Carat retains contract for Department for Transport

The Department for Transport (DfT) has decided to retain Carat as its media agency on its £20m business. The decision comes despite last week’s agreement by the DfT to use COI Communications’ roster of creative agencies.

Carat is not a COI roster agency and was appointed to the DfT business last year (MW May 9, 2002). The agency beat COI roster agency OMD UK to win the account. The department had originally planned to appoint two agencies, but decided to appoint one to get better value for money.

DfT picked its own creative roster last year – Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO, WCRS, Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R, BMP DDB, Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper and the now defunct D’Arcy – to work on its £20m advertising business (MW May 2, 2002). The agencies appointed were already existing COI roster agencies, but the move was seen as a snub to the then chief executive of the COI, Carol Fisher.

Fisher’s successor, Alan Bishop, has admitted that valuable lessons have been learned from the DfT “testing”. He adds: “I want to make sure that COI is easier to work with in the future.”

Bishop is also planning to reorganise the Government’s account management structures in an attempt to obtain the “best value possible for the UK tax-payer”.

The COI is also setting up a Client Council which it claims will help ensure that COI services meet closely with clients’ needs.

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