Dear University of Reading,
Please could you provide me with the following information under the Freedom of Information Act:
In each of the financial years from 1998-99 to 2018-19 how much has your institution spent on advertising and marketing of undergraduate degrees? This should exclude open days and publication costs if possible.
If possible please break down this spending by different types of advertising and marketing:
- Traditional media
- Social media
- Search engine
- Direct advertising
I look forward to hearing from you.
Dear W Tanner.
This is to acknowledge receipt of your request for information below and to let you know it is being processed.
We'll get back to you as soon as we can, but in any case within 20 working days from 06/03/2020.
In the meantime, if you wish to add any further details or check on progress, please reply to this message, quoting the reference number IMPS#02740, so that we can track your input and respond promptly.
Information Management & Policy Services (IMPS), University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading, RG6 6AH
t: +44 (0)118 378 8981 www.reading.ac.uk/foia
Dear W Tanner,
We are writing to advise you that it has been necessary to refuse this
request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
We estimate that compliance with your request would exceed the appropriate
costs limit established by section 12 of the Freedom of information Act
2000; this is currently set at £450 (or 18 hours work) by virtue of the
Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees)
Regulations 2004. Our estimate has considered the time it would take to
determine whether we hold the information and then to locate, retrieve and
The primary reason for this is that information in respect of total spend
on ‘advertising and marketing of undergraduate degrees’ would require a
search of all records relating to spend for the time period requested.
This is because there is no single place for all spend on advertising to
recruit undergraduate students, it is therefore not held in an aggregated
and easily accessible format and it would require further manual
interrogation of individual advertising spends. This request would
therefore require a search of all schools, departments and possibly the
records of individual line managers across the University. There are over
55 such Schools and Departments. If it took 60 minutes to collate the data
you have asked for, data which we hold for the time period requested, from
one school (or equivalent), and for some it may take much longer, it would
take the total time spent on the request over 60 hours (60min * 60 units =
3600 / 60 = 60 hours), and this without factoring in the time it would
take to collate all the information from individuals. This work takes us
over the 18 hour threshold imposed by the appropriate limit so in
accordance with FOI this email acts as a Refusal Notice.
I am sorry we could not provide the requested data.
However, under Sec.16 (duty to provide help and assistance), we do hold
some undergraduate marketing spend information which is limited to that
held by our central marketing team only. This will not reflect all spend
across the University (which we have explained, we are not able to locate
within the cost limits), however we hope that this may be of some use to
you. This is provided below:
Budget spent on marketing specifically targeting prospective undergraduate
Financial Year (FY) 2019/20 (Aug – Jan)
UG recruitment campaign 2019/20: £130,919.93
Clearing campaign 2019/20: £140,360.00
Total for the FY: £271,279.93
UG recruitment campaign 2018/19: £265,480.32
Clearing campaign 2018/19: £105,502.63
Total for the FY: £370,982.95
UG recruitment campaign 2017/18: £229,017.03
Clearing campaign 2017/18: £52,474.15
Total for the FY: £281,491.18
UG recruitment campaign 2016/17: £224,748.00
Clearing campaign 2016/17: £47,421.05
Total for the FY: £272,169.05
We are required to include details of our complaints procedures, including
your rights to apply to the Information Commissioner. The procedure is
detailed in our Freedom of Information and Environmental Information
Regulations policy on the web at
If we are unable to resolve any complaint, you can complain to the
Information Commissioner, the independent body who oversees the access to
information regimes: https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/
Information Compliance Officer
Information Management & Policy Services (IMPS), University of Reading,
Whiteknights, Reading, RG6 6AH
[University of Reading request email]
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