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Coi Tenders UK Government

UK Government unveils COI replacement marketing framework valued at up to £520m


By Ishbel Macleod, PR and social media consultant

August 16, 2012 | 3 min read

The UK Government has unveiled a framework agreement for creative content, delivery, execution and related services; valued at between £240m to £520m, with an expected 30 participants.

The framework, which includes five lots, comes as the Government aims to control marketing spend, with the framework surprisingly covering all departments, public bodies and arms-length bodies in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, as well as public corporations such as Channel 4, the Met Office and the Royal Mint.

Scheduled to last two years, with the chance of an extension for another two years, this is the first major framework to replace COI marketing and creative services contracts; with a second framework agreement for market research planned to be released in October.

The COI frameworks that have been transferred to Government Procurement Service will remain live until at least September 2012 ensuring continuity of service.

It has been suggested to The Drum that the framework aims to take a holistic view on overlapping audiences, with the aim of producing ‘the Government’s first ever proactive communication plan summarising the planned activities of each group of departments and arms-length bodies.’

Government departments and agencies will be able to use the framework to find communications agencies providing creative services (£80m-£200m), direct marketing (£80m-£160m), digital marketing (£60m-120m), direct response marketing (£40m-£80m) and PR services (£20m-£40m).

A Cabinet Office spokesperson said: “Last year, central government saved a staggering £390 million from freezing all marketing spend except when operationally necessary, on top of the £400 million saved from this in 2010/11. We are now on the hunt for the best talent out there as we look to spend in a more strategic and coordinated way. We want to develop more communications partnerships with commercial and voluntary sectors and get more value for money through rock-solid evaluation of what works best. We are now open for business to all kinds of innovative suppliers and entrepreneurs – whatever their size, whatever their business model.”

While the £520m maximum spend seems high when the Government is looking to cut costs, the Cabinet Office insisted this is a ‘potential maximum amount only’ and that it is looking for the ‘most economically advantageous tender’.

The deadline for applications is 2pm on 19 September.

UPDATED: The Drum has been told that departments will run a further competition process to source suppliers from the framework, with contacts to be managed by the individual customer departments.

Coi Tenders UK Government

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