Transport for London has confirmed that it is to begin a new and
separate procurement exercise for an agency to look after its coveted
Congestion Charge account.
This new pitch will be handled by the corporate team, headed by Charlie
Edelman, the general manager of marketing communications and corporate
design. After the pitch, Edelman will leave to go travelling.
The team has been tasked to produce a fresh brief with a new and strong
focus on integrating the Congestion Charge publicity with TfL's other
advertising activity. The Congestion Charge is a key strand of London
mayor Ken Livingstone's plans to improve transport.
The news comes after TfL's decision to "unappoint" M&C Saatchi from the
£9 million, three-year congestion account. The agency had been
appointed without a pitch. M&C Saatchi will retain the corporate
In a press statement, TfL said the "Congestion Charging contract is to
be separate from the corporate contract as Congestion Charging is a
large and detailed project in its own right".
The stance is a turnaround from TfL's decision to group the corporate
and congestion accounts together. M&C won the pitch for TfL's corporate
account and was controversially handed the congestion brief before other
shortlisted agencies had pitched.
A TfL spokesperson explained the U-turn: "The decision was taken because
we believed at the time that it would be better for the two to be rolled
into one pitch, for best-value reasons. Having looked at it again we
realised that the brief wasn't detailed enough and it was necessary to
separate the two tasks."
The pitch has been beset by problems from its early stages. TfL sent
letters to the wrong agencies, resulting in some agencies being informed
that they had made the shortlist only to be later told that they
Agencies had also suspected that TfL would lump the corporate and
congestion accounts together, but were assured that this would not