§ Mr. Maclennan
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what his Department's policy is on(a) advertising and (b) acknowledging company sponsorship on the websites of his Department, agencies and non-departmental public bodies; which companies (i) have placed advertisements and (ii) are acknowledged as sponsors on those websites; how much revenue has been received for each financial year since 1997 from such advertisements and sponsorship; and if that revenue has been retained within the budget of his Department, agencies and non-departmental public bodies. 
§ Ms Hewitt
[holding answer 19 April 2000]: The Department of Trade and Industry's policy on advertising on websites follows the guidance in the Central IT Unit's 22W "Framework policy and guidelines for the use, management and design of public sector websites" (published last December as part of the e-government strategy). These state:Government sites are permitted to carry advertising. In designing pages, departments and agencies should ensure that advertisers' branding does not detract from the effectiveness and appearance of their own branding or that of government as a whole. Particular attention should be given to avoiding any implications of endorsement of products or services or of contradiction between government messages and those of contractors.
On sponsorship, the DTI also follows Cabinet Office guidance. The same policy is applied to websites as is applied to other forms of publication. In summary, sponsorship support can be sought where there is going to be a significant net benefit to the Department, at no detriment to the public interest. Any sponsorship arrangements are dealt with in ways that are even-handed and open, and on the basis that they must not conflict with the Department's regulatory and enforcement functions or appear to endorse a particular company, product or service.
In applying these policies, a number of DTI sites have been prepared in partnership with private sector organisations in return for acknowledgement of this sponsorship on the site. In a number of cases, sites delivering the objectives of the Department are run and financed by private sector companies which are allowed to enter advertising and sponsorship arrangements with others. Compiling a comprehensive list of companies which have been involved in such arrangements to date would incur disproportionate cost.
No direct revenue has been received to date from either advertising or sponsorship.
None of the non-departmental public bodies for which the Department is responsible has accepted advertising or acknowledged sponsorship from companies on its website. I have asked the Chief Executives of the Department's agencies to write to the hon. Member separately where they have a substantive reply.
Letter from J. S. Holden to Mr. Robert Maclennan, dated 2 May 2000:I have been asked to reply to your recently tabled Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry in respect of Companies House Executive Agency.
- (i) It is Companies House policy not to carry advertising on our web site.
- (ii) Companies House web site is not sponsored.
- (iii) As we have no advertisements or sponsors on our web site, I confirm we have received no revenue from this source for retention within our budgets.
Letter from Alison Brimelow to Mr. Robert Maclennan, dated 2 May 2000:In the Patent Office, the policy is not to accept advertising or company sponsorship on The Patent Office website. No companies therefore have placed advertisements or been acknowledged as sponsors on the website, and no revenue has been received.
Letter from Peter Joyce to Mr. Robert Maclennan, dated 2 May 2000:The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question about advertising and company sponsorship on The Insolvency Service web site.23WThe Insolvency Service does not have any advertising on or company sponsorship of its web site. This has been the case since the launch of the web site.
Letter from Ian Jones to Mr. Robert Maclennan, dated 2 May 2000:You tabled a Parliamentary Question on 13 April 2000 to the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry concerning the policy on sponsorship, advertising and any resulting revenue, for web sites operated by the department and its executive agencies. I have been asked to reply in respect of the Employment Tribunals Service (ETS) which is an executive agency of the DTI.The Employment Tribunals Service provides the administrative support to the Employment Tribunals and Employment Appeal Tribunals. As such, no advertising would be permitted, nor any sponsorship sought, for any site maintained or contributed to by the agency.The agency has a small entry on the main DTI web site. The only web site directly maintained by the agency is that of the Employment Appeal Tribunal although a parallel site for the Employment Tribunals is under consideration.I hope this information is helpful, please let me know if there is any further information that you require.
Letter from David Hendon to Mr. Robert Maclennan, dated 2 May 2000:The Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has asked me to reply on behalf of the Radiocommunications Agency to your Parliamentary Question about advertising and company sponsorship on the RA website.It is the policy of Radiocommunications Agency not to accept advertising or company sponsorship on its website.No such advertisements or sponsorship have been placed on the RA website and no revenue for such services has been received by the Agency.
Letter from Seton Bennett to Mr. Robert Maclennan, dated 2 May 2000:The Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has asked me to reply on behalf of NWML to your question regarding advertising/sponsorship on our web site.The NWML website currently does not carry any sponsorship or advertising. The site has been set up to transfer knowledge to NWML's stakeholders-Trading Standards Officers, weighing and measuring equipment manufacturers, DTI, other customers and interested parties.If in the future NWML was approached by a potential sponsor or advertiser, the idea would be thoroughly considered because it may provide an opportunity to raise additional revenue, however it would not be at the detriment of the quality of information provided to NWML's stakeholders.
Letter from David Irwin to Mr. Robert Maclennan, dated 2 May 2000:I have been asked to reply in respect of the Small Business Service to your recently tabled Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, about advertising and sponsorship on Departmental websites.The SBS website has no plans to allow advertising at present and no adverts have been placed on the site. The site does not carry any references to sponsorship.The Enterprise Zone website is a gateway to business information for SMEs. It narrows down the mass of information available on the Internet to the most relevant, providing a single point of access to useful information. Launched in 1997 by the DTI and supported by Business Links, it is maintained and operated by the Dialog Corporation plc. DTI's agreement with Dialog allows the company to enter into normal, commercial arrangements with advertisers—to which the Department is not a party. The financial details of such arrangements are subject to commercial confidentiality.