Feeds

Google profits from UK.gov's climate change quango rivalry

Bidding circle-jerk confession

The essential guide to IT transformation

The government department responsible for climate change policy has admitted bidding against one of its own quangos for advertising on Google, forcing up the cost to taxpayers.

Ed Miliband's Department of the Environment and Climate Change (DECC) said it sometimes battles the Energy Saving Trust to sponsor links on the dominant web search engine.

DECC has spent £361,700 in the last 12 months on search keywords such as "climate change" and "global warming" to target Google users with government publicity urging them to cut their carbon emissions.

The Energy Saving Trust has meanwhile spent more than £270,000 on similar advertising in the last 12 months.

The keywords are sold by Google in online auctions, so the rivalry between DECC and the quango means the cost per click is increased.

Junior DECC minister Joan Ruddock said the the amounts government departments pay Google "can be capped in order to minimise the risk of DECC and these Departments competing against each other for the same search keywords".

She did not say whether or at what level DECC or the Energy Saving Trust had been capped when bidding against each other.

Ruddock added that DECC's Google ads had been used to take people "quickly and effectively" to Act on CO2, its climate change website. It encourages the public to insulate their lofts, drive less, stop using plastic bags and grow their own vegetables.

News that DECC had bid against a taxpayer-funded quango for the same links emerged in a Parliamentary answer.

The Department is by no means Whitehall's biggest spender on Google. The Deparment of Health has spent more than £2,720,000 in the last 12 months on public sponsoring health-related searches in the last 12 months.

At Prime Minister's questions today, Gordon Brown repeated a pledge to cut government advertising spending by half. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?
Do Brits risk arrest for watching beheading video nasty? We asked the fuzz
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'
Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.