Britain’s governing Labour Party is set to come under renewed fire when government adspend statistics for the year ending April are published later this month.

The figures, to be released in about three weeks by COI Communications (the administrative interface between the British government and its roster of advertising and marketing agencies), are expected to show that the government poured £165 million ($250m; €257m) into ads last year.

Although the total is less than the previous (election) year’s £192.4m, it is higher than anticipated and well above the figures for 1999/2000 (£113.5m), 1998/9 (£105.5m) and 1997/8 (£59m).

The statistics are bound to provoke an outcry from political rivals the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats, which claim the government is spending taxpayers’ money to further party interests, and that it relies on style rather than substance.

In defence, ministers claim the campaigns provide help for the beleaguered ad industry and are connected to their attempts to improve public services.

The biggest advertising outlay last year is believed to have been the £14m spent promoting the University for Industry, handled by DFGW.

Data sourced from: BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff