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Departments: Publicity

Volume 463: debated on Monday 23 July 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what assessment he has made of the cost-effectiveness of advertising commissioned by his Department in the last 12 months; (148517)

(2) what assessment he has made of the cost effectiveness of advertising commissioned by his Department in the last 12 months.

The armed forces employ a wide range of measures to ascertain the effectiveness of their recruitment advertising campaigns. They are then set against advertising expenditure to assess the cost effectiveness of the various media channels and tools used and compared with each other, across-government and with industry averages.

For civilian advertising, delegation of responsibility across the Department has resulted in a variable level of effectiveness and identified that improvements could be made. As part of the Civil Service's People Programme we are moving towards a centralised recruitment service. In addition, an advertising contract via the Central Office of Information has been negotiated which enables a continued presence in the national and diversity media and recruitment and diversity websites but also has the flexibility to allow managers to target post specific advertising more effectively. New adverts began in February 2007 to support a pilot of MOD's new external recruitment process. ‘TMP Worldwide’ has provided generic adverts that appear in monthly selected publications such as diversity press and national newspapers and three large recruitment and diversity websites. In June, Phase 1 of the recruitment service for Broader Banded grades launched and has been supported by the new adverts and any post specific adverts; the service is planned to be fully delivered by June 2008. It is too early to give results but we anticipate a cost saving plus an increase in effectiveness.