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Departments: Publicity

Volume 461: debated on Monday 18 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) which (a) advertising agencies and (b) other organisations supplied consultancy services for advertising campaigns for (i) her Department and (ii) its agencies in each of the last five years; and what the cost of these services was; (139436)

(2) how much was spent on advertising by (a) the Department and (b) its agencies in each of the last five years.

Consultancy services for advertising campaigns should be understood as the provision of strategic advice on campaigns, not their delivery. Most Government advertising is bought through the Central Office of Information (COI) and under the terms of COI framework agreements advertising agencies are contracted to supply advertising services only, i.e., creative products based on a communications strategy. Advertising agencies (on COI’s roster) do not supply broader consultancy services. On occasion wider ranging consultancy projects may inform campaign work but the costs would not be attributed to the campaign.

Where consultancy is provided by other organisations it usually results in a range of communication activities which may or may not include advertising; so it is not possible to distinguish the cost of providing consultancy for advertising from that for other forms of communication.

With reference to the second question (139518), the following table shows the advertising spend on information campaigns commissioned by the Department’s Communications Directorate in the last five years.

Financial year

Advertising expenditure (£ million)











We have no central record of advertising spend by Departmental agencies and could not obtain these without incurring disproportionate costs.

The budget for recruitment advertising below senior civil service level has been delegated to directorates over the period in question. The costs of advertising, as opposed to the other elements of recruiting, could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

For appointments to the senior civil service (SCS), recruitment advertising costs cannot be provided within cost threshold for 2004-05. In 2005-06, the total amount spent on recruitment for SCS posts was £859,000 and in 2006-07 to date £571,000. However, this is not just monies spent on advertising but on assessment centres, head-hunting and advertising.