NEWS23 July 2012

Royal Mail trims research agency roster from 33 to nine

New business UK

UK— Royal Mail Group has announced a slimmed-down roster of market research agencies to work across Royal Mail, Parcelforce and the new marketing planning division, MarketReach.

The roster has been cut from 33 agencies to just nine, who between them will share an estimated annual spend of £5m, split into three lots.

Lot 1
Audience insight work, including brand and communications trackers, U&A studies and customer journey projects

  • Brass
  • Ipsos
  • TNS
  • Optimisa
  • Illuminas
  • Hall & Partners

Lot 2
Product and concept development

  • Accent
  • Optimisa

Lot 3
Market trends, forecasting and modelling

  • GfK
  • Quadrangle

The roster review was led by Katherine Lawson and Giles Finnemore, Royal Mail senior insight managers, who said: “We’re really excited to have a great bunch of agencies on the list. Because it is a smaller roster, it’s going to be easier to get the agencies to all work together to help Royal Mail through the next phase of its transformation, including the upcoming privatisation.”

In total, 60 agencies responded to Royal Mail’s RFP earlier this year, 28 were shortlisted and 16 were invited to pitch – from which the nine winners were chosen.

Optimisa is the only new agency on the list, the rest having been on the previous roster which was appointed four years ago.

TNS is the only Kantar Group company on the roster but it will be supported in its work by sister firm The Futures Company. In fact, although TNS is leading, Royal Mail’s deal is with Kantar, effectively giving it access to any Kantar agency it might want to use, but only for work that can’t be provided by other rostered agencies.

A separate tender for Post Office-related market research work continues.