Government comms boss Grey defends COI closure

Jenny Grey: executive director of government communications
Jenny Grey: executive director of government communications

The senior civil servant in charge of government marketing campaigns has defended the administration against charges that it does not see the value of advertising.

Speaking to Marketing, the executive director of government communications, Jenny Grey, said: "The government is continuing to invest in creating campaigns where it can show value for money and ROI"’

Critics have claimed that the coalition, which has significantly slashed back adspend, fails to realise the value of marketing but Grey contended this was "just not true".

There have also been concerns expressed that lessons learnt by the COI on effectiveness would be lost but Grey said there was an "extensive programme of knowledge transfer".

On Friday the 66-year-old COI officially closes its doors. It will not be directly replaced but instead a Government Communications Centre (GCC), led by Grey, will take on some of its work.

The GCC, which creates about 30 new posts in the Cabinet Office, will work with Whitehall departments and their marketing hubs on the first ever government communications plan.

The government marketing functions will operate in the following seven hubs:

  1. Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Treasury, Department for Culture, Media and Sport and their arms-length bodies
  2. Department for Work and Pensions, HM Revenue & Customs and their arms-length bodies
  3. Department of Health and its arms-length bodies
  4. Home Office, Ministry of Justice and their arms-length bodies
  5. Cabinet Office, Department for Education and their arms-length bodies
  6. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Department of Energy and Climate Change, Department for Communities and Local Government, Department for Transport and their arms-length Bodies
  7. Ministry of Defence, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Department for International Development and their arms-length bodies

Significantly, Department of Health marketers retain much of their autonomy as DH is not teaming up with any other departments.

Underpinning the creation of the over-arching strategy is a desire to run more cross-departmental campaigns and look for "opportunities for synergies and shared expertise," said Grey.

"We don't want campaigns that are run in policy silos," she added, highlighting Frank, Think!, Change4Life and the Great campaigns as good examples of cross-departmental working.

However Grey said that while adspend would increase, compared to the level in the first year of the Coalition government, it would not reach the peaks seen under Labour.

In May, the Government Procurement Service, which now operates out of Liverpool, will invite agencies to become part of a new framework system.


Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now


Apple Q2 profits top $10bn as iPhone sales soar
Lynx tells men not to leave love to fate
HBO captures awkwardness of watching sex scenes with parents
Primark to open first US stores with Boston chosen as flagship location
Marketing spend on the up but a reality check is needed before celebrating
Top 10 ads of the week: Jackpotjoy and BT Broadband fend off Kevin Bacon
Lidl beats Tesco to 10m Facebook fans
Center Parcs ad banned for encouraging parents to take kids out of school
Coca-Cola, Cadbury and Amazon named top brands for targeting youth market
Leaked document shows Nokia to be rebranded as Microsoft Mobile
Nike lays-off hardware staff in move that casts doubt on future of FuelBand
Greenpeace says save the bees or humans will die
What brands need to know about changes to VAT and online downloads in 2015
Jimmy Savile victims urged to claim compensation in new ad campaign
UKIP launches biggest  ad campaign and stirs up 'racist' accusations
Apple boss Tim Cook provides voiceover on ad touting firm's renewed green commitments
John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360