COI retains MediaCom on £35m press buying

COI Communications has re-appointed MediaCom to handle its £35m press buying account following a head-to-head pitch between the WPP-owned agency and Starcom.

MediaCom has handled the contract since 2000 and its re-appointment will ensure that it retains the account until at least the end of 2008. Walker Media and Initiative were eliminated from the review process at an earlier stage.

The result almost brings to an end the massive task of reviewing the COI's media buying business, a process that has seen a major realignment of business between agencies.

In April, Starcom lost the £70m TV buying brief to Carat but later snatched the £20m radio buying account from OMD. The outdoor account also moved from the now-defunct Portland Outdoor into Posterscope.

The only COI buying review that still has to be completed is its £2m cinema buying account. COI has invited Carat, MindShare, ZenithOptimedia, Manning Gottlieb OMD and Initiative to pitch for the business against incumbent Universal McCann.

Earlier this year, COI reviewed its £156m creative roster and appointed 27 agencies, including DLKW, Vallance Carruthers Coleman Priest and Lowe while dropping several long-term incumbents.

It also announced its new direct roster at the end of the summer following a lengthy review process.

The COI is reviewing its strategic media planning roster and is due to announce a result in January. Incumbents fighting for a place on the roster include Naked, PHD, Mediaedge:cia and Manning Gottlieb OMD .

No one at MediaCom or the COI would comment on the re-appointment.

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