Today most of the papers have caught up with the “Met spends Â£3.3 million on recruitment ads for PCSOs” story – see BBC for instance. The image right is taken from the MPA report and accounts which include the Metropolitan Police Service. As you can see their publicity spending, which includes recruitment ads, shot up 42% last year to Â£8.6 million.
You might ask how do they manage to spend this kind of cash? The LibDems found out that the current 2007 campaign (left) reminding everyone about the SNTs cost Â£800K, shared with TfL. Last year they admitted to me that they spent Â£485K on the original 2006 SNT campaign (below). They run a number of these high profile ad campaigns during the year, see the list here. They also contribute Â£250K per year towards the Mayor’s propaganda sheet, the Londoner. If you are kind there are 49 press officers working for the MPS or if you want to collar everyone involved the number goes up to 92, see answer to a question from Richard Barnes here. There are two press officers in the MPA.
You can understand that the Mayor would only want to spend Â£485K helping Labour councillors to get elected last year but he reckons that Â£800K is a more appropriate figure to get himself re-elected – I guess he thinks he is worth it. You wonder how TfL justifies spending out Â£400K on an ad that is about policing and does not mention transport security.
Last year I did a piece for ConservativeHome and on a back-of-a-fag-packet basis reckoned that the Mayor and his GLA bodies spent something like Â£100 million on advertising and the black arts of communications. Here we see that the Met, typically one of the slightly more retiring parts of the empire, manages to spend Â£8.6 million on publicity all on its own.