DTLR snubs COI and picks own agencies

The Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions (DTLR) has appointed a roster of six agencies – D’Arcy, Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO, WCRS, Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R, BMP DDB and Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper – to work on its &£20m business.

The move, first mooted in November, is the first time the department has had its own roster of agencies, and is a snub to COI Communications, which traditionally handles advertising for all Government departments.

All six agencies are already on the COI’s roster.

DTLR acting marketing director David Murphy refuses to confirm the list. He says that two media agencies will be appointed “imminently”. Carat and OMD are understood to be the front-runners.

Although the COI has claimed it is happy with the decision, sources say chief executive Carol Fisher was furious when she heard that the DTLR would no longer be using the COI to source agencies.

Agencies have also accused the COI of threatening that, if they pitched for the DTLR business, they could be black-listed for future COI work.

However, in February Fisher was given extra powers to monitor how advertising money is spent. This may put pressure on the DTLR.

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