BERR was formed in June 2007 but largely carries out the same roles as the disbanded Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). It has steadily reduced its spending over the past four years.
As a result of a Freedom of Information request, PRWeek can reveal that, over the 2007-08 period, BERR spent £468,083 on external PR support, down from the DTI's expenditure of £483,408 the previous year.
In 2005-06 the DTI spent £594,495 and in 2004-05 it spent £1,305,105. This included the body's most expensive PR campaign in five years - promoting renewable energy to a number of audiences at a total cost of £572,633.
During 2007-08, BERR has used Gavin Anderson, GCI London and Highlight PR for external campaigns. In February, it appointed GCI London for a three-year campaign to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) better understand employment law (PRWeek, 22 February). In November, it named Rapier to increase awareness of Business Link to SMEs (PRWeek, 16 November 2007).
In March 2007, BERR adopted the Department for Children, Schools and Families' marketing and procurement frameworks in addition to COI.
BERR manages business growth, employment law. company law, trade, regional economic development, energy and consumer law.