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Comments

Graeme Archer

Thank you Deputy Editor for highlighting this. I think you're absolutely correct: Andrew's proposal would give a mechanism for venting our outrage at this Livingstone-inspired propaganda on the rates, and stopping it.

TaxCutter

What's that per London Household? If we assume there are 3m London households (v rough estimate), then its £26 per year on the Council Tax Bill.

Jimmynutmeg

Is there a breakdown of this figure? I find it hard to believe. I'm sure TfL's marketing spend is very large, but £78 million? It's such a vast amount of money I imagine it would make TfL amongst the biggest advertisers in the UK, if not Europe. Some of the blogosphere's famous fact-checking skills could be used here.

northwest

This is simply extraordinary - how desperately we need a candidate who can beat Ken, and an independent team at County Hall who would stop this blatant political use of public funds.

Andrew Price

You know this hit home today when I was walking through Waterloo Tube Station and I saw a Billboard poster. All that was on it was 'WE LOVE LONDONERS' and in the bottom right corner the 'Mayor of London' Logo. BUT that was the poster..... Just that on it. I never usually look up in the morning... but even this shocked me!

I'll try and get a picture of it on my phone and forward it to the Ed.

michael mcgough

Just wait until we get nearer the next Mayoral election in 2008.

Deputy Editor

You may be interested to read the full text of Nigel Marson’s (TfL Interim Director of Marketing) letter which gave the figure, although it only breaks it down into the £1.5million for The Londoner (which he argues is good value)...

“Thank you for your e-mail of 25 July to Peter Hendy regarding a letter that you have received from the Mayor, including details of Transport for London’s (TfL’s) contribution to the Londoner. I have been asked to reply to you on behalf of Mr Hendy.

Transport for London invests £1.5m in The Londoner in return for three full colour pages of advertising space in each of the 10 additions that are distributed to 3 million London homes across the year. This equates to a cost of £50,000 per page – or £17 for every 1,000 London households that it reaches.

This represents cost effective media buying given that we would need to advertise in both the Evening Standard and London’s local press to reach a similar volume of people. To do this, again using full colour pages, would cost £44* per 1,000. To use a combination of the London/South East editions of the national daily papers is, at £135** per 1,000, even less cost efficient.

The requirements in section 5 of the Local Government Act 1986 apply to local authorities. Local authorities are defined in section 6 of that Act to include county, district or London borough councils and various other bodies. The definition was amended by the Greater London Authority Act 1999 to also include the Metropolitan Police Authority and the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority.

Transport for London is not a local authority and is not included in the definition of bodies to which section 5 of the Local Government Act 1986 applies. TfL is not therefore required to keep a separate account of publicity expenditure.

The Statement of Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2005 included a voluntary disclosure of expenditure on publicity which was consistent with the section 5 requirements. This excluded items exempt under the Local Authorities (Publicity Account) (Exemption) Order 1987 such as: publicity required by statute; invitations to tender; promoting the use and availability of timetables, amenities, facilities, and guidebooks; road traffic conditions; and publicity addressed to tenants. The amount disclosed for publicity was consequently only a small proportion of the total expenditure on such activities. The amounts paid to The Londoner in 2004/05 were not included in the total disclosed in the Statement of Accounts for publicity as it was considered that the advertisements placed fell within the definition of exempt publicity above.

For 2005/06, as you are aware the contribution to The Londoner by Transport for London was £1.5 million. Total expenditure on the broader category of advertising, marketing and communications for 2005/06 (as reported to the GLA in TfL’s Monitoring report for the 4th quarter) amounted to £78 million.

TomTom

It is important to buy lots of PR and advertising; heavy investment in Propaganda is essential to sustain regimes during regular elections. Large public contracts yioeld large private favours, a form of pre-payment for supportive copy

Phil Taylor

This letter was written to me as a response to an inquiry I made to Peter Hendy. It is part of a campaign I am driving to make sure that all parts of Livingstone's empire consistently and honestly disclose their ad spending.

TfL admitted to spending £5.2 million in its 2004/5 statement of accounts. They cynically admit to less than 10% of their spending in this area by making a "voluntary" disclosure under the Local Government Act 1986 (Section 5) and then leave most everything out of it.

I will leave it up to you to comment on how the Tory AMs have managed to release a letter to me verbatim without mentioning my name.

Don Jameson

If TfL were instructed that the words "MAYOR OF LONDON" could not appear in their publicity then the tap would turn off in an instant.

In the unlikely event that a Conservative mayoral candidate is ever selected I suggest a simple leaflet campaign - a portrait of Livingstone and the slogan "MAYOR OF LONDOFF"

Anon Nymous

A friend of mine worked for a public affairs company which was paid more than £1 million per year (on a fixed three year contract) by TfL to provide political advice.

Most FTSE 100 companies pay no more than £20k a month for public affairs support. TfL apparently made no attempt to squeeze down the costs.

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