Don’t over-estimate the role of the AAR

Roster reviews are a mammoth task for the Central Office of Information (COI) team involved, so we were puzzled to read your report that for direct and relationship marketing agencies, “the process was conducted by the AAR” (MW October 13).

Roster reviews involve a rigorous and transparent process of several stages that requires a considerable amount of time and effort. A team of several COI direct and relationship marketing managers, headed by myself and one of my team heads, Daniel Pallett, spent several hundred hours over a three-month period assessing, scrutinising, checking and double-checking roster applications, speaking to and meeting with agencies before deciding on the final 23 agencies.

On this occasion, the AAR was involved only at the outset, in an initial sift, and while its contribution was much valued, it was only a small part of the process.

My team’s efforts were very much appreciated and deserve to be recognised. They have paid dividends and we now have a new, comprehensive roster of agencies that we look forward to working with.

Marc Michaels

Director of direct and relationship marketing

Central Office of Information

London SE1

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