The two say the collaboration combines the buying power of both organizations and will offer customised media planning and buying across all disciplines.
The COI issued a brief in July as part of a statutory review that aims to create a centralized media buying framework across all channels.
The account is currently divided into separate media buying contracts for cinema, interactive/online, outdoor, press, radio and TV.
Incumbents inlcude Starcom, I-level, Carat, Mediacom and outdoor company Posterscope.
The COI spent £211m on media and £40m on online advertising in 2008/09.
Starcom MediaVest CEO Stewart Easterbrook says: “We absolutely believe this partnership offers the COI an innovative and powerful solution in the consolidation of their media buying assignment.”
Stephen Rust, Group CEO, i-level says: “Our partnership with SMG is borne out of the strength of the existing relationships the two agencies have with the COI.”
I-level was appointed to handle the COI digital media planning and buying account in 2003, after working with the COI since 2000.
SMG has held the radio buying account since 2005 and prior to this held both the press and TV accounts.