PUBLIC SECT0R: DfES spending on PR agencies up to £605,000 in 2001

The Department for Education and Skills's (DfES) spending on

external PR rocketed last year, figures have revealed.



Last year the department spent £605,000 on agency-led campaigns,

more than double that of the previous year's £280,000 spend.



The figures were revealed in parliament by junior education minister

Ivan Lewis MP, responding to a question by John Bercow, now MP for

Buckingham.



A DfES spokeswoman said the increase was due to extra spending on

campaigns to improve adult literacy and numeracy and to encourage

participation in higher and further education.



Eight campaigns took place last year, including work agency Geronimo

carried out to publicise the UK Online centres.



The trend of escalating PR costs is likely to continue with £293,000 already set to be spent on UK Online, higher education and adult

learning PR campaigns this year.



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