PRCA responds to reports of BBC spending £2.5 million hiring PR agencies

The PRCA has commented on the news that the BBC plans to spend £2.5 million hiring six PR agencies to promote the licence fee and highlight the consequences of non-payment.

UK-based PR agencies have reportedly been invited to bid for the contracts, which will begin in April 2019 and work across six regions: London and the South East, Midlands and East Anglia, Northern England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

A spokesperson from TV Licensing said: “The work of the agencies and the BBC’s TV Licensing communications team has been proven to bring in more money from TV licence sales than it costs.

“Those working on TV Licensing communications perform a completely different job to the BBC press office, including spending half their time on working with stakeholders such as money advice organisations to help people pay their licence.

“We will, as always, be looking for the best value for money in the procurement and we have kept the cost of these contracts down at the same level for the last decade.”

Francis Ingham MPRCA, Director General, PRCA, said: “The BBC is absolutely right to invest in agency support as it seeks to maximise revenue and to remind viewers of their legal responsibilities.

“Money spent well on PR and communications activity delivers a significant ROI, and this commitment will undoubtedly repay itself several times over.

“There is something frankly tiresome about this ignorant, kneejerk reaction to any public spend on communications. Not least as it comes from organisations and publications which almost invariably themselves have significant PR and marketing operations, and which therefore know that their apparent outrage is entirely fabricated and false.” 

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