COI splits bulk of 65m media buying in two

The Central Office of Information is understood to have split the bulk of its 65m centralised media buying between incumbents The Media Centre and Zenith.

The largest account, 25m of TV planning and buying, is understood to have been awarded to The Media Centre, with Zenith picking up the 20m press account.

Zenith previously handled the regional press buying. Media buying for press has never been centralised before.

The TV pitch also involved Zenith and CIA. The press pitch involved TMD Carat and a combined pitch by J Walter Thompson and sister agency The Network – the two will formally merge media operations on January 1 1998.

The rest of the COI’s media is divided between radio and cine ma accounts. Zenith, New PHD, TMD Carat and incumbent Leo Burnett pitched for the radio business.

The Media Centre, Universal McCann and BBJ Media Services pitched for cinema. Initiative Media pulled out of the cinema pitch three weeks ago. Poster buying stayed with specialist Concord.

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