The BBC denies Red Bee favouritism

Following the re-tendering of the BBC’s marketing and communications roster and its creative services roster, the broadcaster says Red Bee Media will remain on an off-roster exclusive contract.

It denies that the consultancy is given precedence over other rostered groups and, in a statement issued to Design Week, says, ’The BBC allocates appropriate work to [consultancies] on its rosters on an annual basis via a transparent planning process. All [consultancies] have sight of the work we allocate in this way.

Red Bee Media is not given any preferential treatment where it does not have exclusive supplier status. [Consultancies] can only apply for work on their own roster.’

Red Bee Media – which used to be called BBC Broadcast Limited – split from the broadcaster in 2005, when it was bought by Australian Macquarie Capital Alliance Group. On leaving it was awarded a ten-year contract with the BBC.

The consultancy competes with other groups ’on a number of BBC marketing rosters, including the existing brand strategy and identity roster’, according to the broadcaster. The BBC adds, ’[Red Bee Media] is not given preferential treatment on the brand strategy and identity roster, but work is allocated annually to appropriate [consultancies] on the BBC roster via a transparent process.’

In 2008, during previous BBC roster reviews, allegations first came to light of unfair practice, and of work being handed out rather than
competitively tendered among rostered groups. When asked about its procurement practice by Design Week, the BBC has maintained that it operates under EU procurement practice.

On or off?

  • The BBC’s creative services roster is currently under review. Nine consultancies are on the outgoing roster and seven stand to be appointed
  • In June the marketing, communications and design services roster was finalised, and saw Elmwood, Love Creative, Designate, Inferno and Easy Tiger dropped
  • Red Bee Media is on an exclusive contract, which runs from 2005 to 2015

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