HC Deb 21 October 2002 vol 391 c11W
Mr. Allen

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what use he and his Department has made of focus group research since June 2001; if he will identify for each research project the topics covered, the person or organisation carrying out the research, and the total cost; and if he will publish the research on his Department's website. [74992]

Mr. Jamieson

Focus group work forms an element in a number of projects that fall within the Department's research programme. This is not always costed separately. The general conclusions of the focus group work are incorporated, where relevant, in the reports of the research projects carried out.

However, the Department's Communication Directorate regularly carries out specific focus group research in order to gauge the effectiveness of particular advertising approaches and to assess audience reaction to different creative concepts for developing its advertising programme. This research relates wholly to road safety advertising. Details of the research findings are not published as they relate to work in development, are of an ephemeral nature, contain views given in confidence which are highly subjective, and will often contain approaches that advertising companies would not wish to share with competitors.

The sums paid to each company in respect of any particular piece of work are regarded as commercial in confidence. However, since June 2001, the total amount spent on focus group research in respect of road safety campaigns is £112k. The companies which have carried out this research for the Department are Abbot Mead Vickers BBDO, Andrew Irving Associates, Came Martin, Cragg Ross Dawson, Ruth Foulds Qualitative Research, and Campbell Keegan.