UK government ad budget slashed by £160m to just £48m

According to Marketing magazine that’s what’s going to happen anyway as it reports that the new government is to cut spending by £160m this year, which leaves just a measly £48m to head the way of the advertising and media industries if Nielsen’s estimate that the Government spent £208m in 2009 is correct.

Companies that get themselves into trouble or hunker down in a recession do this kind of thing the whole time so it’s no surprise that HMG is battening down the hatches in the face of a big deficit and febrile bond markets. And £48m is still a fair bit of taxpayers loot to go on what is essentially government propaganda.

But will it happen? There doesn’t seem to have been any detailed announcement yet and the temptation for the Government to take to the airwaves and the ether may still prove irresistible if it’s hit by a number of public sector strikes as its promised spending cuts bite and lead to wage freezes and job losses.

In the first £6.2bn package of cuts, Heathrow and Stansted have already lost their planned new runways while a few government quangos have been nixed.

And it looks like the UK’s biggest advertiser just got a whole lot smaller.

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