These are Smile, made up of Starcom MediaVest and i-level; M4C, which is Group M’s bespoke integrated organisation for COI, and Carat, working with sister company Posterscope.
The appointed group will handle all of COI’s media buying across all media platforms and channels. Pitches will be held in December and an announcement is expected in the New Year, with the four-year contracts starting in April 2010.
The review panel is made up of senior COI staff and a representative from the Government Strategic Marketing Advisory Board.
COI believes that a centralised buying framework will deliver increased efficiencies within and across a channel and also lead to more effective campaigns.
The Conservative Party has indicated that elected next year it will look to curb the amount of spending on marketing campaigns.