HM Government | Government Communication Service

Selected UK Government advertising

The UK Government's public service and other marketing has been overseen since January 2014 by the Government Communication Service, itself a successor to the short-lived Government Communication Network. Previously, for more than 65 years, it fell under the control of COI (or Central Office of Information as it was once known). A body of non-political civil servants, this acted as the client on behalf of governmental departments to coordinate largescale marketing initiatives and liaise with advertising agencies. However, advertising expenditure increased dramatically under Labour government in the late 1990s and early 2000s, with the result that the COI had become the country's highest-spending marketer by 2009. David Cameron's Coalition Government was quick to announce drastic cutbacks in spend, followed by a review of its marketing decision-making process. As a result, the COI was shut down at the end of March 2012, with much of the client-side decision-making handed back to individual departments. It was replaced by a new and much smaller board of oversight, as well as a centralised procurement organisation.

Which agencies handle advertising for GCS? Find out more from the Adbrands Account Assignments database

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Recent stories from Adbrands Weekly Update:

Adbrands Weekly Update 2nd Mar 2017: Ads of the Week: "Phenomenal Woman". Great work from FCB Inferno in London in this follow-up to their Cannes Health Grand Prix-winning This Girl Can spot, for the government's Sport England campaign. You don't have to be a girl or a super-fit athlete to find this film joyously uplifting. The whole point is to get Miss Ordinary of any body shape and size up and off her couch and into playing some sport. Maya Angelou's poem Phenomenal Woman provides a very fitting accompaniment. Phenomenal indeed.

Adbrands Weekly Update 3rd Dec 2015: Ads of the Week: "In The Doghouse #ButAlive". A different sort of seasonal reminder come in AMV BBDO's broadside for the UK Government's Think! anti-drink driving campaign. Unlike most previous ads on the theme, this uses humour to illustrate the simple challenge facing us all over the holiday season. Better to be in trouble with your partner (or with your boss in an alternative spot over on our Facebook page) than to have one too many and become the victim of a road accident.

Adbrands Weekly Update 15th Oct 2015: The Crown Commercial Service, which oversees all UK Government advertising, has announced a review of its creative roster, according to Campaign this morning. There are at present ten "approved" agencies on the roster, from whom individual government departments may commission work. They are AMV BBDO, DLKW Lowe, Engine/WCRS, George & Dragon, FCB Inferno, Kindred, M&C Saatchi, McCann, Ogilvy and RKCR/Y&R. However controversy attended the selection of that list in 2013 when several other agencies who had produced award-winning public service campaigns were de-selected, among them Leo Burnett London, Dare and Adam&Eve DDB. CCS said the new review was designed to ensure that its "commercial models are able to adapt and flex". Pitches will take place next year.

Adbrands Weekly Update 25th Jun 2015: Ads of the Week: Cannes Health Grand Prix for Good "This Girl Can". FCB's Lions scorecard got off to a good start with the Grand Prix For Good in the Lions Health Festival. London's FCB Inferno scooped up the award with its This Girl Can campaign for Public Health England, celebrating real women, in all their various shapes and sizes, enjoying the benefits of sport, no matter how they look while doing it.

Subscribers may access the following website links:

Government Communication Service  Ofsted - Education Standards
Inland Revenue The British Monarchy
Department of the Environment Health & Safety Executive
Department for Education & Employment Data Protection
Home Office Department of Health
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Ministry of Defence

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