NEWS28 January 2020

Brexit ad campaign had little impact, says National Audit Office

Brexit Media News UK

UK – The government’s ‘Get Ready for Brexit’ public information campaign did not result in any significant improvements in preparedness, according to a report published by the spending regulator. 

Big Ben and EU flag

Launched at the beginning of September ahead of the UK’s then-expected departure from the European Union on the 31st October, the campaign ran on TV, radio, outdoor ads, print, video on-demand and social media.

In a report published today ( 28th January), the National Audit Office said £46m was spent on the campaign, of the £100m originally budgeted.

The campaign lacked a consistent means of measuring impact during the initial period, the spending regulator said. While survey data commissioned by the Cabinet Office showed that 58% of people could recall the campaign, the key performance indicator – the proportion of UK citizens who reported that they looked or started to look for information about a no-deal Brexit – did not notably change. This figure ranged between 32% and 37% and was 34% when the campaign ended.

The National Audit Office concluded that future campaigns planned by the government should focus more on objectives from the outset.

Gareth Davies, head of the National Audit Office, said: “At short notice, the Cabinet Office successfully corralled multiple government departments to work together effectively and launched this complex campaign at great speed. However, it is not clear that the campaign resulted in the public being significantly better prepared.

“If the Cabinet Office faces a similar challenge in the future, it should, from the start, focus much more on what impact is needed and how best to deliver the behaviour change required by government, targeting spending on the activities that are likely to add the greatest value.”