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Government looks to expand creative agency supplier base with input from the DBA and its members

The British Government is revamping its creative and strategy agreements with the aim to encourage a more diverse range of suppliers to bid for work and to present itself as a more attractive client to work with.

The government’s Creative Solutions and Strategy and Planning frameworks expire in October 2016 and will be replaced with new arrangements.

They have therefore been undertaking extensive market consultation on the development of a new model, including liaising with the DBA its members and the wider industry for feedback. Concerns raised by the industry include the need to develop less onerous processes and to ensure the model allows for the evolvement of the market, as well as a wider understanding that the best idea is not always the cheapest.

The aim is to draw on the widest possible pool of talent from across the UK and encourage agencies from outside the M25 to bid for government work, as well as those based in London.

Four main themes have been identified during the government’s consultation with the DBA, other trade bodies and the industry at large. The new framework will seek to overcome these concerns, which are:

Flexibility & Choicegovernment communication service

The current arrangement is too restrictive for all. Customers would like to have access to the wider market. The current structure incentivises government to use larger, more integrated agencies rather than niche specialists.


The current arrangement does not make allowances for the fact that this market is continuously evolving and changing. The new approach needs to be ‘future-proof’ in order to allow for new technology and ideas to be applied.


The best idea is not always the cheapest idea. The new agreement needs to promote value for money but weigh against quality, therefore developing a new mindset to price.


The current process is onerous and the paperwork is cumbersome. This needs to be reduced and greater clarity is required moving forward.

Ten key principles have been developed for the Government Communication Service and Crown Commercial Service to commit and adhere to throughout the development process. The 10 principles for the Campaign Solutions Agreement can be viewed here.

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