Five shops lose out as COI rejigs Govt line-up

At least five agencies lost their places on the Government's roster

this week as COI Communications recruited new shops in order to keep the

pressure on its well-established agencies.

The losers included TBWA/London, which may have paid a price for

handling Labour's general election campaign as the Blair Government

seeks to avoid allegations of "sleaze" by handing taxpayer-funded

campaigns to the party's agency. Leith, CDP, Golley Slater and Cogent

also lost their places.

Bates UK and Partners BDDH have been removed from the above-the-line

roster but have secured places on the direct roster.

COI refused to name the agencies on its roster or even confirm how many

remain on the list of about 30 shops. The six newcomers are Fallon,

Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy, Mother, Mustoe Merriman Levy, Publicis

and Walsh Trott Chick Smith.

Meanwhile, Leo Burnett and Faulds, which have handled government work in

the past, regained their places on the roster.

New rules allowed three of the "new boys" - Fallon, Mother and MCBD - to

join the list earlier than expected. Previously, COI had to study three

sets of annual accounts before adding them to the list, which is updated

every four or five years and cannot be amended in between.

Carol Fisher, COI's chief executive, said: "It will keep everyone on the

list on their mettle to see that there are some new kids on the


She predicted that, on average, the shops would get the chance to pitch

for seven campaigns over the next four or five years but warned: "No-one

is guaranteed any number of pitches. We can't take a flyer and don't buy

creativity at the expense of administration. The really important thing

is to produce campaigns that deliver."

COI has also reviewed its rosters for direct marketing, public

relations, sponsorship, telemarketing, response handling, sponsorship

and merchandising.

This will enable it for the first time to give its clients a shortlist

of agencies with one or more strengths to boost their ability to run

integrated campaigns.

Joining the direct marketing roster are Publicis, Draft Worldwide,

Target Direct Marketing, Lion and Whitewater Creative Services.


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