This is an increase on last year’s spend of £237 million, and similar to the 2012/13 budget of £285 million.
It is significantly down, however, from the £532 million spent in 2009/10 through the now-scrapped Central Office of Information under the previous Labour Government.
Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude says, ‘Before the last General Election there was no central control on spend on advertising, marketing and communications. We introduced controls which helped save £378 million in 2012/13 alone.’
Last year the new Government Communication Service was set up, in a bid to ‘save taxpayer money and improve standards’.
The GCS Corporate Support Service, which sits in Cabinet Office, will work with Government departments to help them ‘strip out waste and duplication’.
Governments departments will also group together to set up shared ‘centres of excellence’ in areas such as design and behavioural change.
Last year Government announced its Creative Solutions Framework, which lists ten agencies – including M&C Saatchi, McCann Erickson and RKCR/Y&R – who will work with Government on marketing campaigns.
No design consultancies were named in the roster, although a Government spokesperson says design work would be subcontracted through the rostered agencies.
Government now says there will be ‘at least’ 40 opportunities for these groups to pitch for campaign work.
It says these projects will focus on ‘communication moments’ such as the World War One centenary commemorations and the Scottish independence referendum, as well as longer-running campaigns such as GREAT Britain.