The announcement of the 'communications services' framework follows the naming in December of 27 firms on the GCS' 'campaign solutions' framework. The GCS had said last year when it launched the two new frameworks that it hoped to be more open to smaller agencies, and those that had never worked with Government before.
Of the 67 agencies confirmed today on the 'communications services' framework, 69 per cent are SMEs and 44 are "new to government business", according to a GCS press release.
The GCS said the 'communications services' framework is expected to be worth a total of up to £42m over the next four years of government. It is split into 11 lots, with many firms winning a place on several of these. Lot 4, covering public relations, contains the following 11 firms:
- Munro & Forster Communications
- Four Communications
- Weber Shandwick
- Kindred (also known as the Oasis Group)
- Freud Communications
- Spring (Spring is the lead agency of The Hyperlocal Everywhere Network, which was set up last year and also includes Freshfield, The Karol Marketing Group, purplefish and Plinkfizz.)
- Engine Partners UK (owner of MHP and Mischief)
- Cohn & Wolfe
- Nexus Communications
Engine has also been named on the speciality, events and production lots; Kindred is on the creative development and digital marketing lots; and Freuds is on the list for proposition development.
The international lot also includes Grayling, and Claremont has a place on the speciality lot, while holding companies such as Ogilvy & Mather and M&C Saatchi have won places on several lots too.
Those 11 PR firms are the same as the list that had been circulated to agencies involved in the process earlier in the month, but was at that point only provisional, pending legal challenge.
The GCS release stated: "These companies will now be eligible to bid and play key roles in cutting-edge campaigns on topics ranging from public health to armed forces recruitment and promoting apprenticeships."
GCS director Alex Aiken said: "Our communications should be effective across the whole of the UK so I’m delighted to see 22 agencies recruited from outside London reflecting the whole of the UK, including Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland."
When the 'campaign solutions' roster was released, Aiken explained that the frameworks were designed to allow agencies to suggest how to solve problems, rather than simply taking on existing plans to execute.
The GCS said it ran five events across the UK and liaised with about 600 agencies across the framework tender process.