COI speaks louder than any politician

The Conservative Party has said it will slash COI’s marketing spend if it forms our next Government. This, I believe, is nothing more than inexperienced politicians grandstanding. It is an attempt to curry favour with voters who, quite reasonably, don’t have a clue how best to reduce the national deficit.

Nick Hurd, Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office, said the following last December/ “Gordon Brown spends more taxpayers’ money on spin than Tony Blair. Given the ruined state of our public finances, it is no longer sustainable for the Government to be the second biggest advertiser in Britain.”

Hurd has already promised to cut COI’s annual spend from its current £540m to 1997 levels of £111m and recently told Marketing Week that such a cut “may be painful but we need to face the realities of the unsustainable legacy of Government debt.”

If David Cameron and George Osborne find themselves in power come the summer, they will find that relevant, targeted and creative marketing can change the electorate’s behaviour far more cheaply and effectively than most speeches and policies.

“Targeted and creative marketing can change the electorate’s behaviour far more cheaply and effectively than most speeches and policies”

Take COI’s Change4Life programme, which aimed to combat obesity in young people. As our lead news story reports, the campaign beat all of its original trackable targets and is moving on to changing the behaviour of adults (mostly men) aged between 45 and 60.

Change4Life was always more than an integrated advertising campaign. Created by M&C Saatchi and the EHS 4D Group, it became a living, breathing organism with a host of sub-brands and more-than-willing branded partners. Tailored Change4Life materials can now be found in more than 40% of the UK’s schools, GP surgeries and community centres, ensuring the idea surpassed all targets of awareness, logo recognition and, crucially, repsonse and sign-up.

Other examples of great work coming out of COI are numerous. I shudder when imagining almost any of the current breed of politicians trying to talk directly to teenagers on the importance of safe sex. It’s highly unlikely any of them would be as articulate as the “Thmbnls” interactive mobile drama, which digital agency 20:20 London sent to hundred of thousands of teenagers’ phones. That campaign had meaningful impact because it spoke the same language as its audience which it engaged with great content and reached on their chosen platforms. Try achieving that without COI’s expertise Mr Cameron.

Latest from Marketing Week

Get ready for Cannes 2018: Hot topics and what to see

Cannes Lions

With the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity kicking off in three days, here’s your run down of all the hot topics up for discussion at the first festival since the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke, Sir Martin Sorrell resigned from WPP and the #MeToo movement was born.

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here