COI spend down by £8m – before freeze imposed

The Government spent a total of £532m on advertising, marketing and consultancy through the Central Office of Information last year. This is down by nearly £8m from the previous year.

These figures show the COI spend prior to the Government’s imposition of a freeze on all ‘non-essential’ advertising and marketing spend.

The 2009/10 figures show that a total of £213m was spent on advertising through the COI – down by around £12m from the previous year.

But spend on direct and relationship marketing increased by £15m to £60m, and spend on digital marketing was up by £5m to £44m.

In May the coalition Government imposed a freeze on marketing and advertising spend, saying that only ‘essential’ campaigns, such as those that provide information on paying tax, will be allowed to go ahead.

Because of this spending freeze, the COI says that its supervisory board is carrying out ‘a size and shape review of the organisation’, which is likely to result in headcount reduction.

The review is also looking at the services the COI delivers, and the organisation says it expects to deliver more campaigns through ‘owned and earned media’, and in conjunction with partners including media-owners, brand-owners and civic groups.

Mark Lund, chief executive of the COI, says, ‘COI must play its part in helping reduce the deficit. This year we are more focused than ever on achieving outcomes at a much lower cost.’

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