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
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
Joining the direct marketing roster are Publicis, Draft Worldwide,
Target Direct Marketing, Lion and Whitewater Creative Services.