Government takes partnership first approach to marcomms

The Government will look first at partnerships with the private sector and trade bodies when producing marketing and communication campaigns in the future as it looks to reduce spending.

Mark Lund

The move was unveiled in a “call for evidence” issued to the advertising industry and media owners as part of the Cabinet Office’s review of marketing and communications, which is being led by Matt Tee, the permanent secretary for government communications. Tee is working with COI chief executive Mark Lund (pictured) on the review.

The role of the COI is also being considered.

The document, seen by Marketing Week, states: “For the remaining communication budgets, the Government’s ‘big society’ approach will have a significant impact on how we achieve our communication objectives.

“On many occasions in the past, so that we were in control of the communication, and because we had the money to do it, our approach was ‘how can Government achieve this?’ In future we will start from a presumption that others may be better placed to achieve our goals, often working in partnership with us.”

The review follows the freeze on all but “essential” marketing spend. The move led to the COI, the Government’s marketing services provider, cutting 287 staff, about 40% of its workforce.

The call for evidence also states that the drop in spend will lead to “some organisations and departments recognising that they cannot sustain full communication functions and will look to share services.”

It also highlights the need to “exploit” the “significant media holdings” it owns to deliver marketing campaigns, including on Government websites.

The document solicits opinion from stakeholders in 9 areas including payment by results for agencies and media owners, the adoption of a US-style “Ad Council” and the future role of the COI.

It asks for emailed responses but does not say when the review will be concluded.

A Cabinet Office spokesman declined to comment.

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