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Broadband Delivery UK Spent £5M on Marketing from Sep 2014 to Feb 2015

Monday, August 10th, 2015 (8:52 am) - Score 643

The government’s Broadband Delivery UK project, which is responsible for overseeing the national £1.7bn publicly funded roll-out of fixed line superfast broadband (24Mbps+) services to 95% of people by 2017/18, spent £5.041 million of its budget on publicity (adverts) during the six months from September 2014 to February 2015.

The latest data only reflects larger payments (i.e. those valued above £25,000) made by BDUK as part of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and thus does not include smaller payments or mobile/spectrum related costs. We also excluded the relevant roll-out grants to Local Authorities (councils etc.) as these are already well understood.

Prior to the above period BDUK hadn’t been very active on the publicity side of things, although readers may recall that this started to change in December 2014 when the Government introduced a major TV advertising campaign and began a much more aggressive publicity push for their broadband project (here). On top of that they’ve also put more effort into promoting the Broadband Connection Vouchers for smaller businesses.

In keeping with all this the biggest publicity costs were attributed to related media firms in December 2014 and there was another spike during February 2015. Separately we also note that BDUK spent £921,586 on admin fees (mostly staff and management consultants) during the same six month window, which actually seems to be a lot less than the last time we checked in 2013 (here and here) and that’s perhaps to be expected now that the complex early design stages are out of the way.

Similarly the amount being spent on publicity might seem significant, although we must not forget that greater publicity usually equals more people upgrading their connections in BDUK enabled areas. Stronger uptake is a big part of the reason why the clawback (gain share) reinvestment mechanism can now return up to £129m to boost coverage (here).

Nicholas Lansman, UK ISPA Secretary General, told ISPreview.co.uk:

ISPA members are transforming communities with their superfast broadband investments and Government is supporting these efforts with its investment in the hardest-to-reach areas. Superfast broadband has major benefits to consumers and businesses, so we welcome Government efforts to raise awareness and increase take up from one of the many providers in the market.”

Now here’s a breakdown of where those publicity funds have been spent over the most recently available 6 month window (data newer than Feb 2015 has yet to be published), make of it what you will. NOTE: No costs were attributed to BDUK publicity in September 2014 and hence the data for that only shows from October.

