Editor's Comment: Why Whitehall needs the professionals

Noelle McElhatton
Noelle McElhatton

It has been a mixed fortnight, to put it mildly, for government communications.

For those who rue the COI's demise, there was comfort in a TV ad that debuted last Saturday.

Broadcast a day after the doors of Hercules House finally closed, the first post-COI TV campaign was hard-hitting Department of Health (DH) fare.

An ad highlighting the dangers of second-hand smoking brought back memories of the heyday of government advertising, circa 2006. It suggests there are still marketers in government who take a long-term (that is, little payback in this parliament's lifetime) view of public sector marketing.

One swallow does not constitute a summer, however.

In fact, the painful realities of the new Government Communication Centre (GCC) era are now all too clear.

The debate on whether the government gets any return on its adspend still rages and against this background, Whitehall departments without the DH's internal marketing muscle must rely on the downsized son of COI.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister's enforcement of drink-price controls ignores the fundamental reasons why people binge drink and could backfire.

Cap all this with a government minister - Francis Maude, the COI's nemesis - indulging in DIY messaging, with horrific results, and we have, in two weeks, proved the need for public sector marketing, handled by the professionals.



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


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
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message
Lynx unleashes £9m 'Peace invasion' campaign
Social Brands 100 Youth: Pizza Hut most social youth brand in UK
Cheryl Cole is wild and arresting in new L'Oreal work
Morrisons told not to show alcohol ads during YouTube nursery rhymes
O2 head of brand Shadi Halliwell departs after 23 years at company in restructure
Tesco hit by further sales decline as it turns to digital Clubcard and social network
Branding guru Wally Olins dies aged 83
Duracell short film captures epic Transatlantic voyage
Ash runs Tinder experiment to show smokers are less desirable to opposite sex
British Airways teams up with Gerry Cottle Jnr for summer of rooftop film screenings
Arklu says 'girls can be superheroes too' with doll design competition
Coke enters squash market with Oasis Mighty Drops
Virgin Galactic signs up Land Rover as space flight sponsor
Motorola marketer Andrew Morley departs as Google gears up for sale to Lenovo
US Airways apologises after tweeting obscene image at a customer