D'Arcy heads Govt billings league

D'Arcy was the Government's favourite agency last year, according to the first breakdown of the business won by shops from Whitehall departments.

The list, obtained by Campaign, shows D'Arcy ran 16 separate campaigns for COI Communications, worth £33.4 million, almost a fifth of the £177 million it spent in 2001.

Its biggest five accounts were benefit fraud (£9.1 million); car tax evasion, wheelclamping and emissions (£5.1 million); UK Online (£3.7 million); nursing recruitment (£3.5 million) and childcare recruitment (£2.5 million).

D'Arcy's nearest rivals were Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, which won six campaigns worth £20.9 million, and Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R, which ran four worth £19.7 million.

DFGW's solitary account, for the University for Industry, put it fourth place in the Government's billings league as it was worth £14.5 million.

Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners landed three campaigns totalling £13.9 million. M&C Saatchi's two were worth £13.3 million.

Ogilvy & Mather, which like D'Arcy is often used by COI on a standby basis for urgent work, won 15 campaigns with total budgets of £11.2 million.

The figures were revealed as the Liberal Democrats joined recent Tory criticism of the Government's soaring ad budget by publishing figures showing that most departments had boosted their ad spend since Labour came to power in 1997.

The Liberal Democrats' trade and industry spokesman, Vincent Cable, said: "It cannot be right that Labour is spending this much. It should invest less in public relations and more in public services."

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