Date Expense Type Expense area Supplier Amount Narrative
07/10/2014 Publicity BDUK Marketing in Admin Costs M4C £234,304.89 SCCP CVS National Poster Campaign
20/10/2014 Publicity BDUK Marketing in Admin Costs Kindred Agency Ltd £247,425.33 Feild Marketing BBand Connection Voucher
28/10/2014 Publicity BDUK Marketing in Admin Costs Kindred Agency Ltd £173,772.43 1st Stage of Kindred creative work
24/11/2014 Publicity BDUK Marketing in Admin Costs Enter Here £233,476.23 First 50% – Shoot first week Dec 2014
24/11/2014 Publicity BDUK Marketing in Admin Costs Enter Here £30,000.00 Print Production Budget
03/12/2014 Publicity BDUK Marketing in Admin Costs Enter Here LLP (George & Dragon) £50,000.00 Phase 1 fee Superfast Broadband Advert
16/12/2014 Publicity BDUK Marketing in Admin Costs Kindred Agency Ltd £38,325.40 BDUK connection vouchers campaign
16/12/2014 Publicity BDUK Marketing in Admin Costs Enter Here LLP (George & Dragon) £50,000.00 Phase 2 fee
16/12/2014 Publicity BDUK Marketing in Admin Costs Enter Here LLP (George & Dragon) £29,354.40 Print Production Budget
16/12/2014 Publicity BDUK Marketing in Admin Costs Enter Here LLP (George & Dragon) £260,841.23 Superfast Broadband TVC Production
16/12/2014 Publicity BDUK Marketing in Admin Costs Enter Here LLP (George & Dragon) £53,543.48 Superfast Broadband OOH
16/12/2014 Publicity BDUK Marketing in Admin Costs Enter Here LLP (George & Dragon) £35,000.00 Superfast Digital
16/12/2014 Publicity BDUK Marketing in Admin Costs Enter Here LLP (George & Dragon) £40,000.00 Superfast Press
23/12/2014 Publicity BDUK Marketing in Admin Costs M4C £186,488.55 SF Natl campaign media buying press spac
23/12/2014 Publicity BDUK Marketing in Admin Costs M4C £182,741.91 SCCP CVS outdoor posters Nov 14
23/12/2014 Publicity BDUK Marketing in Admin Costs M4C £296,899.82 SCCP CVS outdoor posters Dec 14
23/12/2014 Publicity BDUK Marketing in Admin Costs Enter Here LLP (George & Dragon) £61,552.00 SF Event Production Phase 3
16/01/2015 Publicity BDUK Marketing in Admin Costs M4C £22,235.57 CVS M4C Radio Time – Nov’14
16/01/2015 Publicity BDUK Marketing in Admin Costs M4C £246,323.78 M4C CVS Radio Time Dec’14
20/01/2015 Publicity BDUK Marketing in Admin Costs M4C £178,630.84 SEARCH/DECEMBER 14
20/01/2015 Publicity BDUK Marketing in Admin Costs M4C £353,987.99 DISPLAY DECEMBER 14
10/02/2015 Publicity BDUK Marketing in Admin Costs Enter Here LLP (George & Dragon) £24,528.81 TVC Production – Superfast
10/02/2015 Publicity BDUK Marketing in Admin Costs Enter Here LLP (George & Dragon) £42,121.00 SUPERFAST BROADBAND LA TOOLKIT
16/02/2015 Publicity BDUK Marketing in Admin Costs M4C £83,537.26 Press Space Nov’14
16/02/2015 Publicity BDUK Marketing in Admin Costs Enter Here LLP (George & Dragon) £21,600.00 Enter Here SF Adapts Repro & Supply
26/02/2015 Publicity BDUK Marketing in Admin Costs Carat UK £207,981.56 1 DCMS SUPERFAST BROADBAND
26/02/2015 Publicity BDUK Marketing in Admin Costs Carat UK £1,080,124.28 1 SFBB OOH JAN-MAR 15
26/02/2015 Publicity BDUK Marketing in Admin Costs Carat UK £440,260.26 1 SFBB JAN 15
26/02/2015 Publicity BDUK Marketing in Admin Costs Carat UK £136,835.79 2 SFBB ITV/SKY JAN15

UPDATE 4pm

Added a comment from the ISPA above.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
6 Responses
  1. I really have my doubts that BDUK central marketing will be having much impact – much more likely to be the bombardment of advertising by the likes of BT, Sky and TT.

    Though I dare say that BDUK will manage to draw a strong parallel with its marketing spend to “prove” it was worth doing! 🙂

  2. Steve says:

    And all done in the run up to the General Election! What a bloody suprise.

  3. dragoneast says:

    Governments have always spent on marketing, it’s the easy way of “doing” anything. As as stupid student in the 70s I wondered why every other job ad at uni was in marketing. It was where all the brains went.

  4. Walter G M Willcox says:

    Is it perhaps apposite that the winter TV advertisement campaign “Broadband Britain” used the backing music entitled “They won’t be fooled again” by The Who ?

  5. Al says:

    And I would love to take up superfast broadband their is just one minor almost trival detail, all the cabinets in my village have been upgraded aside from mine, it went from CS to UR. So no superfast broadband for me (yet).

    Whilst I understand the need the advertising, the only real advertising I’m interested in(and I suspect many of those waiting for superfast broadband to arrive) is when will my cabinet will be upgraded and I can order it.

  6. MikeW says:

    SFNY have always pushed the fact that get publicity out there – ie marketing – was a key part in improving take-up in the region. And within the region, marketing was seen to start small-scale, focussed precisely where cabinets were upgraded. Later on, marketing efforts began to include media that would take the message out more widescale.

    Last autumn, I remember reading that SFNY had been discussing their good take-up results with BDUK central back at DCMS, and had been invited to collaborate over the possibility of targeting higher take-up rates of 50%.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if the central advertising was a part of this process. At the very least, it needs to be tested to see if it does have an impact.

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