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Departmental Marketing

Volume 481: debated on Monday 20 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the cost effectiveness of Government-commissioned advertising in the last 12 months relating to matters falling within the remit of his Department. (226520)

The armed forces and MOD civilian recruiting organisations employ a wide range of measures to ascertain the effectiveness of their recruitment advertising campaigns. For example, the MOD uses regular independent pre and post-advertising tracking research which explores the attitudes and behaviour of the target audience towards the campaigns, and the awareness of each burst of advertising to inform what percentage of the target audience has been reached. These are then set against advertising expenditure to assess the cost effectiveness of the various media channels and tools used compared with each other, across government and with industry averages.

The Service Personnel and Veterans Agency (SPVA) undertakes two modest regional awareness campaigns each year to raise awareness of its services to veterans. As part of a wider campaign evaluation, a coupon is attached to each advertisement that readers can return. For the last two campaigns 19 and 101 coupons were returned respectively. Small ‘feature’ entries for SPVA are also included in all British Telecom phone books, but no realistic assessment is possible of these entries. In addition, a small number of ad-hoc advertising opportunities are exploited throughout the year in ex-service and commemorative magazines. These are low value and are not formally evaluated.

The Department also works closely with the Central Office of Information to develop a system which will provide clarity on the value for money of advertising campaigns in the future.