OPINION17 October 2013

A COI u-turn – already?

In a blog post lamenting the demise of COI, Pete Stevenson, the creative director of The Edge Picture Company, said: “We’ll look back and say that the COI was the worst way for the public sector to communicate except for all the other ways that were tried after it was closed down.” Indeed many wager that it won’t be long until some bright spark in the Cabinet Office hits on the idea of forming an Office of Centralised Information to handle procurement, manage projects when needed and act as a pool of shared knowledge and expertise in communications and associated disciplines, like research.

These words were written in a March 2012 piece marking the closure of the UK government’s Central Office of Information. But judging by a Campaign story today, it seems they might have come to pass already.

Louise Ridley reports that, “Government plans for a centralised communication service have been described as “a COI by a different name”.

She quotes Scott Knox, MD of the Marketing Agencies Association, who said: “Typically, [the government] threw the baby out with the bathwater and got rid of COI and an immense amount of talent from that department. Now it comes back full circle and says: ‘What we need is COI by a different name.’”

Click here for the full story.


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