FOI release

FRANK drugs advisory service (17080)

Information regarding various aspects of the FRANK drugs advisory service.


Information regarding various aspects of the FRANK drugs advisory service. We released this freedom of information request on the 11 January 2011.

1) The total annual budget for FRANK across all three government departments for the 2009/10 financial year was £5.07 million.  Contributions from each department are as follows:

Department of Health  £2m
Department for Education £1.5m
Home Office   £1.57m
This does not include staffing costs. Workload is shared across teams in all three departments. There is no team specifically dedicated to FRANK.

The FRANK Helpline is funded separately by the Department of Health. 

2) £3.77 million was spent on advertising in the 2008/09 financial year across all three departments.  This figure excludes production costs and confidential agency fees.

3) £5.07 million is the specific total budget for marketing and advertising FRANK in 2010.

4) The number of calls to the FRANK helpline may have decreased as young people’s communication habits have changed over the past few years and also because the number of FRANK contact points have increased.  With the introduction of the FRANK BOT, the text service, and a Facebook page in 2009/10 the overall number of FRANK interactions with FRANK has risen since 2006/07.

5) Digital advertising is the most effective channel for driving interaction with the website, and the number of visits to the FRANK website may have fallen in 2008/9 as less money was spent in promoting the website via digital advertising in comparison to 2007/8.  Similarly less money was spent on digital advertising in 2009/10 compared to 2008/9, which may have resulted in a decrease in the number of visits. 

6) It is not clear why the number of BOT conversation fell in 2008/9. The number of BOT conversations fell in 2009/10 because no paid for advertising of the BOT was pursued in that year.

Published 11 January 2011