Clean sweep at COI

I was relieved to hear Mark Lund mention the huge pressure the COI will be under to use (our) money more effectively, as well as the need to be the right size, with the right practices to operate efficiently (MW 22 October).

With, in all probability, an incoming Tory government promising to halve budgets, the pressure he will be under to make cuts will be significant, but any fool can halve a budget. It is absolutely key that Mr Lund maximises the effectiveness of the COI’s marketing spend, which at £540m will need considerable justification to the taxpayer.

However there are a number of other issues he will have to deal with too. First, if he intends to “capitalise on the government’s digital engagement programme” the COI needs a rapid re-education in how to buy the likes of viral, search and social media campaigns, because to date there has been a real lack of understanding with a resultant black hole in spending.

Secondly, there have been mixed messages regarding the COI’s marketing rosters, and this needs clarifying. With drastic reductions mentioned for media, yet apparent proliferation planned for design, I would like to hear more about exactly how he will ensure that they have the right number of the right agencies, at the right price, across the board.

Overall, this is a great opportunity for Mr Lund. But if this new broom is to really sweep clean, he must take a serious look at the COI’s existing assumptions about what is a fair price to pay for marketing services.”

Rosie Doggett
RD Squared

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