NEWS20 July 2009

COI research spend climbs 30% to £29m

Financials UK

UK— The Central Office of Information (COI), the UK government’s marketing arm, spent £29.4m on research in the 2008/09 financial year, up 30% on the previous year.

In its annual report the COI said growth in research work was partly a result of the Varney agenda, which requires government departments to develop customer-focused services. It also attributed growth to the development of customer insight units within government departments, which, the COI said, “has been a growing phenomenon over the last three years”.

The COI’s research team is headed by director Fiona Wood and is responsible for devising, planning and managing studies for development and evaluation programmes across both communications and policy.

It recently overhauled its roster of market research agencies, upping the number of firms on the list from 80 to 108. The full rundown can be found here.

Chief executive Mark Lund talked up the importance of continuing to build the COI’s “expertise in customer insight” to “inform how policy is better refined and communicated across audiences”.

Strategic consultancy is also a growing area of work for the COI, with expenditure in that area up 55% to £18.5m. Just over £230m was spent on government advertising.