Only one in ten town hall managers believe the campaign, by Euro RSCG, to encourage people to access local services online, was money well spent, according to a survey of 280 officials by Public Sector Forums, a network of eGovernment professionals.
The group criticised the Department for Communities and Local Government for including services that some authorities do not provide online in the Take-Up campaign. Some officials also reported a low response rate. Ian Dunmore, the director of the network, said: "The fact that so many council officers, who not only fit the demographic the campaign purports to be targeting but are also supposed to be responsible for delivering the services, hadn't seen the ads is appalling.
"It is yet another example of money-wasting that has characterised Whitehall's approach to eGovernment."
The DCLG denied the campaign had flopped. A spokesman said more than 250,000 people visited the website during May, with current hits running at 12,000 per day. "More than 40 per cent of respondents said they thought the campaign 'will encourage more citizens to use online services'," he said.