COI reveals decline in Labour spending

LONDON - The Government reduced its media spend by 12.1 per cent during Tony Blair's final year as prime minister.

Overall, spend dropped to £135.9 million during the period 2006-07, according to COI's annual report. This was despite a large hike in digital adspend, which rose by 85.4 per cent to £22.5 million.Despite the drop, COI remains the UK's third-largest advertiser behind Unilever and Procter & Gamble. COI claimed in the report that it had used its large volume spending to secure 46 per cent savings across the year in media costs for government departments.COI said the new figures were in line with industry trends, reflecting the fact that traditional adspends are falling, but spend on digital channels is increasing.Alan Bishop, COI's chief executive, said: "Our figures show that government, like the private sector, is following audiences online, as more and more people access information and services via the web."Media spend through COI peaked in 2004-05 at £203.2 million. The opposition accused Labour of spending to suit its agenda ahead of a General Election.