Magazine article Marketing

Editor's Comment: Looking to the Post-COI Era

Magazine article Marketing

Editor's Comment: Looking to the Post-COI Era

Article excerpt

What was that swishing sound? Oh yes, the axe falling on the government's communications budget - perhaps the least surprising of all the coalition's cuts announced to date.

The recent 'Review of Government Direct Communication and the Role of COI' was designed to reduce an annual pounds 1bn communications spend that put the UK state among the world's biggest marketing spenders. So how is the new regime going to achieve it?

Some changes are cosmetic: COI becomes GCC (Government Communications Centre). Others are predictable: the GCC will have a staff of about 150, compared with the 450 of the old COI. Some of the proposals read as if they were devised by a brand-owner, not civil servants.

The GCC will be organised according to six core themes (for this read 'brands') with 'fewer areas of focus and (marketing) to targeted audiences' and even a potential switch to a payment-by-results model for agencies. This is in contrast to the COI serving the agendas of all the budget-holding government departments, leading to duplicated effort such as 2009's parallel anti-saturated fat work by the Food Standards Agency and Change4Life. …

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