UK Conservatives propose ad spend reduction

18 January 2010

LONDON: UK government ad spend will be reduced if the Conservative party wins power at the 2010 UK general election.

George Osborne, the party's finance spokesman, earmarked the government's promotional budget for immediate cuts in a speech at the London School of Economics.

Osborne said: "Excessive spending on things like advertising and consultants, spending on tax credits for people earning over £50,000 ($81,400, €56,700), and spending on child trust funds for better off families will all have to be cut during the financial year."

Meanwhile, David Cameron, leader of the Conservatives, also highlighted the £500m ($814m, €567m) annual budget of the Central Office of Information in recent comments.

He said the organisation, originally established in 1946 as a replacement for the wartime Ministry of Information, functioned as "the government's advertising arm".

Cameron also defended his decision to spend the maximum amount allowable - £18m ($29.3, €20.4) - on the Conservative general election campaign.

The outlay is "responsible" when compared with the "vast amounts" being spent by the governing Labour party, Cameron said.

"They have got more spin doctors, more advisers, more press officers than they have ever had," he added.

Britain's public deficits hit a record £178bn in 2009 due to falling tax revenues and rising benefit claims in the economic downturn.

Both the Conservatives and Labour, led by prime minister Gordon Brown, plan to reduce these debts in future by cutting public spending.

However, the two parties disagree on the timing of these cuts.

The UK general election is due to take place by June 3rd 2010.

Data sourced from Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff