GICS review group to urge Govt to beef up COI ad strategy role

COI Communications is set to win a more hands-on role in co-ordinating Whitehall advertising campaigns, after a review of the Government Information and Communications Service.

The move would increase pressure on the Department of Transport to end its breakaway from COI.

A proposal to give COI a bigger role is being considered by a committee reviewing the GICS, chaired by the Guardian Media Group's chairman, Bob Phillis, which will report this autumn.

Sources said the committee was attracted by the idea of COI "ensuring common standards across government, setting campaign objectives and policing them".

COI could also have a formal role in developing campaigns and drawing up briefs. While some departments involve COI in these matters, others only bring in COI at a later stage. The proposals would aim to set clearer roles for departments and COI.

Whitehall sources said a decision on DoT campaigns would depend on an exercise being carried out by the Government's Advisory Committee on Advertising. But the Phillis review's proposal will be considered when Douglas Alexander, the cabinet office minister in charge of COI, discusses the ACA's findings with Alistair Darling, the transport secretary.

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