Agencies lodge complaints about Govt tender process

Frank campaign by Mother: the agency failed to gain a place on the roster
Frank campaign by Mother: the agency failed to gain a place on the roster

The Cabinet Office has delayed confirmation of the Government's creative, digital and direct marketing frameworks after receiving multiple complaints from aggrieved parties.

Ten creative agencies made it on to the roster in February, but some shops that created key government campaigns in the past have been overlooked and concerns have been raised over the integrity of the bid process.

Mother London, the agency behind the Frank drugs advice campaigns, and Dare, which created the recent anti-smoking work, have made formal complaints about the process, which is handled through the Government Procurement Service.

Toby Horry, the managing director of Dare, said: "There are certain irrationalities that may have happened in the process and we want to be clear that it was a fair process."

Karmarama, which has not worked with the Government before, also filed a complaint.

Nicola Mendelsohn, the agency’s executive chairman, said: "As one of the largest independent agencies, you would think that we would get on [the list], as we represent British taxpayers’ money and putting money back into UK coffers."

The standstill period for agencies to appeal expired last week but will now remain open until the Government has responded to all appeals and requests for clarification.

A Cabinet Office spokeswoman said: "The GPS operates transparent and fair tendering processes. A contract announcement will be made when this framework is finalised after the successful completion of the mandatory standstill period."

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