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Chamber and committees

Question ref. S6W-09885
Asked by: Maurice Golden, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
Date lodged: 20 July 2022


To ask the Scottish Government how many times (a) it and (b) its agencies have used public figures in communications campaigns since 2016, and how much was spent hiring the public figure in each case. 

Current status: Answered by John Swinney on 15 August 2022


Since 2016, the Scottish Government has worked with 63 individuals who are public figures on 104 occasions as part of communication campaigns delivered via the central Scottish Government Marketing Team. Of those 63 individuals, 4 have been part of a Scottish Government television advert. The remaining 59 have been involved through social media advertising, digital or public relations activity only. The Scottish Government does not hold details of communications activity undertaken by agencies.

The public figures who have worked with the Scottish Government on communications campaigns since 2016 are: Amber Zoe (Presenter); Arabella Weir (Actress); Barbara Dickson (Singer); Boogie (DJ); Bruce Fumey (Comedian); Callum Gallacher (DJ); Carol Smillie (TV Presenter); Cassi Gillespie (Radio Presenter); Cat Cubie (Presenter); Cat Harvey (Presenter); Charlie Reid (Musician); Chris Brookmyre (Author); Clare Grogan (Singer); Craig Reid (Musician); Des Clarke (Comedian); Dougray Scott (Actor); Dr Punam Krishan (TV Doctor); Edith Bowman (DJ/Presenter); Edward Reid (Performer); Elaine C Smith (Actress); Eunice Olumide (Model); Ewen Cameron (Presenter); Fred MacCauley (Comedian); Gail Porter (Presenter); Gary Maclean (Chef); Gavin Mitchell (Actor); Gordon Clark (Musician); Grant Stott (Presenter); Hayley Scanlan (Fashion Designer); Heather MacRae (Golfer); Huw Jones (Rugby Player); Iain Stirling (Comedian); Jackie MacNamara (Footballer); Jai McDowall (Singer); Jane McCarry (Actor); Janey Godley (Comedian); Jennifer Reoch (Presenter); Keryn Matthew (Miss Scotland); Kieron Achara (Basketball Player); Laura Boyd (Reporter); Laura Fraser (Actress); Lawrence Chaney (Drag Queen); Leah MacRae (Actress); Lee Craigie (Cyclist); Les McKeown (Musician); Lorraine Kelly (Presenter); Lorraine McIntosh (Musician); Mac Twins (DJ/Authors); Mark Cox (Comedian); Mollie Hughes (Explorer); Moyo Akande (Actress); Nicola Roy (Actress); Peter Sawkins (Baker); Raman Bhardwaj (Reporter); Ricky Ross (Musician); River City Cast (TV); Ruaridh Jackson (Rugby Player); Sanjeev Kohli (Comedian); Scott Hastings (Rugby Player); Shaheeda Sinckler (Singer); Simon Donnelly (Footballer); Sir Alex Ferguson (Football Manager); Stuart Hogg (Rugby Player).

On 44 occasions there was no payment to the public figure. For the balance, the fee paid to each individual is part of a commercial negotiation between the appointed agency to produce the campaign, within an overall agreed production budget, and the relevant individual. Therefore, this is either information not held by the Scottish Government or it cannot be disclosed as this would release confidential financial information relating to the services offered by each individual. However, historical Freedom of Information requests relating to the “Stop The Spike” campaign featuring Janey Godley has resulted in that fee being published following agreement it could be released. The fee in that instance was £10,000.