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  1. Media Business
December 1, 2016

UK Government spent nearly £5m last year advertising with Sun, Times and Mail titles

By Freddy Mayhew

Central Government departments spent £2.8m on advertising with News UK titles last year, including more than £800,000 with The Sun alone.

The Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and Mail Online received just under £2m in Government advertising for the year to the end of March 2016.

The figures were revealed in response to a parliamentary question asked by Stephen Doughty, MP for Cardiff South and Penarth.

Doughty asked: “How much has the Government spent on advertising in (a) The Times, (b) The Sunday Times, (c) The Mail on Sunday, (d) The Sun, (e) The Sun on Sunday, (f) The Huffington Post, (g) Mail Online, (h) Daily Mail, (i) The Guardian and (j) Trinity Mirror newspapers in each Department in the last six years”.

Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office Ben Gummer replied with figures for the given titles over the past financial year.

The totals are in the table below, along with Press Gazette’s circulation data:

Title Amount  Print circ/online daily browsers
Daily Mail £893,398 1,510,824
The Sun £844,204 1,672,217
Times £797,808 437,352
The Sunday Times £759,289 781,237
Mail on Sunday £564,559 1,315,977
Mail Online £504,358 14,300,000
Sun on Sunday £399,773 1,437,208
Daily Mirror/Daily Record/Sunday Mirror/The People £339,125 1,862,961
The Guardian £339,125 157,778


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All the figures quoted appear to be for print advertising (with the exception of Mail Online).

Here is Cabinet Office minister Ben Gummer’s answer in full: “Government advertising is purchased by our media buying partner, Carat.

“Carat has held the contract for UK Government media buying since January 2015. The figures that are supplied below show spend by departmental groups for the financial year 2015/16. HM Government does not hold figures for previous financial years.

“In the last Parliament, the Government saved £18.6 billion through efficiencies and reform – and we are aiming to make another £15-20 billion in efficiency savings by 2019-20.

“Since 2010, we have already reduced Government spending on communications by £1 billion.

“Government advertising supports the government’s priorities and helps deliver its programmes. Government communications helps improve the lives of people and communities in the UK, assists with the effective operation of our public services and delivers responsive and informative communications 24 hours a day.

“The advertising expenditure figures below are provided by Departmental Group, and include for each Department expenditure by Arms Length Bodies reporting to the respective Secretary of State.”

Daily Mail/Weekend Magazine

  • DEFRA £12,160
  • DCLG £74,100
  • DWP £79,888
  • HMT £569,594
  • Home Office £18,816
  • DCMS £64,600
  • DH £74,240
  • Total £893,398

Trinity Mirror – Daily Mirror/Daily Record/Sunday Mirror/The People/We Love Telly

  • BIS £8,100
  • DCLG £16,200
  • DWP £64,613
  • HMT £104,669
  • DH £134,943
  • DCMS £6,400
  • MOD £4,200
  • Total £339,125

Guardian/The Guide/Weekend

  • DEFRA £2,420
  • DFE £10,956
  • DCLG £4,840
  • DWP £4,180
  • HMT £69,575
  • DFT £1,210
  • Home Office £2,640
  • UKTI £4,840
  • DCMS £5,808

Total £106,469

Mail on Sunday/Event Magazine/You Magazine

  • DEFRA £36,922
  • DWP £65,268
  • HMT £363,836
  • Home Office £16,023
  • BIS £8,000
  • DH £41,610
  • DCMS £32,900

Total £564,559

Sun on Sunday/Fabulous

  • DWP £76,853
  • HMT £236,859
  • DH £75,298
  • DCMS £10,763
  • Total £399,773

The Sun/TV Magazine

  • MOD £12,000
  • BIS £41,370
  • DCLG £105,887
  • DWP £109,603
  • HMT £301,713
  • DCMS £42,000
  • DH £231,631
  • Total £844,204

The Sunday Times

  • DEFRA £33,380
  • DFE £122,904
  • DWP £31,864
  • HMT £493,084
  • Home Office £55,307
  • BIS £11,370
  • DCMS £11,380
  • Total £759,289

Times/Times Magazine

  • DEFRA £14,400
  • DFE £36,941
  • DWP £10,151
  • HMT £337,019
  • Home Office £347,341
  • DCMS £5,970
  • UKTI £11,488
  • DCMS £34,498
  • Total £797,808

Mail Online

  • HMT £149,500
  • MOD £154,442
  • BIS £37,802
  • DH £162,614
  • Total £504,358

Huffington Post

We only use one supplier for AOL owned properties (that includes Huffington Post) so it is impossible to distinguish from other AOL bookings that run across the portfolio.



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