Feeds

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

Bidding circle-jerk confession

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.