Central Office of Information

The Central Office of Information (COI) was the UK government's marketing and communications agency. Its Chief Executive reported to the Minister for the Cabinet Office. It was a non-ministerial department, and became an executive agency and a trading fund, recovering its costs from the other departments, executive agencies and publicly funded bodies which used its services.

Central Office of Information (COI)
Non-ministerial government department overview
Formed1946 (1946)
Preceding Non-ministerial government department
Dissolved30 December 2011
Superseding agency
JurisdictionUnited Kingdom
HeadquartersHercules House, Hercules Road, London SE1 7DU
Minister responsible

It was established in 1946 as the successor to the wartime Ministry of Information. It worked with Whitehall departments and public bodies to produce information campaigns on issues that affected the lives of British citizens, from health and education to benefits, rights and welfare.

COI celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2006 with several events including a film season at the National Film Theatre and a poll to find Britain's favourite public information film on the BBC website.[1]

From 2010, governmental spending on marketing fell considerably. This was because of the Coalition Government's policy to support only essential campaigns.[2] As a result, the Government announced that COI would be closed and its remaining functions transferred to the Cabinet Office.[3]

The Central Office of Information closed on 30 December 2011.[4]


  1. Wilson, Giles (28 March 2006). "Stop Look Listen: And the winner is..." BBC News Online. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  2. Cabinet Office (2011-06-23). "Government publishes response to COI review - Press releases - GOV.UK". Cabinetoffice.gov.uk. Retrieved 2014-03-22.
  3. "Government ad agency COI to be closed down". BBC News Online. 23 June 2011. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  4. Cabinet Office Annual Report and Accounts 2012-13 p88

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