VisitBritain makes cuts in PR as advertising spend booms

The body responsible for showcasing Britain has made PR spending cuts during a bumper year for events, despite increasing amounts being poured into its advertising budget.

VisitBritain: Ad spend on a high
VisitBritain: Ad spend on a high

Government grant-in-aid for VisitBritain's PR activities has fallen from nearly £3.5m in 2007-08 to just over £1.5m this year.

Over the same period, the in-house comms team was cut from 77 to a predicted 36 by the end of this financial year.

The scything of PR spend came despite a rise in VisitBritain's overall marketing and comms grant-in-aid cash to nearly £24m this year. From this, its advertising spend has grown to almost £19m, from just over £5m in 2007-08.

The figures, which are part of PRWeek's 'State of the Public Sector' series or reports, coincide with a landmark summer for selling Britain, with the Diamond Jubilee, Olympics and Paralympics acting as key draws.

The findings also revealed that spend on PR agencies had been axed, after VisitBritain invested £85,500 in external support between 2007 and 2011.

Scroll down for a table outlining details of comms spend.

Patricia Yates, director of strategy and communications at VisitBritain, responded: ‘While VisitBritain’s core funding was cut by 34 per cent as part of the last CSR, we have subsequently been awarded one-off funds this year to undertake a major image campaign in 14 of the biggest and most lucrative tourism markets around the world to promote Britain as a GREAT place to visit.

‘With the Royal Wedding last year, The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee earlier this year and now London 2012, we have had an unprecedented opportunity to showcase Britain to a massive global audience. That has already seen us deliver spectacular PR results, and we are in the middle of our biggest ever marketing campaign to ensure that 2012 is not only a spectacular celebration of the very best that Britain has to offer, but that it also delivers a lasting economic legacy for the whole country, boosting investment, jobs and growth.’

VisitBritain spend of Grant-in-Aid on comms

Year Marcoms spend PR spend Advertising spend
2007-8 12.5m £3.4m £5.1m
2008-9 £12.7m £3.5m £5.9m
2009-10 £12.9m £3.6m £5.2m
2010-11 £11.3m £3.6m £4.7m
2011-12 £20.7m £1.8m £16.8m
2012-13 £23.9m £1.6m £19m

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Latest Articles

John Lewis to tell brand story with "tasteful" 150th anniversary celebrations

John Lewis to tell brand story with "tasteful" 150th anniversary celebrations

Department store John Lewis is to use its 150th anniversary this year to talk about its history, which "not enough people know about", according to director of communications Peter Cross.

Labour hires Obama election strategist David Axelrod to fight General Election

Labour hires Obama election strategist David Axelrod to fight General Election

The man who helped Barack Obama win the 2008 and 2012 US presidential elections is to work for Labour along with members of his team.

Sky adds Fever PR to its roster after splitting with Cake

Sky adds Fever PR to its roster after splitting with Cake

Pay-TV giant Sky has added Fever PR to its agency line-up for a wide-ranging brief covering products and services.

Max Clifford trial jury to continue deliberations after Easter break

Max Clifford trial jury to continue deliberations after Easter break

The jury in the trial of celebrity publicist Max Clifford has been sent home for Easter and will reconvene on Tuesday for further deliberations about its verdicts on 11 charges of indecent assault.

Home Office brings in Munro & Forster to campaign against FGM

Home Office brings in Munro & Forster to campaign against FGM

The Home Office has tasked Munro & Forster (M&F) with supporting its campaign to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM) as part of a wider retained brief.