COI Communications is expected to kick-start the review of its estimated £135m media strategy and planning roster in October.
The incumbent roster agencies include The Ingram Partnership, Mediaedge:CIA, Manning Gottlieb OMD, Naked, PHD, Starcom and Zenith Optimedia.
The statutory contract was first established in 2001 when the COI felt the need to take control of media strategy because of the increasing fragmentation of its media. Before that, advertising agencies had responsibility for media planning, and developed their own partnerships with media specialists.
The planning roster operates independently from the roster of media buying agencies. The strategic media planning agencies advise the COI on the most effective media to reach the target market for government-planned campaigns.
Earlier this year, the COI appointed Carat to its £70m television buying business.
The agency won after a tense two-month battle against incumbent Starcom, which had held the account for 13 years, MediaCom and Zenith Optimedia.
This was followed by Starcom’s appointment to the radio buying account, which is worth £20m.
The £41m review for COI’s press buying, held by MediaCom, has already started. Cinema buying, currently with Universal McCann, is expected to be reviewed in the autumn.
Meanwhile, COI chief executive Alan Bishop is busy reorganising the Government’s account management structures in an attempt to obtain the “best value possible for UK taxpayers”.