UK government ads to take £105m hit – or will they?

Well that seems to be the intention if a letter from COI deputy CEO Peter Buchanan is to be believed.

He says advertising will be cut ‘by half’ from its current £211m with the other parts of the Government’s £540m (£540m!) communications programme apparently getting off rather more lightly.

The only campaigns to survive will be essential public information (like tax or legislation), stuff that’s essential for the country (like armed services recruitment) or ads aimed at immediate ‘elf and safety problems, like the next flu outbreak presumably. These latter need to be ‘measurable.’ Does that mean lots of people need to die or survive? An interesting one for the boffins.

Actually you’d think this lot covered most COI advertising but there you go.

Quite what the other £329m the Government spends goes on is anyone’s guess but it’s clearly more important than the stuff you see on the telly.

And what happens if Lib Dem leader cum deputy prime minister Nick Clegg gets his referendum on voting reform?

Will telling us about that be deemed essential? Or is is this just a cunning Tory plan to have a referendum nobody knows about?

Poor old Peter Buchanan, he’ll be wishing he’d stayed in advertising.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.