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Government to scrap COI

24 Jun 2011 2:10 BST Back
Government to scrap COI

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The Coalition Government has confirmed that it is closing down its Central Office of Communication (COI) and that it will not be replaced by a centralised marketing hub.

In March the Cabinet Office published its review of the COI, in which it proposed to keep the COI but rebrand it as a Government Communications Centre.

The Government has now rejected the idea of a centralised marketing hub for all departments. Instead, the Cabinet Office will take over most of the COI’s marketing services.

The Cabinet Office will establish a Communications Delivery Board with a team of 20 people and to coordinate the strategy of government departments. There is also the chance of further centralisation, with the Cabinet Office stating that it will “explore the development of a shared communications delivery pool for certain specialist services; and for a small number of specialist marketing hubs” on its website.

Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office, said: “This does not mean the end of vital and cost effective marketing campaigns – such as those campaigns that save people’s lives. However, it does mean that communications spending in the future will never again get out of hand and instead will be more transparent, better coordinated and less bureaucratic.”

The scrapping of the COI – which was set up in 1946 – could mean the loss of up to 400 jobs. Since it came into the power, the Government has cut the volume of COI communication activity by half. It also says it has cut advertising and marketing spend by 68 per cent since last June, from £532m in 2009-10 to an estimated £168m in 2010-11.

Posted by

Nicola Carpenter

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