The BBC is poised to shortlist a raft of design and digital groups as part of a formal review of its rosters, which are being reworked.
The corporation’s design roster currently consists of 21 consultancies, offering a broad spectrum of disciplines. The digital creative roster – currently made up of just one group, Agency Republic – provides strategic advice, communications plans and creative digital communications.
As part of a wholesale roster review, the BBC has received as many as 242 applications for its design roster and more than 100 for digital. These will be narrowed down to 20 for design and up to three for the digital roster. Current roster consultancies must reapply.
The tender process is managed strictly according to European Union rules and advertised in the Official Journal of the EU.
According to a spokeswoman for the BBC, ‘we are currently reviewing and evaluating all responses and will be issuing an invitation for tender by 24 August’, which means that, from the consultancies that have already applied, those considered relevant will be invited to tender again for a place on the final list. The revised rosters are expected to be announced by the end of the year.
The process for the original design roster began in 2001 when applications were hunted for four categories: TV channel branding, major strategic design projects, tactical design projects and youth.
The final 28 consultancies were announced in 2003, but in April last year the BBC axed six groups and delayed a full review until this year.
At the time, the BBC said it had the option to extend the original contracts and remove some groups from the list. The design roster runs alongside the work of the in-house design department, BBC Design and Publications.
The review will not affect the supplier list of the BBC’s new media arm Future Media Technology. This list is the primary resource by which the BBC digital commissioners choose external suppliers for work.