Marketing freeze saves £6.5 million in a month, COI reports

5 August 2010

5 August 2010 | Angeline Albert

The UK government has spent £6.5 million less on advertising and marketing in June alone compared with the same month last year.

Following the government’s decision to put a freeze on non-essential promotional activity, the spending on this category has fallen by 52 per cent, the Central Office of Information (COI) said.

Since the marketing and advertising freeze was implemented, all new campaigns have to be sent for approval to the Efficiency and Reform Group, overseen by Francis Maude, minister for the Cabinet Office. The move is part of the coalition’s efforts to cut the national deficit by £6.2 billion this year.

Maude said: “In just the first four weeks we have saved an estimated £6.5 million, proving that big savings can be made quickly by cutting out sometimes wasteful and unnecessary spend on marketing and advertising. The days of spending millions of pounds on expensive projects are over.”

The COI’s annual report said the government spent a total of £531 million on marketing and communications for 2009-10, down £9 million on the previous year.

Meanwhile, the COI has announced it will cut 40 per cent of its workforce as a result of the reduced volume of work. Some 287 jobs will go out of 737 in the department.

* Elsewhere, the UK government has received 100,000 suggestions from the public on saving money in the public sector. The deadline for submissions to the government’s Spending Challenge website is next week. Ideas already submitted include getting cheaper mobile phone contracts across all government departments.

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