The Post Office is putting pounds 50 million worth of advertising
business up for grabs as part of a statutory review across a range of
its supplier services.
But the announcement has taken several senior executives at its roster
shops - some of whom are not to be be reviewed for at least a year - by
surprise, prompting calls to the corporation for clarification.
The Post Office, which spent more than pounds 32 million on advertising
last year, divides most of its business between three agencies.
Bates Dorland is the lead shop with a portfolio that includes the Royal
Mail and philatelic services. J. Walter Thompson handles Parcel-force
while OgilvyOne looks after the British Philatelic Bureau.
News of the review was revealed in the latest edition of the Official
Journal of the European Community. It covers advertising, market
research, public opinion polling services, management consultancy,
publishing and printing on a fee or contract basis as well as a range of
other activities from armoured car services to insurance and banking
The procurement notice, issued by the Post Office purchasing services
division in Swindon, appears to seek credentials rather than full bids,
saying that ’calls for competition’ will be made at various times
between now and March 1999.
However, the Post Office this week ruled out early changes to existing
arrangements. ’There is a statutory obligation to review and we will do
so as the dates are due,’ a spokesman commented. ’The process will be
staggered over the next 18 months.’