McArthur has been briefed to look at cross-platform media buying opportunities, as well as the increase of digital media volumes. He is expected to present his findings by the end of the year.
Peter Buchanan, the deputy chief executive of COI, told Campaign: "Unlike many large advertisers, COI is a significant player in every medium. Our impression up until now is that there hasn't been a great desire among media owners to come to large advertisers and sell across media. That's beginning to change and we want to look more closely at whether we can benefit from that."
He stressed the review was not a cost-reduction exercise, but an audit of advertising effectiveness and targeting the right audiences in light of changing media habits.
COI has four media buying contracts split by medium: TV is with Carat; press with MediaCom; radio with Starcom and outdoor with Posterscope.
The review comes as COI bolsters its media planning. Earlier this month it hired Mark Cross, the former chief executive of PHD compass to the newly created role of communications planning director. Cross will be involved in the review for which the COI is expected to consult a number of agencies, media owners and government departments.