Cabinet Office appoints roundtable of comms experts to help decide future of COI

The Cabinet Office has appointed a roundtable of top marketing communications industry experts and government leaders to help decide the future of the COI.

Matt Tee: appointed roundtable
Matt Tee: appointed roundtable
Experts such as WPP chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell, Channel 4 chief executive David Abraham and Engine Group chairman Robin Wight have been appointed to help inform permanent secretary for government comms Matt Tee’s recommendations.

The group will meet in mid-January to provide their initial views and late-February to provide views on the findings of the review.

Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude said: ‘The Government needs to be far more innovative in thinking about how it can best deliver incredibly important public information messages.

‘We need to incorporate the latest ideas from initiatives such as the Ad-Council in the US and the latest thinking from experts such as our Behavioural Insight "nudge" Team. If we get this right we can save the taxpayer money and increase the effectiveness of our campaigns, which is why I’m so pleased we have this team of experts on-hand to help advise us.’

Tee added:  ‘We have seen a massive reduction of over 50 per cent in paid for direct communication during the advertising and marketing freeze. We now need a model for Government’s direct communication which will help deliver more for less after the freeze has been lifted.’

Other invited roundtable experts include Cabinet Office head of procurement, efficiency and reform group John Collington, Downing Street director of strategy Steve Hilton and the Government’s digital champion Martha Lane-Fox.

Downing Street permanent Secretary Jeremy Heywood, Aviva Global marketing and insight director Amanda MacKenzie, YOUGov CEO Stephan Shakespeare and former civil servant and non-executive director of HM Treasury Sir Peter Gershon are also invited.

In addition, the Cabinet Office has today published the terms of reference, a process methodology and a governance arrangement for its review of the COI, which has seen invitations for written evidence from PR agencies and bodies such as the CIPR and PRCA.

Government departments and external stakeholders are asked to provide their views on Government’s direct communication in writing by 21 January 2011.

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