Between the Lines: DfT still has ideas of its own

Four years after the DfT first exercised its freedom to handle its own agency and media buying arrangements without COI interference, it shows no inclination of returning meekly to the fold.

Indeed, DfT roster agencies have been told that their contracts will be extended for another year. Clearly, this would not have happened if DfT chiefs were not satisfied that the system was delivering effective creative work and value for money.

For Alan Bishop, the COI chief executive, the best hope must be that if the DfT cannot be coaxed back, the relationship at least becomes a non-adversarial one. The fact that the COI and DfT TV buying businesses are now side-by-side within Carat is some consolation.

Meanwhile, Bishop can only keep his fingers crossed that other government departments aren't inspired to follow the DfT's lead.