BBC slashes creative roster by more than half

The BBC stands to slash its creative services roster to less than half of its original size.

Briefing documents leaked to Design Week show that the roster will be whittled down from its current size of 16 consultancies to just seven. These suppliers will be split into new categories.

Under the previous arrangement the design (brand strategy and identity, and marketing communications) subset comprised 11 groups, the creative subset comprised two ad groups and two digital groups, and the distribution subset, which covers media planning and buying, was run by one consultancy.

When the new roster is introduced, brand strategy, which covers brand classification and proposition, will be given to just one group. Brand creative, which oversees brand design and guardianship, will go to three groups, and creative services, which covers ad strategy and execution and digital strategy and execution, will go to three groups.

Design marketing communications, which previously covered print communications, stands to be dropped from the roster, as does media planning and buying. Red Bee Media is ’under a different contract within this roster’, the BBC says, so it doesn’t need to reapply.

A continuation of the five-year contract put in place when Red Bee Media – which used to be called BBC Broadcast Limited – split from the broadcaster in 2005 has now been extended to 2015. Some of the country’s biggest design groups gathered at the BBC’s Television Centre last Thursday to be briefed on the retendering, when they received the news.

According to a list of attendees, six of the 11 design groups under the design subset (brand strategy and identity, and marketing communications) were not at the briefing. This includes 999 and Premm Design. One attendee says, ’They say you need a turnover of £2m to apply, so some of the small, but chic agencies won’t have a hope in hell.

If it’s going to be like this they should just let everyone compete on a project-by-project basis.’ The BBC says its annual turnover requirement is compliant with Official Journal of the European Community rules. A second tender group, marketing, communications and design services, was restructured in June and saw Elmwood, Love Creative, Designate, Inferno and Easy Tiger all dropped (DW 2 June).

Creative services retenderprocess and due dates

Deadline for submissions of PQQ – 25 August (by 2pm)

Notification of shortlisted bidders – 29 September

Issue of invitation to tender – 30 September

Submission of tender – 4 November (by 2pm)

Pitch meetings – week commencing 17 January 2011

Contract award – March 2011

Latest articles