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Government confirms COI axing but rejects centralised marketing hub


By The Drum Team, Editorial

June 23, 2011 | 2 min read

The Government has confirmed that the Central Office of Information (COI) will be scrapped, but has rejected the idea of a centralised marketing hub for all departments.

The majority of the COI’s marketing services work will now be handled centrally through the Cabinet Office.

In March it was recommended that the CIO should be axed by former Government communications chief Matt Tee.

Tee wanted to see the bulk of the Government’s marketing coordinated, planned and developed centrally, with departmental communications staff redeployed to a ‘Government Communications centre’.

A ‘Communication Delivery Board’ with a team of about 20 will be setup instead to coordinate strategy across departments in a bid to avoid duplication.

Departments will then develop their own activity and partnerships with private sector partners, with marcomms staff remaining with their departments.

Trade union Prospect warned that this could lead to the government becoming reliant on ‘expensive’ marketing agencies.

However, the Cabinet Office did not rule out further centralisation and vowed to “explore the development of a shared communications delivery pool for certain specialist services and a small number of specialist marketing hubs”.

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