Thursday, August 28, 2008

Brown Spin Costs Us A Fortune

Gordon Brown came to No 10 promising an end to spin but figures reveal his government has spent more on media management than Blair. Official figures show the government spent £391 million on advertising, marketing, PR and other presentational work in 2007-08. Up by £53 million on the previous year - a rise of almost 16 per cent.

The latest spending figures are revealed by the Daily Telegraph in the annual report of the Central Office of Information.

It was Brown who, in his very early days as PM, promised an end to the emphasis on spin and presentation and promised to cut back on the number of special advisors and media spin doctors.

Earlier this year, the annual wage bill for the prime minister's special advisers was estimated to have risen by more than £350,000 to £1.75 million - roughly the same as when Blair was at No 10.

The Telegraph reports the latest figures show the government spent £167 million on advertising, as well as £29 million on PR and sponsorship and £12 million on "strategic consultancy".

The newly revamped No 10 website was highlighted by the Orange Party here as just the tip of the publicity iceberg and has become a vehicle for Brown's  personal publicity machine, rather than a government information service.

Greg Clark, shadow cabinet office minister, said the figures showed Brown's talk of a "new politics" had been a sham.

He told the Telegraph: "At a time when families and businesses are having to cut back, Gordon Brown is increasing spending on promoting himself and his government." 

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