Government advertising campaigns are starting to roll out, thanks to a whole lot of Aussie taxpayer dollars, but it’s the creatives and researchers set to rake in the cash at the end of the day.
Per Fairfax, tens of millions of dollars are popping up in the bank accounts of spin doctors and advertising experts well before the ads even appear on TV or in newspapers.
The report suggests that for some of the ads, as much as three-quarters of the total price-tag has gone towards the creative process.
And while senator Kim Carr has called out Turnbull and his merry minions on the costs, it turns out it’s a case of the pot calling the kettle black, because it’s since been revealed Labor spent more on ads during its time in power.
Both major parties have thrown nearly $2 billion on taxpayer-funded blasts of advertising over the past decade, per Fairfax, and the amount headed to focus groups, PR people and advertising agencies has climbed to up five per cent to 30 per cent in the last financial year.
In one instance, 20 per cent of the $28 million spent on the Dr Karl Intergenerational Report ads went to 303Lowe, but the campaign resulted in a bit of a ‘fail’ after Dr Karl refused to be associated with the ads despite them being broadcast around the country.
On top of that, more than half of the $8 million spent on a campaign to bring awareness of the impending analogue TV switch-off went to PR firms and private consultants.
In a release entitled ‘There’s never been a more exciting time to work in advertising’, a sneaky twist on Turnbull’s statement that “there has never been a more exciting time to be an Australian”, Labor senator Kim Carr said r Turnbull and Tony Abbott had created a “taxpayer-funded advertising boom”.
“That so-called creative work is designed to ascertain what the public mood is at that time. It’s a direct subsidy to the political parties, that’s opinion-poll research,” he said, per Fairfax.
“I’m the last to suggest we didn’t advertise; all governments have public advertising campaigns [but] there are legitimate and illegitimate ones and this government is not shy about the misuse of public resources for political advantage.”
Some of the recent, current or upcoming government campaigns include the anti-ice ads ($9 million), infrastructure plan ads ($10 million), childcare reform ads ($18 million) and higher education reform ads ($9 million).