Consignia to review £30m media planning business

Consignia is to call a review of its £30 million media

planning and buying business for the Royal Mail and Parcelforce

Worldwide divisions.

The statutory review is expected to begin next month ahead of a new

contract that will be awarded to run from April 2002 for two years. The

incumbent is Carat.

The move follows a recent decision by Consignia to pull its media

strategy and planning business for the Post Office out of Carat. It

appointed Optimedia to work for the Post Office ahead of its recent

return to TV advertising. An appointment on the planning and buying is

likely to be made by early next year.

Carat has handled Royal Mail's account since 1997, when it won the

business in a pitch against OMD UK and the incumbent, MediaVest. The

account involves a large degree of direct response advertising.

Royal Mail's creative is handled by Bates UK, with Lowe Lintas creating

ads for Parcelforce Worldwide.

Publicis is the Post Office's ad agency and created the recent ads using

business people, such as Richard Branson, to highlight the Post Office's

range of services.

The review comes as Royal Mail attempts to diversify in order to reverse

its profits decline. It recently launched the Postal Preference Service,

a consumer lifestyle survey that will enable it to move into selling

customer data. It is also buying direct mail service companies and

launched a consultancy service for advertisers with advice on how to use

direct response media.