COI setback as Home Office seeks single media agency

COI Communications’ relationship with the Home Office has been buffeted by the government department’s decision to appoint a single shop to oversee media strategy.

The move is expected to lead to other large government departments, such as the Cabinet Office and Department of Health, seeking similar strategic arrangements, effectively diminishing the COI’s power.

The Home Office has invited a number of undisclosed agencies to pitch for a strategic planning brief, thought to be worth more than £10m.

It is believed to be the first time the Home Office has pooled its strategic communications business. A spokeswoman says: “It is not a departure for us, but will give us a more strategic and over-arching approach for our communications planning.” It is thought that the winning media agency will be tasked with devising a planning strategy for the Home Office, whose burgeoning portfolio includes crime and policing, immigration, the UK Passport Service, as well as a number of ad hoc information campaigns.

The move comes two years after the Home Office mooted plans to split from the COI as it sought ‘better value’ for its advertising budget (MW April 7, 2005). However, subsequent talks between COI chief executive Alan Bishop and Whitehall convinced the department that the existing arrangement with the COI remained the best way to deliver media value.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here