Written answers

Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Department of An Taoiseach

Departmental Expenditure

Photo of Carol NolanCarol Nolan (Laois-Offaly, Independent)
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39. To ask the Taoiseach the amount expended by his Department on advertising and awareness raising initiatives related to Covid-19 from March 2020 to date in 2021; the print, online and broadcasting media organisations contracted to provide this service; and the amount provided to each in the timeframe concerned. [24936/21]

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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A tabular breakdown of the figures requested by the Deputy is below.

Advertising Costs 2021

Since March of 2020, my Department has co-ordinated the communications strategy for the whole-of-government response to the pandemic that ensures maximum clarity for citizens, businesses and our wider community.

The strategy ensures that citizens have all of the information they need in relation to Covid-19, to protect the most vulnerable in our communities, themselves and their families and the health care system.

The strategy aligns with both World Health Organisation (WHO) and European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) advice, both of which emphasise the importance of ensuring the general public is aware of the seriousness of the COVID-19 outbreak and further that a high degree of population understanding, community engagement and acceptance of the measures put in place are key in preventing further spread.

This necessitates expenditure on a broad range of targeted public messaging across a range of different information campaigns using national and local radio, national and regional newspapers, and social media platforms. The centralised approach adopted is helping to ensure effectiveness of advertising spend and consistency and amplification of the public health messaging across the various public awareness campaigns and to those hard to reach audiences.

The public information campaigns play a vital role in communicating the various strands of the pandemic. All platforms are utilised with some campaigns tailored for different audiences using specific channels. There have been 48 campaigns to date, and each campaign was advertised using a combination of National Press, Regional Press, Radio, Digital Display, Social Media, TV and Online Video. The media buying was engaged through PHD Ltd, and these contracts were placed under the Office of Government Procurement (OGP) Framework Agreement.

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