COI to axe 40% of staff

The Central Office of Information (COI) is cutting 40% of its workforce following the coalition Government’s freeze on marketing spend.

COI

The COI is to axe 287 staff “to reflect the reduced volume of work”, according to a statement.

The Government has imposed strict criteria on departmental spending since taking office in June and has vowed to axe all campaigns not deemed “essential” to the public’s immediate health.

According to the COI, its total turnover on advertising and marketing was down 52% in June compared to the same period last year.

Departmental spending over £25,000 has now to pass strict criteria to be cleared by the Cabinet Office.

Chief Executive Mark Lund says: “COI has always adapted to meet the requirements of government and the changing media landscape. A leaner COI is in line with new government priorities.”

Lund plans to work with brand and media owners to help cut the cost of the service it offers Government. He also plans to bolster evaluation services to increase ROI.

Staff numbers will be reduced from 737 to 450.

The COI says staff have been offered the chance of voluntary redundancy initially ahead of compulsory cuts “if this does not produce the necessary numbers”.

A 90-day consultation with all staff begins today (3 August), the Office says, and ends on 1 November.

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