MEDIA 360: COI chief Lund outlines big changes as cuts bite

Mark Lund: freeze until end of financial year
Mark Lund: freeze until end of financial year

The COI will be making a fundamental shift in the way it thinks about what it does in reaction to the change of government, according to its chief executive Mark Lund today.

Lund was speaking to marketers, agencies and media owners at the Media 360 conference only only days after COI wrote to agencies to inform them Government advertising expenditure could fall "by at least 50%" during this financial year.

The letter followed a decision by the new Government to cut COI spend by £160m, freezing all new spending and allowing only "essential campaigns". The list of campaigns to be axed is yet to be finalised.

The change did not come out of the blue, Lund said today: "We have known that there was going to be something happening of this sort for a while now. We’ve been looking at how we prepare for the new world. Some of the people here have been engaged in this process."

Lund titled his presentation 'Democratising Communications – Making the Most of Less'.

He said: "This is a reasonably well-disciplined and run business, but that's not enough. We're now in the business not of demonstrating proficiency or of shaving at the edges, we are in the business of big change, particularly this year, where in effect we're in a freeze until the end of this financial year 2010/2011.

COI has to move on from its traditional methods, and that means rethinking the channel mix to make more use of owned and earned media as well as paid media, Lund indicated. 

"We have to build around paid. I'm looking at Alex Altman, who runs M4C, our newly appointed media agency. Alex we will still be doing paid [media]. But we are going to have to work out how we create owned and earned around it," he said. 

"Because government is in a really interesting position here. We have fantastic owned channels. We have teachers, we have doctors, we have librarians, we have a huge web spend, we have lots of offices, we have lots of people who speak for us and who are trusted by the people to whom they speak. We’ve got to use and motivate and engage those people as well as the places, the physical space in which they work."

Moving on to earned media, Lund said he wanted to use PR in more than a reactive way and pay more attention to media partnerships. 

"I think we have to start pushing back the boundaries of where paid-for communications stop and editorial content begins. We have to find a way of creating and, importantly, valuing what those partnerships can do.

"That's an open challenge to media agencies and media owners about how we create those media partnerships."

He also revealed that on Monday COI would open a consultation about creating a payment-by- results system that works for it, agencies and media owners.

COI will also be creating a pan-government shared evaluation service which it is seeking industry advice on. "We have to evaluate and measure and create a financial worth to what we are doing," Lund said.

"Commercial brands will hopefully play a bigger role in supporting government campaigns," he added.

Change4Life, the anti-obesity campaign which some speculate may be in danger from the budget cuts, was held up as a great example of a brand partnership campaign.

"We have to create movements, things with real traction in people’s imagination, that partners want to get involved in and can find commercial advantages in."

There could be a shift in the way COI themes campaigns to group them under fewer, bigger brands, such as Change4Life.

The COI spent £540m on marketing in the year to the end of March 2009. This includes £211m on traditional advertising and a further £40m on digital, according to the COI's annual report.


Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now


John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message
Lynx unleashes £9m 'Peace invasion' campaign
Social Brands 100 Youth: Pizza Hut most social youth brand in UK
Cheryl Cole is wild and arresting in new L'Oreal work
Morrisons told not to show alcohol ads during YouTube nursery rhymes
O2 head of brand Shadi Halliwell departs after 23 years at company in restructure
Tesco hit by further sales decline as it turns to digital Clubcard and social network
Branding guru Wally Olins dies aged 83
Duracell short film captures epic Transatlantic voyage
Ash runs Tinder experiment to show smokers are less desirable to opposite sex
British Airways teams up with Gerry Cottle Jnr for summer of rooftop film screenings
Arklu says 'girls can be superheroes too' with doll design competition
Coke enters squash market with Oasis Mighty Drops
Virgin Galactic signs up Land Rover as space flight sponsor
Motorola marketer Andrew Morley departs as Google gears up for sale to Lenovo
US Airways apologises after tweeting obscene image at a customer