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Media Buying

Contract ID: RM1051

Start Date: 07/11/2014

End Date: 06/11/2018


The Media Buying agreement covers implementational media planning and buying. It is a single supplier agreement which aggregates all media buying across government and some wider public sector organisations to leverage best value deals for media space regionally, nationally and internationally. The agreement covers all online and offline channels including:

  • TV
  • Radio
  • Cinema 
  • Press space
  • Out-of-home (including ambient)
  • Digital
  • Mobile / Tablet / Text etc
  • Gaming and in-game advertising
  • Email
  • New / Emerging channels
  • Direct Marketing (DM) including Inserts / Door Drop
  • Media sponsorships (paid for) 
  • Media partnerships (paid for)
  • Advertorials
  • Word of mouth, content seeding, virals
  • Video on demand (VOD) / Online video advertising
  • AFP (Advertising funded programme)
  • Product Placement
  • Affiliate / Paid-for search marketing / Click to call
  • Paid-for social media advertising
  • Second Screen
  • Multi-brand partnerships
  • Blogging
  • Event based
  • Thought leadership


  • Media buying can be a complex and costly procurement activity but this agreement can reduce the time and costs associated with the procurement by offering a facility that has already been competitively tendered
  • Due to the volumes of media we buy collectively across government, it also enables the Media Buying Agency to leverage excellent discounts on price. The agreement has agreed excellent rates for multiple media channels, representing market-leading prices in the majority of instances. These rates already include agency discounts of 15% (20% for Out of Home)
  • Commission rates are low
  • You can make a direct award under the agreement
  • There is a robust performance management process in place for the duration of the agreement which includes strategic supplier management, customer satisfaction, collection and analysis of monthly management information and external media audits

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This is a single supplier agreement with direct award. 

When briefing you should contact your allocated client team contact at Carat. If you have specific media channel questions then please contact the named individual listed on each booked schedule. 

All new customers should contact Jessica Evans, Head of Client Services by emailing jessica.evans[at]carat[dot]com or calling 020 7430 6214 or 07917 847 106. You will then be assigned to a member of the client team to manage your campaign requirements through the buying process.

For further details on accessing the agreement please email CommsCategoryTeam[at][dot]uk.

Media buying brief

Following feedback from clients and buyers during the initial transition period for the new agreement, a review of the media buying brief has been undertaken by Carat, the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) and Government Communication Service (GCS). The brief has been updated and improved for use under the agreement.

The media buying brief is incredibly important as it acts as Carat’s instruction to plan and book media, so it is essential that the document is user friendly and captures the correct information from the outset.

The improvements made to the template incorporate all feedback from buyers and clients and its comprehensiveness will avoid confusion or errors at a later stage.

The brief template can be found in the documents tab of this web page and should be used for briefing any new media requirements under the agreement.

For customers with existing call-off agreements Carat will provide a variation form for your agreement to the new template in accordance with the call off terms.

As part of on-going continuous improvement Carat, CCS and GCS will regularly review the template to ensure that further improvements are made where required.

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This agreement is integral to the communications approach across the public sector for all paid-for media campaigns. Campaigns rely on the competitive rates achieved under this agreement to deliver within budget.

Not only do they already include the standard 15% agency discount (20% for Out of Home) but they include further discounts by leveraging the volume of media bought under the agreement to offer market-leading rates across most channels.

The rates paid on the CCS agreement will be benchmarked regularly against up-to-date market rates paid by other public and private sector organisations.

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This agreement replaced the legacy COI Media Buying Agreement (RM1704) which expired on 31 December 2014.

How was the agreement developed?

The procurement was undertaken with strong engagement from senior stakeholders and media buying experts across the key spending departments to deliver a more streamlined, up-to-date and compliant solution.

We continue to work in partnership with key spending departments to focus on managing relationships, performance management, benchmarking and data sharing to ensure that best deals are maintained.

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Lot details

Lot Number Lot Name Lot Category Number of Suppliers Contract Expiry
1 Media Buying Communications 1 - click here to view suppliers 06/11/2018

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Framework Manager Contact Details

0345 410 2222

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