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United Kingdom-London: Advertising and marketing services
Modification of a contract/concession during its term
Section I: Contracting authority/entity
Section II: Object
Covid-19 — Campaign Coordination Services
Award of a contract without prior publication of a call for competition in the Official Journal of the European Union in the cases listed below
• Extreme urgency brought about by events unforeseeable for the contracting authority and in accordance with the strict conditions stated in the directive. The coronavirus disease (Covid-19) is a serious infectious respiratory disease and its consequences pose a risk to life.
Section IV: Procedure
Section V: Award of contract/concession
Section VI: Complementary information
Section VII: Modifications to the contract/concession
This contract was modified in accordance with Regulation 72.1.(c) and 72.1.(b), a variation of GBP 1 200 000
Regulation 72(1)(c): Although the Covid-19 pandemic became a notifiable disease in the UK in Mar 2020 the following further developments below could not have been foreseen.
— Two new variants of Covid-19, increasing the speed of policy change and the need for revised communications on foreign travel advice resulting from the South African variant, the advent of three different vaccines, low levels of social adherence to Covid restrictions within the UK when compared with other countries, the degree of vaccine hesitancy in the population, a further lockdown and shielding rules to respond to evolving advice from SAGE, changing positions on the risk presented to schoolchildren.
— For all of the above points changes in messaging need to be developed and promulgated quickly, to ensure that we are protecting people, the NHS and driving down the virus to allow us to emerge from the virus back to normality. The detrimental impact of the virus on health (including mental health), the economic impact on business, lost school time etc. As the pandemic situation changes we must adapt quickly to ensure the messaging is delivered quickly and effectively to drive compliance. Our experience shows that the public tire of campaigns in about 6 weeks so every message needs to be revamped regularly to ensure that it is still having the desired impact. For example — as a result of the two new variants which are more transmissible it has been necessary to rapidly change campaign activity to reinforce the lockdown measures, hygiene measures and instigate new localised testing. Without this change in campaign messaging it is likely there would be an increase in these variants leading to more hospitalisations and deaths.
— Revise foreign travel advice – in order to protect the UK against the new variants, at very short notice we needed to introduce a travel advice campaign for the South African origin variant.
— 3 different vaccines and hesitancy – reinforce the importance of vaccines, that they are all equally safe (including rapid rebutting of mis/dis information) and encourage people to have them.
Regulation 72(1)(b): Topham Guerin provide vital and distinct skillset gained from their experience in campaigning, specifically in terms of strategic input, creation of rapid organic digital assets, target audience analysis, digital optimisation and rapid development of propositions for testing with audiences. Due to the complex unique nature of the multifaceted matrix of campaigns this is unique knowledge, expertise that TG have solely built up through their current contract, which has resulted in Topham Guerin developing an extremely rare skillset and are therefore not interchangeable. To optimize the impact of the Covid-19 campaigns, the messaging has to be constantly refreshed (at least every 6 weeks), whilst also remaining consistent. If there were to be a change in provider for the bridging solution a significant mobilisation period would be required to transfer work in progress and latent knowledge whilst ensuring agility, pace and consistency of quality. Effectively it is recognised that it would take time not only to transfer latent knowledge, but also for the supplier to become operationally embedded, delivering continuity and quality of service at the required pace. This would result in duplicate effort, cost, and an unacceptable level of disruption to service delivery at time when due to the unforeseen impacts of this pandemic, the government’s precious resources (both people and funding) need to be channelled in the most effective way possible, to influence the right behaviours to ensure people adhere to the guidelines, and optimise the effectiveness of these critical communication campaigns.
Need for modification brought about by circumstances which a diligent contracting authority/entity could not foresee (Art. 43(1)(c) of Directive 2014/23/EU, Art. 72(1)(c) of Directive 2014/24/EU, Art. 89(1)(c) of Directive 2014/25/EU) Description of the circumstances which rendered the modification necessary and explanation of the unforeseen nature of these circumstances: