Spending on newspaper advertising: FOI release

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

Information requested

The amount of money spent by the central Scottish Government in 2020-21 on advertising within newspapers and magazines, both print and online, in total and broken down by the amount spent with each title.


While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide the information you have requested because an exemption under section 33 of FOISA applies to that information as disclosure would (or would be likely to) prejudice substantially the commercial interests of any person or organisation (section 33(1)(b)).

Using standard media buying software common to the sector, media buying agencies can access data on the volume of media purchased by their competitors. Providing the cost of this media by individual title alongside this would therefore enable competitors to determine the buying rates (price) for individual media companies. This information is highly commercially sensitive within the sector and disclosure would materially disadvantage the Scottish Government contractor.

However, we are able to provide the expenditure by Publisher for financial year 2020-2021:

DC Thomson £577,329
Daily Mail Group £143,814
ICNN £8,340
JPI Media £239,085
Mediaforce £1,960,954
Newsquest £321,705
News Scot £430,622
Others* £26,734
Reach £470,393

TOTAL £4,178,976

* All publishers with a spend over the period under £7,500 have been combined together.

All Scottish Government media buying and planning is done via agencies appointed through the Media planning buying and associated services 2019 to 2023 framework, and never directly with media owners or channels.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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