Agencies on alert as Scottish government looks to renew marcoms roster

Agencies north of the border are making plans to form 'super-agency' consortia in order to take a place on the Scottish government's newly launched marketing roster.

Holyrood: Scottish Parliament

The Scottish government has issued two tender documents for the renewal of its full £120m roster of marcoms agencies.

Up to 62 agencies will be on the first roster.

The second roster has been newly introduced and outlines a need for a 'fully managed framework' of just three suppliers, covering all PR and marketing disciplines.

The three-agency roster is expected to be worth between £15m and £20m.

The successful agencies will be used to outsource the work done by entire marketing services departments, including advertising, field marketing, PR, direct marketing, digital marketing and event services.

Consolidated PR Scotland MD Will Holt revealed to PRWeek that he intended to seek out a consortium of likeminded agencies to help his agency gain a place on the managed marcoms roster.

Holt said: 'If agencies are going for it, it will be in consortia, or ones that are already part of networks. It looks as if the work will be for those quangos and boards that don't have marketing departments.'

Other Scottish PR agencies also indicated they were looking to forge links to gain a place on the roster.

The Scottish government's outsourcing of PR work is now thought to be considerably more prolific than it is in England and Wales, where the COI is currently being dismantled.

It is thought that the need for external PR support has arisen in particular in government quangos and agencies, which have suffered severe comms staff reductions due to the public sector programme of cuts.

Also read: Scottish Government issues tenders to renew marcoms roster


  • The tenders are being led by Scottish ministers acting through the Central Government Centre of Procurement Expertise
  • The estimated total value of the two frameworks is up to £120m
  • The frameworks will be in place for four years, and a maximum of 65 agencies will be included on the two lists.

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