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Freedom of Information request: advertising for clearing

Rowland Manthorpe made this Freedom of Information request to Bath Spa 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 a recent response and update the status.

Dear Bath Spa 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

FOI Officer, Bath Spa University

1 Attachment

Dear Rowland,

Further to your email of 07/09/2019, which I have treated as a Freedom of
Information request, please find below the information that you requested.
My apologies for the delay in responding to you.

Query

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  

Response

Bath Spa University spent a total of £63,271 on advertising for clearing
in 2019. 

Please find attached examples of the adverts. 

We are unable to provide any further detail, as per your request, as
this information is exempt from disclosure under Section 43(2) of the
Freedom of Information Act. This states:

(2)   Information is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act
would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of any
person (including the public authority holding it).

Therefore, this information is being withheld as disclosure would
prejudice the commercial interests of Bath Spa University and the third
party whom we engage to provide this advertising.

In line with the terms of this exemption, we have considered whether it
would be in the public interest to provide you with this information,
despite the exemption being applicable. In this case, I have concluded
that the public interest favours withholding the information

When assessing whether or not it was in the public interest to disclose
the information to you, we took into account the following factors:

Public interest considerations favouring disclosure:

- Transparency in how public funds are spent, improving confidence 

- Consistent with the principles of openness and accountability

Public interest considerations withholding the information:

- Bath Spa University already publishes expenditure which we are required
to make public, in particular, that which exceeds £25k. To break down the
total expenditure further would result in the release of information which
is not routinely published. 

- There is the potential that future negotiations for both organisations
would be prejudiced, as we would be revealing budgetary information. This
would disadvantage both parties as it may impact on the ability to obtain
best value for money in the future. This is not in the best interests of
either party or the public.  

- Some of the information you have requested is commercially sensitive as
it outlines how the clearing campaign has performed and also what the
third party has achieved on our behalf. This may put the third party at a
competitive disadvantage, particularly if another agency were to use these
figures to approach Bath Spa University or if the third party were to be
involved in a competitive pitch elsewhere.

- Bath Spa University may be put at a competitive disadvantage by
revealing information such as key words, as it would reveal to competitors
our advertising strategies. Competitors may then use this information to
their advantage.

- We have also consulted with the third party who provide these services
and they feel this information is commercially sensitive for the above
reasons, so it is not appropriate for release.

We reached the view that, on balance, the public interest is better served
by withholding this information under Section 43(2) of the Act at this
time.

 

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your
request and wish to ask for a review of the decision, you should write to:
Freedom of Information Officer, Bath Spa University, Newton Park, Newton
St Loe, Bath, BA2 9BN or email to [1][Bath Spa University request email] within 40
working days of receipt of the original decision. 

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your internal review, you may
apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally
the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the University’s
review procedure. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

 

Tel: 08456 30 60 60 or 01625 54 57 45

[2]www.ico.gov.uk

 

Yours sincerely,

Freedom of Information Officer
Bath Spa University
T: +44 (0)1225 875875
Visit [3]www.bathspa.ac.uk
Join us on: [4]Facebook | [5]Twitter | [6]YouTube | [7]LinkedIn
Newton Park, Bath, BA2 9BN 

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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.