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HMRC internal manual

VAT Government and Public Bodies

Government departments and health authorities: Contracted Out Services (COS) Headings: COS Heading 54 - Publicity services

This Heading allows recovery on publicity services.



  • Advertising campaigns other than recruitment adverts (which are covered by heading 57)
  • The use of a private publicity agency for dealing with the media
  • Press releases
  • Digital publicity services, for example illuminated portable posters and video walls



  • Commissioning promotional items such as mugs, T-shirts, stickers etc. This is a supply of goods for VAT purposes and as such falls outside the scope of the Direction
  • The direct placing of an advertisement, for example in a newspaper