The agency Mandate, formed as the result of a merger between AS Biss and Republic PR, scooped the brief following a four-way pitch.
Mandate will provide 'detailed coverage of the UK political arena from the very highest level to local level'. It will also undertake 'monitoring and analysis of relevant policy arenas, allied to strong strategic and tactical policy advice'. And it will provide support for political event programmes.
Mandate signed the contract last week, more than six months after the organisers issued a tender notice (PRWeek, 11 July 2007). However, the London 2012 Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) head of PR Joanna Manning-Cooper insisted there had not been a delay in appointing an agency.
It is believed that Mandate won the high-profile account partly owing to its existing relationship with LOCOG. Manning-Cooper said: 'We have already been working with Mandate on a parliamentary monitoring level for a couple of years.'
Manning-Cooper would not disclose who pitched against Mandate, but sources said that Fishburn Hedges narrowly missed out on the brief.
Last year, LOCOG's director of government relations Nicky Hughes insisted that the body 'wouldn't go forward with agencies that don't have an ethical code in place'.
At the time, Hughes would not say whether an independent code, such as that drawn up by Bell Pottinger, would suffice. It is understood Bell Pottinger did not make the pitch list.
The current budget of £9.325bn for the 2012 Olympics is four times the original estimate. This week, property experts criticised ministers' plans to recoup £1.8bn in land sales.