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Departmental Marketing

Volume 508: debated on Tuesday 6 April 2010

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Ruislip Northwood of 5 January 2010, Official Report, column 103W, on departmental marketing, how much (a) his Department, (b) its agencies, (c) HM Revenue and Customs and (d) the Valuation Office Agency have spent on advertising, marketing, public relations and publicity in relation to the (i) Real Help Now and (ii) Building Britain's Future themed campaign to date. (320496)

For HM Treasury, the “Real Help Now” endorsement phrase has been included in some marketing material to promote the Money Guidance pilot service in the north west and north east of England between April 2009 and March 2010. The marketing campaign is aimed at raising awareness of the service as a free source of impartial help for families on personal finance matters. The service is available to all but is targeted at those most vulnerable to poor financial decision making. Some of the marketing material on TV, local radio and local press advertising carried the “Real Help Now” logo. There were no additional costs to the campaign as a result of including “Real Help Now”. In total just under £3 million has been spent marketing the Money Guidance pathfinder service since April 2009.

For HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), £1.4 million has been spent on the “Real Help Now” cross-government campaign; £230,000 of the total was funded by HMRC with the balance coming from other Government Departments. Two further campaigns included “Real Help Now” identifiers. £388,000 was spent on the Business Payments Support Service advertising campaign which carried the “Real Help for Business Now” logo and £165,000 was spent on those elements of the Payments for Parents campaign which carried the “Real Help for Families Now” logo. All of the spending was funded from within existing departmental budgets.

No spending on Building Britain’s Future-themed campaigns was reported by any of the Departments, and no spending on “Real Help Now” was reported by the Valuation Office Agency, Debt Management Office or the Office of Government Commerce.