Milburn forgoes overseeing COI ads as election looms

LONDON - Alan Milburn has decided not to take responsibility for government advertising in an attempt to head off allegations that it is being used to boost Labour's election prospects.

Milburn was appointed the chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in Tony Blair's reshuffle last week, a position previously held by Douglas Alexander, who was also the cabinet minister in charge of COI Communications.

Although the cabinet office has not yet published its new list of ministerial duties, Milburn's deputy, Ruth Kelly, will take over the COI brief.

Officially, the government will argue Milburn will be too busy overseeing the development of policy to take on other posts. But sources admitted he would have faced allegations of a conflict of interest if he had been responsible for Whitehall advertising in the run-up to the general election expected next May.

Kelly, the new cabinet office minister, will hold talks shortly with Alan Bishop, COI's chief executive. Under him, COI's performance has impressed the cabinet office.

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

Become a member

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).