HC Deb 19 April 2000 vol 348 cc518-9W
Mr. Maclennan

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his Department's policy is on(a) advertising and (b) acknowledging company sponsorship on the websites of his Department, agencies and non-departmental public bodies; which companies (i) have placed advertisements and (ii) are acknowledged as sponsors on those websites; how much revenue has been received for each financial year since 1997 from such advertisements and sponsorship; and if that revenue has been retained within the budget of his Department, agencies and non-departmental public bodies. [119548]

Ms Stuart

The Department complies with the "Framework Policy and Guidelines for Government Websites" published by the Central Information Technology Unit of the Cabinet Office. This allows for advertising and sponsorship on departmental web pages but advises that in many contexts this may not be appropriate.

The Department, its agencies and non-departmental bodies do not carry advertising or sponsorship on their websites. Some hyperlinks to free internet products do appear when it is judged that these may enhance viewing of the sites, for example to the free Adobe Acrobat viewer, but no revenue is received by the Department or its agencies and non-departmental bodies in return for these hyperlinks.

Some National Health Service websites mention companies who have provided services to assist in the development of the site. Examples include the site set up to mark the 50th anniversary of the NHS and NHS Direct Online. In these instances, the "sponsorship" is in the form of provision of technical services, and relationships such as these enable the NHS to get the best possible value for its web developments. In these cases, the NHS receives the technical service free of charge and does not obtain revenue for mention of company names or display of company logos.