DTLR splits its £20m ad account between six COI roster shops

The Department of Transport has opted to split its £20 million advertising account between a roster of six agencies, all of which would have been available to the department through the existing COI Communications roster.

The DTLR task is to be divided between D'Arcy, Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO and Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper, each of which had been assigned to the department's briefs through COI. WCRS and BMP DDB, which do not currently work for DTLR, also join the roster.

Roose and TBWA/London, the only non-COI agencies included in the final round of pitching, were dropped from the final shortlist of eight on Tuesday.

Eleven shops had originally been shortlisted by the DTLR after it announced its intention of splitting from COI.

The review, held against a background of PR disasters for Steven Byers' department, has itself been dogged by controversy. The Advisory Committee on Advertising expressed deep misgivings about the breakaway a month ago, citing fears that it would undermine COI. Agencies accused COI of bringing pressure to bear with hints that agencies which pitched for the DTLR risked being excluded from its own shortlists.

Zenith Media pulled out of the DTLR's parallel media pitch a month ago, because of concerns that it risked compromising its recently won COI roster status by proceeding. Zenith stressed at the time that it had not felt pressured into the decision by COI. The DTLR has reversed its decision to appoint a media roster and is moving toward the appointment of a single agency. Carat and OMD UK have been shortlisted.