Economic shake-up set to fuel rise in COI spend

LONDON - The biggest shake-up of economic policy since the Labour Party came to power in 1997 has paved the way for a wide-reaching communications programme, likely to result in significant increases in government marketing spend.

The pre-budget report, unveiled by Chancellor Alistair Darling on Monday, aims to kick-start the faltering economy and looks set to spark a hefty increase in government adspend to communicate a raft of policy announcements.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown is to chair a national employment partnership to help the unemployed find work, and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will spend an extra £1.3bn on measures to help the unemployed.

It is understood that the DWP's flagship back-to-work drive, rolling out next year, could change to encompass a rise in redundancies.

To encourage consumers to save, the government is also launching a national savings scheme. Up to 8m people on low incomes who put money into the Savings Gateway will be eligible to receive 50p for every £1 they save.

The scheme will be run through banks, building societies and the Post Office as part of plans to revive the network. The government previously spent £3.7m on ad--vertising for the launch of the Child Trust Fund, a scheme with similar scope.

According to Nielsen Media Research, the COI was the UK's second-biggest advert--iser behind Procter & Gamble in 2007, spending £150m.

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