HC Deb 24 April 1998 vol 310 cc729-30W
Mr. Duncan Smith

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what guidelines her Department follows in determining whether advertising campaigns are appropriate. [39708]

Mr. Field

The Department follows the guidelines laid down in the Mountfield Report which was published by the Cabinet Office on 27 November 1997. A copy of this report is in the Library. This draws on existing Cabinet Office guidelines on conventions on publicity and advertising "Guidance on Government Advertising and Publicity".

The main conventions are that It is right and proper for governments to use public funds for publicity and advertising to explain their policies and to inform the public of the government services available to them and of their rights and liabilities … This basic rule covering all government publicity and advertising has been accepted under successive administrations.

Decisions are made in accordance with the above guidance taking into account such considerations as cost effectiveness and accountability.

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