Office of Communications & Marketing

Campus & external communication, media relations and brand marketing

Agency FAQs

Why do we have multiple agencies for marketing and creative services?

Partnering with agencies at the university level allows all departments on campus to leverage the capabilities of a professional advertising and creative agency. By selecting multiple agencies, departments across campus can find a partner that best fits their needs depending on project scope, budget and timeline.

What types of services do our partner agencies provide?

Simpson Scarborough and BVK are full-service agencies, providing a range of services including market research, brand positioning, media buying, digital strategy and social media planning, web design and creative services including graphic design, video, photography and copywriting.

BarkleyREI is a digital agency that focuses on digital strategy, web design, web development, web content and digital marketing.

Videobred is a video production agency that includes video planning and strategy, art direction, photography, post-production and more.

Why does OCM have to know what projects we’re working on with the agencies?

The Office of Communications and Marketing is responsible for maintaining, promoting and enhancing the UofL brand through strategic internal and external marketing communications. As such, OCM must be informed of initiatives that will contribute to our university’s brand exposure and awareness. OCM will provide expertise and guidance for departments selecting agency partners for marketing and communications projects.

Additionally, the individual contracts for each of the agencies include a spending cap approved by the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission (LRC). The spending cap is for the entire university, not individual departments or projects. In order to properly monitor and maintain that spending cap, OCM must be notified in advance of planned agency work for individual department projects.

What does OCM need to know about my project?

In order for OCM to provide optimal guidance for working with agencies, a project scope should include a brief description of the project, the intended audience(s), how the project supports the department, school/college and/or university goals, and any deadlines for project completion.

I have a project for which I want to hire a partner agency. Can I call them directly?

After OCM has been consulted, you can call agency contacts directly for the remainder of the project. OCM must be informed in writing of all approved projects as each project counts against the university-wide spending cap.

What if my project estimate exceeds the spending cap on the contract?

The contracts for each of the agencies include a spending cap approved by the Kentucky LRC. The spending cap is for the entire university, not individual departments or projects. You will be notified if your project estimate exceeds the spending cap, and OCM may be able to provide alternative options for completing your project, including using another partner agency or completing the work in-house.

Who pays for agency work?

While creative services fall under a university-wide contract, each department is responsible for paying agencies directly for their work. Agencies will invoice departments directly, but OCM must be copied on all invoices in order to maintain the spending cap on the university contract. Additionally, all agencies are required by state law to fill out a PSC invoice form prior to payment. for help with the PSC form or at any point during the invoicing process.

I think a different agency outside of our partners is a better fit for my project. Can I use someone else?

One benefit of your unit or department working with our partner agencies is that you will not have to go through a procurement/bid process – OCM has already done the work for you. All other contracts must be approved by procurement services. Please see UofL’s purchasing policy for additional information.