Defra hunts agency for 10m task

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is looking for an agency to handle recruitment and other classified advertising. The business, which includes some creative and design services and media planning, is worth between £3m and £10m over four years.

The classified business was previously allocated through COI Communications, with the majority of it being handled by recruitment agency Barkers. It is not clear if the agency will be involved in the pitch.

The current process is being handled directly by Defra. Defra head of marketing David Watson says: “It’s a very straightforward process, so we decided to go to the market ourselves.”

He adds the decision not to use the COI is a “one-off” and the department will continue to use the COI for “large scale campaigning work”.

Defra is already on the hunt for an agency to handle an estimated £5m brief, to create a campaign focusing on the dangers of climate change and highlighting ways consumers can reduce their carbon dioxide emissions.

The campaign is set to run until March 2008, supporting the Government’s target of reducing national carbon dioxide emissions by 20% by 2010 and 60% by 2050, compared with the levels in 1990.

Vallance Carruthers Coleman Priest, Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO and DFGW are pitching for the business, which is being handled by the COI.

Watson says no decision has yet been made, although it is imminent.

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