United Kingdom Issues Advertising RFP

United Kingdom Issues Advertising RFP
United Kingdom Issues Advertising RFP

The University of Southampton requires an advertising agency to provide advertising services with a new, open and transparent approach for media buying, with the agency providing the best possible outcomes for communication campaigns whilst providing value for money. The agency shall be capable of delivering value for money, as well as providing excellent customer service including strategic implementational buying advice, and be willing and capable of working in partnership with other agencies and specialists to deliver the media buying aspect of fully integrated campaigns for the University of Southampton to ensure the process from strategy to implementation is successful.


A successful university is made through the contributions of successful people. Read about the people who make up ours.

Our ambition at the University of Southampton is to change the world. This is a grand statement, but it is an achievable one with the support of the more than 200,000 hardworking people who make up the students, staff, alumni, and community of our institution.

Together, step-by-step we can research and create innovations which can make a real impact on the issues of our world.

The University of Southampton is an exceptional place whose people achieve remarkable things. We are a world-leading, research-intensive university, with a strong educational offering, renowned for our innovation and enterprise. This is a great platform from which to sharpen our focus with our new strategy.

It’s a very simple strategy. It’s about our aspirations. It’s about building our reputation. It’s about being simply better than our competitors at what we do.

We will strengthen our reputation, increasing our national and international rankings to secure a position in the top 10 in the UK and top 100 internationally.

Our ranking increases our reputation and our reputation increases our ranking.

A reputation for delivering excellence and an exemplary student experience will lead to greater demand from the best student applicants, sustained support from research funders and strong support from our alumni.

Scope of Work:

The University of Southampton commissions advertising to promote the university in the UK and overseas to a range of audiences including undergraduate and postgraduate students, business, partners and other stakeholders. The University will appoint an agency for media advice, planning, buying and reporting.

The University is looking to build on its existing success and needs an agency that will work with it to realise its strategic goals and aspirations. The Higher Education market is increasingly global and competitive and the University needs to be proactive in meeting the challenges and opportunities that arise as a result.

The contract will be managed by Communications and Marketing to ensure quality control, brand compliance and adherence to KPIs. The agency is required to ensure that the University gains access to the best opportunities relevant to its markets, deliver value for money and measure results in a proactive fashion that ensures all activity delivers against the University’s KPIs. The University expects the agency to take a “right first time” approach to ensure that opportunity is not lost in the highly competitive and time-sensitive student recruitment cycle.

The University will work in partnership with the appointed agency and will be able to provide appropriate campaign insight such as the profiles of our target audiences, geographic data, learnings from previous campaigns, etc. Brand and reputation is managed corporately and all other campaigns will sit beneath this. Activity relating so student recruitment will have 2 layers – corporate campaigns which advance University-wide objectives, and subject specific campaigns which focus on particular areas of study. Subject specific campaigns will typically have a lower budget than corporate campaigns but the University views these as of equal value to the corporate campaigns and expects the agency to work in a way that reflects this. The University may occasionally require the agency to support activity such as the promotion of its arts offering or recruiting participants for research studies. There may also be a requirement for activity to support commercial enterprise units. All staff recruitment and media and public relations are out of scope of this tender.

This procurement process is being conducted as a Restricted procedure; consisting of both Selection and Invitation to Tender stages.

                Stage 1 — Selection Stage: An overall pass mark of 50 % shall apply to this stage. The intention is to arrive at a shortlist of a maximum of 5 qualified potential suppliers for the formal invitation to tender. The maximum number of qualified potential suppliers will be based on the top 5 scores achieved. Where more than the maximum number of potential suppliers have achieved a top 5 score (i.e. a tie), all of those potential suppliers will be invited to the Invitation to Tender stage.

                Stage 2 — Invitation to Tender (ITT) stage — A maximum of 5 qualified tenderers will be invited               to submit formal tenders at this stage.

The University proposes to enter into a Contract for 4 years with the successful tenderer.

This will comprise of an initial contract period of 2 years with an option to extend by a further 1 year + 1 year subject to satisfactory performance and at the discretion of the University.

The estimated value of the initial 2-year contract term is in the region of 1 750 000 GBP (excluding VAT).

The estimated value of the 1-year extension period is 875 000 GBP (excluding VAT).

It is estimated, therefore, that the total value of this contract will be 3 500 000 GBP (excluding VAT).

Due Date:

May 1st, 2019.


University of Southampton

University Road


SO17 1BJ

United Kingdom

Contact person: Alice Mashford

E-mail: Procurement@soton.ac.uk

Relevant agencies to consider include Hunter PR and Kite Hill PR.

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