When the new coalition government came into power, one of its first acts was to halt all spending on PR, advertising and pretty much all other marketing activity.
In the immediate aftermath of this decision, the quantity and quality of government communications declined rapidly and serious errors were made in countless announcements. The communication issues around the Big Society being the most high profile failures.
Therefore, it’s welcome news that the government has come to its senses and started issuing further marketing briefs after evidence showed that the cessation of marketing has resulted in significant declines in the access of smoking and drug prevention services.
More importantly, if ad hoc evidence from some local authorities is confirmed, these cuts also saw an increase in the levels of drink-driving at Christmas 2010 and even accidents.
So while these figures are worrying, it does give the industry solid proof that marketing can in fact save lives.
If advertising stops people from dying, PR stops people from dying inside.
Feel free to discuss…
UPDATE 02.06.2011: It definitely appears one step forward and at least one back, as the government is ignoring the evidence and failing to fund summer anti-drink drive campaigns for the second year running.