Request for Marketing and Advertising expenditure

Surbhi.Saxena made this Freedom of Information request to Birkbeck, University of London

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The request was refused by Birkbeck, University of London.

Dear Birkbeck, University of London,
I am writing to make an open government request for all the information to which I am entitled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
Please could you provide a breakdown of advertising and marketing expenditure by line item. If this could be submitted as an excel that would be much appreciate. Ideally this would cover the following questions:
1. What has been the total annual budget for marketing over the last 5 years (2017-2021)?
2. How much of the marketing budget is spent on in-house marketing and how much is spent on 3rd party providers (e.g. Agencies)?
3. What are they types of third party services used e.g. (managed marketing services, content creators, self-service platforms) and how is the expenditure distributed among them?
4. How much of the marketing budget is spent on digital advertising and how much is spent on traditional advertising methods?
5. What is the segmentation of digital expenditure by channel (e.g. how much is spent on Facebook ads, Google ads etc.) ?
If this request is too wide or unclear, I would be grateful if you could contact me. If any of this information is already in the public domain, please can you direct me to it, with page references and URLs if necessary.
I understand that you are required to respond to my request within the 20 working days after you receive this letter. I would be grateful if you could confirm in writing that you have received this request.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Yours faithfully,
Surbhi Saxena

Freedom of Information, Birkbeck, University of London

Dear Surbhi Saxena ,

This is to confirm receipt of your Freedom of Information enquiry. 

We will respond to your request for information by the due date of 29 April 2021. You have also sent an identical request from a personal email address. This will be responded to as part of the original FOI query.

Yours sincerely,

Freedom of Information
Birkbeck, University of London

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Freedom of Information, Birkbeck, University of London

Dear Surbhi Saxena,

This is a response to your recent Freedom of Information (FOIA) request. I apologise for the delay you have experienced in receiving a response to your request for information.

In accordance with Section 43(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000: Prejudice to commercial interests - in relation to your request, we are therefore withholding this information on these grounds.

We do hold information of this nature, not in the format requested, and it is deemed commercially sensitive. If the organisation were to release this information, it would impact our ability to operate competitively if placed in the public domain, due to the highly competitive nature of higher education. We believe that this information would be of benefit to our competitors if it was placed in the public domain and prejudice our ability to succeed in this competitive market; the public interest in maintaining this, outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you may wish to contact the Freedom of Information Office in the first instance to see whether your concerns can be resolved informally. You also have the right to request a formal internal review that will consider the way in which your request has been dealt with. Requests for an internal review should be submitted within two months of the date of receipt of the response to your original communication and should be addressed to [Birkbeck, University of London request email].

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane

Yours sincerely,

Freedom of Information
Birkbeck College
London WC1E 7HX

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