Department for Transport to call £20m roster review

The Department for Transport’s (DfT) £20m advertising business is expected to come up for review early next year, a move that could make or entirely break its relationship with Whitehall’s central marketing services coordinating body, the COI.

The Department for Transport’s (DfT) &£20m advertising business is expected to come up for review early next year, a move that could make or entirely break its relationship with Whitehall’s central marketing services coordinating body, the COI.

The DfT, which split acrimoniously with the COI in 2002, is expected to extend its roster next year in an attempt to deliver best value for the taxpayer.

Its roster includes Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO, DDB London, Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R and WCRS – all of which are on the COI roster – and Euro RSCG London, previously a COI agency. The contract is expected to come up for renewal next March. A spokeswoman has confirmed the news, but adds that the department has the option to continue with the current roster.

The DfT uses Carat to handle its planning and buying. Although Carat has been included in the list of agencies handling the television buying for the COI, it is not thought that the DfT will put its buying up for review next year.

If the DfT were to continue using COI agencies, it could be seen as a personal success for COI chief executive Alan Bishop, who has reorganised the Government’s account management structures to obtain “best value possible for the UK taxpayer”.

Last week, he asked the COI’s creative agencies on the roster to showcase their services by setting up a stall at Borough Market, offering government departments the chance to talk to agencies directly (MW September 22).

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