COI reveals rise in Labour’s adspend

The Government boosted its advertising budget by 7 per cent in the past year, prompting fresh criticism from the Conservative Party that Labour is ’all presentation and no substance’.

The Government boosted its advertising budget by 7 per cent in the

past year, prompting fresh criticism from the Conservative Party that

Labour is ’all presentation and no substance’.



COI Communications has disclosed that the adspend of Whitehall

departments rose from pounds 105.4 million to pounds 113.4 million in

the financial year that ended in March.



The rise continued the hike in the ad budget since Labour came to power,

and shows that the 79 per cent rise of the previous year was not a

one-off. The Conservatives spent pounds 69 million in their last year in

office.



The Conservatives renewed their demands for a value-for-money probe of

Labour’s ad spending, claiming some campaigns should have been funded by

the Labour Party rather than by taxpayers. ’We know from the leaked

memos that Blair’s advisers say he is all spin. These huge figures show

how the public is paying for it,’ a Tory source said.



COI’s annual report reveals that the departments that increased their

spending in the past financial year included the Home Office (up by 135

per cent), the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions

(73 per cent), the Inland Revenue (65 per cent), Health (45 per cent)

and Trade and Industry (26 per cent). Those that cut their budgets

included the Department of Education and Employment and the MoD.



COI’s spending on direct marketing and promotions rose from pounds 21.2

million to pounds 35.1 million in the past year, while its budget on

publications and digital media increased from pounds 21.9 million to

pounds 25.6 million.



Carol Fisher, COI’s chief executive, said: ’While the bulk of this

year’s activity was centred on the traditional media, and will probably

continue to be for some time yet, there was a marked increase in the use

of digital media, where there was a threefold increase over last year’s

levels.’