London, Mar. 29 (ANI): Bombarded with more than 10,000 government advertisements every day, Britons are accusing the Gordon Brown government for turning the nation into the "ultimate nanny state".
The Conservatives, who have set out plans to slash the government's marketing budget by 250 million pounds to help pay for a freeze in council tax, accused Labour of wasting money.
"When you go to the cinema and watch an ad break, so many of the ads are now the government telling you what you can and cannot do. It really does feel like the ultimate nanny state," Conservative leader Grant Shapps said
According to a new research by The Nielsen Company, messages from the state like --Stop smoking. Drink less. Learn new skills. Stop defrauding the benefit office. Claim tax credits. Wear a condom. Join the Army-- were relayed to the population via television, radio, cinema, newspapers, magazines and billboards on more than 3.7 million occasions during 2008.
The government is now the biggest spender on advertising in the country.
The TaxPayers' Alliance called the level of government advertising, "staggering".
"We're in the grip of a recession and advertising is simply not a priority when it comes to taxpayers' money. The Government should stop heckling people and start providing decent public services at an affordable rate," said Susie Squire, group's campaign manager. The Central Office of Information (COI), which handles almost all government advertising, insisted that information campaigns could, in fact, save money.
"In 2007/8, campaigns tackled important issues such as giving up smoking, Army recruitment, road safety and climate change. These are of huge social benefit and help generate overall savings to the public purse," COI's Deputy CEO Peter Buchanan said.
"HM Revenue and Custom's campaign to persuade taxpayers to file their returns online generated 7.9 million pounds in savings for the department in 2005," he added. (ANI)