Red first agency to feel effects of quango review

Case Study: Government info and tech body Becta becomes early casualty of financial belt-tightening.

Six in-house comms staff are expected to lose their current roles, while The Red Consultancy relinquishes a budget of £750,000 as the quango Becta is axed in the first wave of public spending cuts.

Red was appointed by Becta in January 2009 to promote its 'next generation learning' campaign, aimed at raising awareness of technology benefits in education among parents, learners and employers. Becta's six-strong comms team is led by Claire Gill.

Before the announcement, Becta had selected a supplier to deliver a range of services, including PR, to work on its 2011 Learning and Technology World Forum.

Gill told PRWeek: 'We are still working through the procurement process, but a preferred supplier has been chosen and notified.'

It is not known whether the contract will be scrapped.

In the same announcement, other quangos were informed of reduced budgets, including the Training and Development Agency, which will lose £30m.

Additionally, the School Food Trust was asked to chop £1m from its marketing and comms spend aimed at helping local authorities and schools promote healthy school food.

The previous government's budget included plans to make £3bn savings by cutting consultancy and marketing spend.

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