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Freedom of Information request: advertising for clearing

Rowland Manthorpe made this Freedom of Information request to Oxford Brookes University as part of a batch sent to 140 authorities

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

We're waiting for Rowland Manthorpe to read recent responses and update the status.

Dear Oxford Brookes University,

Under the Freedom of Information Act, can you please tell me how much money you spent on advertising for clearing in 2019.

Can you please provide subtotals for the following categories (feel free to break them down further if that's appropriate):
1. Facebook
2. Instagram
3. Google - that is, search advertising
4. YouTube
5. Snapchat
6. Twitter
7. Other social networks (please specify)
8. Amazon
9. Online - that is, on websites excluding social networks, or those websites those listed above (this includes advertising using Google's ad network)
10. Television
11. National newspapers
12. Local newspapers
13. Magazines
14. Posters and billboards
15. Radio
16. Public transport billboards

Can you also provide an example of an ad in each of the above formats.

For the online forms of advertising, can you also tell me how many clicks each advertisement received. Can you also provide any other data you have which indicates the engagement with each ad.

For Google advertising, can you list which keywords you advertised against. Can you please indicate the cost-per-click in each case.

For Facebook, can you please supply
- A list of the interests and/or demographics you targeted
- If you used custom audiences, where you derived the data to make that custom audience from

Can you please provide this information in an Excel format.

Thanks for your help!

Yours faithfully,

Rowland Manthorpe

Vanna Leathart, Oxford Brookes University

Dear Mr Manthorpe,

Freedom of Information Act Request - our reference 2019-209.

Thank you for your email dated 7 September 2019 requesting information
from Oxford Brookes University about advertising costs for Clearing 2019.

The University will respond on or before 4 October 2019, the date on which
the 20 working day response period permitted by the Freedom of Information
Act ends.

I may need to contact you again if the request needs to be clarified; this
is to ensure that we provide you with the information you require.

Please note that in certain cases some information you have requested may
not be provided to you; this will only be information that can be withheld
by law. In these cases the reasons will be explained to you along with
your copy of any information that can be released to you.

Yours Sincerely

Vanna Leathart
--
Vanna Leathart
University Records Manager
IT Services
Oxford Brookes University
Tel: +44 (0)1865 484046
Please note my normal working days are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Vanna Leathart, Oxford Brookes University

Dear Mr Manthorpe.

Freedom of Information Act Request - our reference 2019-209.
Further to your email of 7 September 2019 asking for information from
Oxford Brookes University about the costs of advertising for clearing, I
am able to provide the following information in response to your request.

You asked:

Can you please provide subtotals for the following categories (feel free
to break them down further if that's appropriate):
1. Facebook
2. Instagram
3. Google - that is, search advertising
4. YouTube
5. Snapchat
6. Twitter
7. Other social networks (please specify)
8. Amazon
9. Online - that is, on websites excluding social networks, or those
websites those listed above (this includes advertising using Google's ad
network)
10. Television
11. National newspapers
12. Local newspapers
13. Magazines
14. Posters and billboards
15. Radio
16. Public transport billboards

Can you also provide an example of an ad in each of the above formats.

For the online forms of advertising, can you also tell me how many
clicks each advertisement received. Can you also provide any other data
you have which indicates the engagement with each ad.

For Google advertising, can you list which keywords you advertised
against. Can you please indicate the cost-per-click in each case.

For Facebook, can you please supply
- A list of the interests and/or demographics you targeted
- If you used custom audiences, where you derived the data to make that
custom audience from 

Our Response:

 We are withholding this information as we believe section 43 of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 applies here.  Section 43 (2) states
that information is exempt from disclosure if its disclosure would or
would be likely to prejudice the commercial interests of any person or
organisation.  
We believe this applies because student recruitment is a commercial
activity for all universities. The University’s success in recruiting
students, and the manner in which it does so, directly affects both its
reputation and financial position. It follows that information about how
the University markets itself to potential students can readily be seen
as commercially sensitive. The manner in which the University directs
funding to create a comprehensive and engaging marketing strategy
provides the University with a possible advantage compared to those
competitors who undertake this activity less effectively. Details of
tactical marketing activities/ funding are not shared between
institutions nor are they publicised or made public in any way,
particularly in the key areas of marketing interest such as social media
and the internet more generally. To share detailed information indicates
too much about our strategy and skill in attracting students.

If this information does not address your requirements under the Freedom
of Information Act or you wish to complain about any aspect of the
handling of this request, then you should contact the undersigned in the
first instance. Should you remain dissatisfied, then you may apply for an
internal review by contacting the Director of Marketing and Communications
at Oxford Brookes University, Headington Campus, Gipsy Lane, Oxford OX3
OBP (email: [1][email address] ).  Your request for internal
review should be submitted to us within 40 working days of receipt by you
of this response. 

During the independent review the handling of your information request
will be reassessed by staff who were not involved in providing you with
this response. If you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your
request or complaint, you have a right to appeal to the Information
Commissioner at The Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House,
Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF. Further contact information and
details of the role and powers of the Information Commissioner can be
found on the Commissioner's website: [2]http://www.ico.org.uk/ 

Please note that the Information Commissioner is unlikely to investigate
your case until the University’s internal review process has been
completed.

Yours sincerely

Vanna Leathart

--
Vanna Leathart
University Records Manager
IT Services
Oxford Brookes University
Tel: +44 (0)1865 484046
Please note my normal working days are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.ico.gov.uk/

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Rowland Manthorpe please sign in and let everyone know.