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BDUK ad campaign cost taxpayer £5m

New figures released by DCMS reveal the government’s superfast broadband advertising campaign cost it over £5m

The Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) TV and print advertising campaign cost the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) upwards of £5m between September 2014 and February 2015.

Having released details of all its transactions valued at more than £25,000 between September and November 2014 earlier this year, DCMS has now provided additional detail with the release of information on its spending between December 2014 and February 2015 – the height of the campaign.

The superfast broadband advertising campaign – which spanned outdoor billboard sites, print media, and television and radio spots – was launched late in 2014 to drive up public awareness of the work being conducted by BDUK. 

The controversial scheme aims to bring superfast broadband to 95% of UK properties by 2017.

DCMS engaged four marketing and creative agencies to drive its campaign, including Carat, Enter Here, Kindred Agency and M4C.

Carat received £1,865,201.89m, Enter Here received £935,017.15, Kindred Agency received £459,523.16, and M4C received £1,787.150.61, adding up to a grand total of £5,046,892.81.

The money was spent on creative work and supplies, print and television production, ad space on billboards, print media and commercial breaks, among other things.

The bulk of DCMS spending during the period related to funding for museums, art galleries and other cultural and sporting institutions.

Milestone grants

Other beneficiaries of DCMS funding relating to BDUK during the six months to 28 February 2015 include auditors KPMG, who pocketed £252,000 for management consultancy services. 

A number of city and county councils also benefited, receiving grants relating to the Superconnected Cities connection voucher scheme and various BDUK roll out milestones hit during the period.

Suppliers including AB Internet, Airwave, Avanti Communications, CallFlow Solutions and Quickline Communications received milestone payments relating to the ongoing test pilots scheme, while Arqiva received grants relating to the Mobile Infrastructure Project (MIP).

A number of administrative fees and contractor payments were also made to Capita and HM Treasury.


At the end of July 2014, DCMS revealed that BT was to pay back £129m of the money it received from local authorities to roll out superfast broadband following better-than-expected take-up of the service.

With take-up having exceeded 20%, the claw-back mechanism was activated to provide more money to local authorities to continue the BDUK roll-out into ever-more remote areas of the country. 

Close to three million additional premises around the UK have been passed by BDUK.

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