Home Office defends PR spend

A barrage of campaign activity in 2001 – the last general election year – saw the Home Office’s communications spend rocket four-fold from 2000 to 2004, compared to the previous four years.

Campaigns to encourage UK residents to vote, to raise awareness of fire safety, to boost police recruitment and the high-profile anti-drugs campaign Talk to Frank have been flagged up as reasons for the spending surge.

In 2000 to 2004, the department’s comms spending was more than £100m – compared to just £26m in the previous four years.

But spend is expected to dip after responsibility of some of these major government campaigns was transferred to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

A Home Office spokesman confirmed that the department’s spending had begun to decrease – and defended the increased spend in 2001.

‘We make no apologies for investing in campaigns that helped recruit record numbers of police officers, and others, such as warning children against the dangers of grooming on the internet,’ he said.

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