How much did Boots spend attacking Labour?

Posted on 03/02/2015

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The Lobbying Act is in full force and charities are apparently scaling back political comment in fear of being reprimanded by the Electoral Commission for being a non-party campaigner. But corporates are not so shy.

Take Boots’ attack on Ed Miliband and the resulting argument with the Labour party. With the Lobbying Act limiting spending on regulated PR activities, the Electoral Commission will be keen to note that Boots have spent an estimated £10,000 so far on essentially trying to encourage voters to vote against Labour:

Estimated GBP spent by Boots attacking Labour by job type. For full infographic visit https://infogr.am/how_much_did_boots_spend_attacking_labour

Estimated GBP spent by Boots attacking Labour by job type. For full infographic visit https://infogr.am/how_much_did_boots_spend_attacking_labour

The numbers are calculated based on the salary averages and estimated hours worked so far below:

Annual salary Hourly Number of hours Declared total Source
Placing initial story
Chief Exec 3300000 1586.538462 4 6346.153846 http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/oct/13/ftse-100-directors-pay-rises-share-awards
Director of corp comms 92000 44.23076923 12 530.7692308 http://www.payscale.com/research/UK/Job=Director_of_Communications/Salary (corporate jobs tend to pay much higher than average)
Corporate comms manager 55466 26.66634615 12 319.9961538 http://www.prweek.com/article/1088355/pr-census-paid
Public affairs manager 55000 26.44230769 8 211.5384615 http://www.prospects.ac.uk/public_affairs_consultant_salary.htm
Social media exec 25556 12.28653846 8 98.29230769 http://www.payscale.com/research/UK/Job=Social_Media_Manager/Salary
Issue on newswires 400
Follow up
Director of corp comms 92000 44.23076923 8 353.8461538 See above
Public affairs manager 55000 26.44230769 8 211.5384615 See above
Media manager 39091 18.79375 16 300.7 http://www.prweek.com/article/1088355/pr-census-paid
Social media exec 25556 12.28653846 16 196.5846154 See above
Radar, press cuttings and share of other expenses 500
TOTAL 9469.419231

Update

Boots have today slipped out a statement, claiming Pessina’s words have been taken out of context and there is no campaign by the company’s boss against Labour.

But what bit of “if they [Labour] acted as they speak, it would be a catastrophe” is not part of a campaign to encourage the public to vote for or against a candidate or a series of candidates? And it is on how “a reasonable person” could interpret these comments that the Electoral Commission will judge Boots and its status as a non-party campaigner.