The £140m UK Government public service message media buying contract, which formerly was run through the Central Office of Information (COI), has been handed to Carat following a tender process that is understood to have included incumbent, GroupM’s M4C.
The Drum has learned that the media account has been awarded to the Dentsu Aegis owned media agency earlier this week.
It was previously run by WPP owned, M4C – a group formed out of MediaCom, Mindshare and Mediaedge:cia to handle the account in 2010 and covered all of the media buying for the UK Government’s public service messaging.
At the time it was reported to be the largest media buying appointment, valued at around £250m.
In 2009, the account was consolidated into one, having previously been split across six contracts, with Carat having handled the TV and cinema work.
Two years later the Government announced that it was to close the COI as a result of cost saving measures.
The appointment will be confirmed should no objections be received as part of the conclusion to the tender procedure.
Asked what the future meant for M4C as a result of this decision, a spokesperson for WPP commented: "We are reviewing any decision that may have been made."
At the time of writing no one from the Cabinet Office, Carat nor its parent company Dentsu Aegis had responded to The Drum’s request for a comment.