Scottish Enterprise cuts agency costs

Scottish Enterprise has countered criticism of PR overspend by announcing a £400,000 cut in outside agency costs.

The economic development agency has announced a drop in the number of agencies used to promote its Local Enterprise Companies from 16 to three, and slashed costs from £1.3m to £900,000.

This comes just a week after Conservatives in the Scottish Parliament stepped up their campaign to curb civil service spending, in particular relating to PR. Written questions concerning PR spend were asked of both the Scottish Executive and Scottish Enterprise (PRWeek, 21 March).

However, Scottish Enterprise has only gone halfway to answering criticism from Tory economic spokeswoman Annabel Goldie, who this month criticised it for not revealing details of PR spend.

While conceding that the budget had been cut, a Scottish Executive spokesman declined to name the three successul agencies.

It is understood, though, that The Big Partnership has won the contract to promote Fife, Forth Valley, Grampian and Tayside; TVI has won an account covering Ayrshire, Dunbartonshire, Glasgow and Renfrewshire, and Beattie Media, headed by Gordon Beattie, will cover the Edinburgh area, as well as Lothian, Lanarkshire, Borders and Dumfries & Galloway.

A decision on whether to hire a fourth agency to assist with corporate PR will be taken after the May parliamentary elections.

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