The Post Office has called a review of its 50m advertising business.
The review is understood to be statutory and is being put out to tender. It is believed to include all above- and below-the-line activity.
The Post Office employs a roster of agencies, including J Walter Thompson, Bates Dorland, McCann-Erickson and Ogilvy One. According to ACNielsen-MEAL, it spent more than 34m in 1997 on advertising activities, ranging from Bureau de Change to Parcelforce and the Postal Service.
The 50m figure is quoted in the tender note in the Official Journal of the European Community (OJEC), which also includes a review of the Post Office’s market research, management consultancy and opinion polling contracts among 11 service contracts being reviewed.
The tender document, which appears to ask for credentials rather than full bids, says that the “competition” for the contracts will take place on a staggered basis between now and March 1999. But the Post Office was unable to say at which stage the advertising services review would begin and nobody was available for comment on the extent of the review.
It is believed that the contracts for some of the business, including Royal Mail, do not formally end until next year. The procurement is being co-ordinated by the Post Office Purchasing Services division, based in Swindon.