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Money Advice Service spent over £250,000 rebranding website

The Money Advice Service spent more than £250,000 rebranding the Money Made Clear and Consumer Financial Education Body websites before its launch in April.

Labour peer Baroness McDonagh submitted a question to Parliament about how much the Money Advice Service spent on its website, including staff costs.

In a written answer published this week, Treasury commercial secretary Lord Sassoon says the total cost was approximately £254,000, excluding VAT.

He says: “The Money Advice Service enhanced and rebranded its web offering prior to its launch in April 2011. This included consolidating its previous websites (the Consumer Financial Education Body website and the Money Made Clear website) on a single platform under the Money Advice Service brand.

“The Money Advice Service states that the new website includes enhanced features, resulting in improved user experience, accessibility, speed and search engine performance.The Money Advice Service confirms that the total costs, including staffing costs, associated with enhancing its website were approximately £254,000 (excluding VAT).”

An MAS spokeswoman says: “The Money Advice Service significantly enhanced and rebranded its web offering in time for launch in April 2011.  This included consolidating our previous websites on a single, easy to maintain platform under our new Money Advice Service brand, an automated content publishing and scheduling service for money news, features, campaigns, press releases and vacancies, and easy to use navigation resulting in significantly improved user experience, accessibility, speed and search engine performance.”



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There are 12 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Donna Hopton, cherry 25th November 2011 at 1:41 pm

    A ludicrous waste. Those in charge should feel ashamed.

  2. I would have got my mate to do it for half that

  3. and we put in a full content management system for £2,000 and I personally wrote c 150 pages of at least OK content over 3 months in my spare time and got it fully SEO’d. Total cost £2k. I woud have done the pension regulator site for £100k.

    Don’t you just love the way these govt. types spend our money? It is perhaps unkind but with so may of them being laid off it will be interesting to see how they fair in the real world!

  4. shakes head in resignation rather than disbelief as this sort of profligacy with other peoples money is all too common.

  5. Re the job losses: The redundancies will cost us more than the rebranding and the staff will probably find that the compensation packages should see them through for quite some time. Perhaps with ASU they could manage until the recession is over. I wish that I could make myself redundant on the same terms. Unfortunately, as I’m self employed, I can’t get anything. Sympathy? No way!

  6. …And do they know how effective their spend is? Do they monitor the amount of traffic to the site, and do they track whether people spend more time on the site than they did before? Common sense says you need to know what you are getting back from marketing expenditure.

  7. Fools!

    Wasteful, proflgate, remote, disconnected fools!

  8. Typical civil service approach – it aint our money so it doesnt matter.

  9. How ironic that the Money ADVICE Service’s part-predecessor was MONEY MADE CLEAR.

    They’ve managed to p*ss £250k up against the wall by telling people advice is FREE.

    Sorry, but I was under the impression that ADVICE needed to be paid for?

  10. Seems to me they could have done with some financial advice before going ahead!

  11. And, having allowed itself to be ripped off to the tune of probably £200,000 to “significantly enhance and rebrand its web offering” the MAS then found it had taken on twice as many staff as it actually needs (some might well say four times as many) and is having to make 150 of them redundant at a cost of the greater of either a year’s salary or £100,000 (which, multiplied by 150 = £15,000,000). Another monumentally costly regulatory bungle, for which we all have to pay. But what do they care? It’s all OPM, of which an inexhaustible supply is readily on hand, so pay up or pack up.

  12. This is only part of it. I have a friend who used to work for this agency and have some information of interest.
    Before MAS it was CFEB and before that it was the FSA’s Financial Capability Division. Each change meant substantial rebranding and spending.
    MAS is housed in one of the most expensive office spaces in Canary Wharf – why? Although it has a significant number of people on redundancy consultation it continues to employ a large number of ‘consultants’ on a minimum of 300 pounds a day (with many exceeding this by far). The monthly expenses of many of their employees are astronomical at times, with a hotel and food expenses exceeding 200 pounds per day, plus mileage of more than 50 pence per mile.
    Is there any evidence that it has a return on investment. Any private company would have ceased trading by now.
    One final question, is this quango really necessary when there are numerous other professional agencies that offer counselling, information and ‘free advice’!!

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