NEWS: Doubling of budget for Army films fails to bring in recruits

A huge increase in the advertising budget for the Army has failed to combat the public’s impression that it does not need to recruit.

A huge increase in the advertising budget for the Army has failed to

combat the public’s impression that it does not need to recruit.



The Ministry of Defence, which doubled its spend on Saatchi and

Saatchi’s Army recruitment account from pounds 9.6 million to pounds

18.7 million last year, has admitted it is still 4,000 trained soldiers

short of its 108,000 target.



‘To improve recruitment we have increased substantially our recruiting

and advertising budgets,’ the MoD said in its annual spending statement.

The shortfalls in recruitment were ‘caused by a shortage of people in

the right age groups, the increased opportunities for further education

and the mistaken perception that the Army no longer needs new recruits’.



MoD officials admitted that the announcement of redundancies following a

wide-ranging review has made people less likely to think of a career in

the armed forces. But, with most job cuts affecting older servicemen,

the forces constantly need to attract new waves of recruits.



Service chiefs are worried that, unless recruitment picks up, the Army

could be 20,000 below strength in four years.



The Army plans to spend pounds 15.8 million on advertising in the

financial year which began last month - down on last year but much

higher than two years ago. About pounds 1.5 million has been earmarked

for regional campaigns to combat the loss of local identity with the

forces caused by the merger of regiments.



The Royal Air Force, which spent pounds 3.8 million on advertising

through J. Walter Thompson last year, took on 2,530 new personnel - 270

short of its 2,800 target. It plans to spend pounds 4.5 million in the

current year.



The Royal Navy attracted 2,350 new recruits last year - against a target

of 2,660. It gave Young and Rubicam a pounds 4.8 million budget last

year and plans to spend a further pounds 3 million this year.



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