‘Thumbs up’ for COI closure

The Advertising Association has backed proposals to scrap the COI, with chief executive Tim Lefroy claiming the plan recognises the contribution the industry has made to Government communications.
In February, the AA launched a robust defence of the work the industry’s has done, in response to the Cabinet Office review. The response drew together views across the entire industry and highlighted the clear need for continued, high quality communications in support of Government policy aims.
At the time, IPA director general Hamish Pringle said: “The IPA has been closely involved in this AA submission and we support it whole-heartedly. In particular we’ve included the over-whelming evidence of the cost-efficiency of Government advertising and marketing communications. This is testimony to the focus on accountability by the COI, their clients in Government and their agencies.”
Today, the man behind the review – permanent secretary for government communication Matt Tee – recommended that COI becomes the Government Communication Centre (GCC) for all direct communication, within the Cabinet Office during 2011/12.
Tee, who leaves his £160,000-£165,000 per year post this month, said around 1,000 jobs should be axed from the government’s current communication workforce of 6,848.
Speaking in response to the proposal AA’s Lefroy said: “It’s a thumbs-up for paid communications at the heart of policy delivery. It reaffirms the role of the COI although the name might go. It recognises the major contribution advertisers, the media and agencies already make to society and paves the way for a constructive conversation about what more we might do. We welcome it.”

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