Freeze on marketing spend saves £6.5m

The initial impact of the government's freeze on marketing and advertising campaigns has been totted up by the Cabinet Office, in a report that estimates the savings at £6.5million.

Although unaudited, the figures confirm data from the CIO, the government's communications arm, showing campaign spending fell by 52% for the first month of the freeze.

Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude reflected: "In just the first four weeks we have saved an estimated £6.5million, proving that big savings can be made quickly".

Since the freeze came into force in June, all new ad and marketing campaigns must be approved by the Efficiency and Reform Group, and are only cleared if they are deemed "essential."

So far they include the THINK campaign for child road safety, Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs' communications on paying business taxes and National Savings and Investments.

The Cabinet Office said the CIO would continue to deliver key messages and information from the government in "more cost effective ways," partly by cutting out "wasteful" spending on communications.

However its officials acknowledged that, for some individuals, "tough decisions" like the freeze on ad and marketing spending would have "difficult consequences."

The "restructuring" of the COI - which plans to axe 40% of its workforce - is a case in point, Mr Maude explained, but he added that making government more efficient was "incredibly important."

His statement alludes to the £6.5million saving on advertising and marketing representing just part of the government's pledge to cut the UK's budget deficit by £6.2bn this year.

Referring to advertising and marketing, but potentially also to IT, Mr Maude said: "The days of spending millions of pounds on expensive projects are over."

Meanwhile, FreelanceUK is speaking with leading public sector recruiters about how cutbacks on advertising and marketing projects are impacting the freelance jobs market, and will report its findings shortly.


12th August 2010

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