Canberra pandemic ad spend eclipses all government campaigns

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 11 January 2021

Government spending on advertising connected to the pandemic eclipsed that outlayed on all other campaigns.

The federal government spent $127.9 million on advertising and media placement in the 2019-20 financial year, according to the Department of Finance's annual report, Campaign Advertising by Australian Government Departments and Agencies.

The biggest ad spend was $47.8 million by the Health Department’s COVID campaign, well ahead of the usual high spend by Defence Force Recruiting at $31.3 million.

Another $2.5 million was spent by the department foreign affairs on its Smartraveller COVID-19 campaign

And Treasury spent $17.7 million for its campaign on the economic response to COVID-19.

The finance department report gives detail on 18 advertising campaigns up to June 30 in 2020.

Among the agencies benefiting from the COVID campaigns are McCann Worldgroup, Carbon Media, Hall & Partners, 33 Creative and Snapcracker Research and Strategy.

In MYEFO, the mid year budget update, the government announced $75.2 million over two years to support the COVID-19 Vaccination Program. 

Included in this is a $23.9 million national advertising campaign.

Health minister Greg Hunt says the campaign will explain the regulatory processes, the priority groups, timing and roll-out to assist people to understand how the vaccines.

“It is essential that people understand that Australia’s medical regulatory processes need to occur before the vaccines are approved for use,” he says.

“We are receiving data from overseas and this will assist in finalising the priority groups for the vaccinations, putting our health and aged care workers in the first wave along with elderly Australians who are at most risk from the virus.” 

fed govt ad spend 2019-20

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