Government's bid to counter 'culture of spin' panned

LONDON - The government has sparked fresh controversy over its ad campaigns by calling for them to be fully integrated into other communications.

Prime Minister Tony Blair has promised to implement a review of the Government Information and Communications Service, which says: "Effective communications strategies should take an integrated approach from speeches through advertising and public relations, so that they make a strategic contribution to the policy aims of each government department."

The review group, headed by the Guardian Media Group chief executive, Bob Phillis, proposed that coordination of campaigns, including work by COI Communications, come under a new Permanent Secretary, appointed at the Cabinet Office. The proposal aims to end the "culture of spin".

But the Tories said the plans could further politicise ad campaigns. A spokesman said: "Linking ads with political speeches makes a nonsense of the Government's claims. It will put civil servants under pressure to promote the Labour Party rather than government services."

Ministers countered that heading the new structure with a top civil servant would further safeguard against politicisation.

The Tories also accused the Department of Work and Pensions of "blatant lies" in its £10.7m campaign through Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners to promote the new Pension Credit scheme. David Willetts, the Tory spokesman on pensions, claimed it was "simply untrue" to say every pensioner would get an income of £102.10 a week. The government rejected the criticism.

If you have an opinion on this or any other issue raised on Brand Republic, join the debate in the Forum here.


Become a member of Campaign from just £46 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

Partner content


1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).