Scottish Government research expenditure: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

FOI reference: FOI/18/00963
Date received: 26 March 2018
Date responded: 17 April 2018

Information requested

1. Scottish Government spending on polling and market research (including quantitative and qualitative research) in each year from 2011 to 2017;

2. For a list of firms that carried out polling and research on behalf of the Scottish Government in 2014-17;

3. For a list of polls or market research projects carried out by the Scottish Government in 2014-17;

4. If this does not exceed the FOI cost limit, for a copy of the research findings and business cases for market research and polling projects carried out by the Scottish Government in 2014-17.


Part 1

The Scottish Government does not undertake polling. The spend on market research through the marketing services frameworks that were in operation in each year was as follows:

2011-2012: £566,194
2012-2013: £458,780
2013-2014: £249,181
2014-2015: £232,979
2015-2016: £430,490
2016-2017: £187,300

Part 2

The market research activity in 2014-2017 was commissioned via the Marketing Services Multi Lot 5 – Research and all activity was undertaken by TNS who were the appointed research supplier following various procurement tenders.

Part 3

Please see attached table.

Part 4

Across our campaigns research is undertaken to identify the awareness or attitude of the target audience before and/or after a campaign has been delivered and to identify areas where effectiveness of campaigns can be improved.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the costs of locating, retrieving and providing the information requested would exceed the upper cost limit of £600. Under section 12 of FOISA public authorities are not required to comply with a request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying would exceed the upper cost limit, which is currently set at £600 by Regulations made under section 12.

You may, however, wish to consider reducing the scope of your request in order that the costs can be brought below £600. For example, you could specify the subject matter(s) of market research you are interested in or restrict your request to a specific campaign, as this would allow us to limit the searches that would require to be conducted. You may also find it helpful to look at the Scottish Information Commissioner's 'Tips for requesting information under FOI and the EIRs' on his website at:

About FOI

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Part 3.docx


Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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