It must have been the toughest press
release that anyone in the Central Office of Infomation has ever had to draft. A freeze on new campaigns and the abandonment of any regarded as “non-essential” mean staff numbers
will drop by 40 percent – a loss of 287 jobs. Compulsory redundancies loom. The same press notice also revealed that the COI’s advertising spend was down by a 52% last month compared to
June last year.
We are not talking about small sums here. Last year’s COI marketing spend of an eye-watering £531 million – half of it going on advertising – was about 20 percent more
than the next biggest spender, Procter & Gamble.
The huge reduction in the COI budget is the first real dividend from the Cabinet’s new Efficiency and Reform Group, chaired by Danny Alexander and Francis Maude and the cuts package announced
by the coalition at the end of May.