DCMS hits back at media claims of 'frivolity'

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has reacted to criticism that adding £41m of taxpayers' money to the Olympic opening ceremony budgets is frivolous.

London 2012 stadium
London 2012 stadium

In a statement issued to C&IT, the DCMS stated that the extra money will help attract the attention of corporates and the world's audience.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to attract business and national publicity. We've been working closely with Locog and concluded that we needed to enhance the content further," it said.

Meanwhile, Jane Culcheth Beard, manager - events, Western Europe at Hewlett-Packard, added her support to the increase: "Arguments for the money being better spent on (for example) schools are understandable, but it's not that black and white," she said."The halo effect of these ceremonies will be so many degrees greater. £41m is not a drop in the ocean; we have to get it right."

Sir Martin Sorrell, chief executive of global advertising group WPP, recently said that the opening and closing ceremonies at London 2012 could be worth up to £5bn in advertising revenue for the UK.

See profile of Jane Culcheth Beard in the January issue of C&IT.

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