COI director of direct marketing and evaluation Marc Michaels, arguably one of the most powerful men in DM over the past two decades, is due to leave today (Friday) as the government agency shuts its doors for the last time.
The closure of the COI – set up in 1946 – was announced last year, after the Coalition slashed government advertising and marketing spend by 68% from £532m in 2009/10 to an estimated £168m in 2010/11.
At the time, Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude controversially said the move was designed to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of government communications, which he claimed had “got out of hand”.
He added: “This Government has slashed unnecessary spending on communications. These important and significant changes to Government communications structures are designed to reflect this and to save more money by cutting bureaucracy and reducing duplication.”
Earlier this week, the government revealed plans for the future structure of its marketing and communications operations by creating seven marketing hubs, as well as the Government Communications Centre (GCC).
Having worked previously for ITT and IBM as a marketing officer, and briefly as a freelance graphic designer, Michaels joined the COI in 1986. A year later, he helped to set up COI Direct Marketing.
Over the ensuing 25 years, Michaels – a hugely respected figure – has been involved in all aspects of direct and relationship marketing work on hundreds of high profileGovernment information campaigns.
At the last count, he was responsible for a budget estimated to be worth up to £30m.
Mardev DM2 head Zina Manda recently wrote of Michaels: “The creative output from the COI in recent years has been astonishing. Whether I was on a judging panel or at one of the very many award ceremonies I have attended over the years, there would always be terrific campaigns from the COI that stood head and shoulders above other rivals in the category. Marc is creative, he is a very accomplished marketer and above all else a great leader. All those awards were won on his watch.”
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