MG OMD rubber-stamped as government’s media buyer
OMD Worldwide
15 December 2021

This article was originally published on Campaign.

The Government Communication Service has awarded MG OMD’s OmniGov team another four-year contract as its media buyer.

The only media channel excepted from the contract is outdoor, which is likely to be awarded to Dentsu’s Posterscope. The Omnicom outfit becomes the first agency to retain the mammoth account, having beaten WPP’s MediaCom, Dentsu’s Carat and Havas Media during the tender process.

The government’s media services account is one of the most valuable in British advertising, with an annual spend of more than £200m. It has been consolidated with a single agency since 2010. Last week, Campaign reported MG OMD was the government’s preferred choice pending a 10-day standstill period that has now concluded.

The 100-plus-strong OmniGov team, led by chief executive Paul Knight, starts the new contract in April 2022. Since 2018, the team has worked on campaigns for more than 85 government clients, from the UK’s exit from the EU to critical communications throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

OmniGov won Agency Team of the Year at the Campaign Media Awards in 2020 and 2021, and more recently won three Effies for the government’s ‘We are the NHS” and Covid-19 app launch campaigns. There was a nervous wait for the team, given that the two previous incumbents were appointed only to single contract periods (Carat from 2014 to 2018 and WPP from 2010 to 2014).

“We are immensely proud and privileged to continue the great work of the past three and a half years and position UK government communications as a leader on the global stage,” Knight said.

“With a focus on next-era partnership, innovative practice and enhanced performance, this will allow for improved campaign outcomes, whilst making a real difference to communities across the UK and beyond. We are particularly pleased for our team; this is a reflection of their dedication and passion for the work we do.”

The UK government win caps off a stellar year for MG OMD, which won the Media Week Awards Agency of the Year as well as new clients including Pernod Ricard and British Airways.

Dan Clays, the UK chief executive of parent company Omnicom Media Group, said: “Setting best-in-class government communications on a global stage has been our ambition since 2018. This historic appointment for the OmniGov team allows us to remain focused on that goal and work in partnership with the government and media owner community to continue to deliver the next world standard in government communications.”

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