Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Labour Spends [Pound]30m on Adverts

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Labour Spends [Pound]30m on Adverts

Article excerpt

Byline: ALEX BENADY;DANIELLE DEMETRIOU

THE amount of money being spent on advertisements by the Government in the run-up to a likely May general election is believed to be the highest in the history of British advertising, an Evening Standard survey has revealed.

Total expenditure on Government advertising for the month of March is more than [pound]30 million, the survey of Whitehall departmental spending disclosed.

The figure exceeds the amount spent by other organisations in both the private and public sector.

Last year Proctor & Gamble, the British firm with the highest advertising spend, paid out an average [pound]10 million a month on ads.

Advertising expenditure by the Government this month is also nearly 10 times higher than the [pound]3.4 million spent monthly by the party when it first came to power.

The amount spent and the content of the ads have been attacked as cynical ploys by Labour to win electoral support at the taxpayers' expense.

The main areas on which the Government is concentrating its publicity revolve around key electoral issues: education, employment, health and social security.

Highest spender is the Department for Education and Employment, which has invested [pound]9.4 million in advertising this month. Its ads herald the rise in the minimum wage.

The Department of Social Security is committed to spending [pound]9.2 million during the same period. Its latest campaign is a publicity drive to cut benefit fraud and expose the fraudsters.

The Department of Health is investing [pound]6.5 million, with ads seeking to recruit more nurses in a bid to bolster the NHS. And the Department for Trade and Industry is spending [pound]4 million on advertising this month - its campaign reminds workers of their statutory right to four weeks' paid holiday.

A chief executive at one of the advertising agencies being used by the Government, who did not want to be named, said: "I suppose we can look forward to a [pound]10 million campaign promoting bread and circuses next."

The departmental ads have bombarded all forms of media, including radio, television, and national and regional newspapers. …

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