Government spends €100k on social media adverts

Government spends €100k on social media adverts
Timmy Dooley, launches a new party policy document today aiming to help local newspapers and media outlets struggling with falling advertising revenue.

The Government has spent almost €100,000 on a string of social media advertising and marketing campaigns since the start of the year in a bid to win over new voters and cement its poll lead on rivals.

The spending spree details were revealed by the Department of the Taoiseach after months of criticism over its PR focus and before Fianna Fáil launches a new policy plan this morning aiming to help local media cope with dwindling advertising funds.

Labour TD for Cork East Sean Sherlock asked the Department of the Taoiseach to clarify how much it is spending on social media advertising and marketing campaigns. The question was sparked by the furore at the start of the year over the strategic communications unit, which was championed by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar as helping to improve communications but was eventually scrapped amid claims it was a spin unit.

And in the official response, the Department confirms that spending on online campaigns is still significant, with almost €100,000 being spent this year to date. 

According to the records, since the start of January Government departments have spent a total of €72,000 on Facebook campaigns and €26,000 on Twitter advertising for a series of policies and promotions within their ranks. The spending costs include This Is Ireland (€57,936), Healthy Ireland (€3,000), Project Ireland 2040 (€9,000), and Government health measures (€750) for Facebook; and This Is Ireland (€14,229), Project Ireland 2040 (€7,000) and Healthy Ireland (€2,000) for Twitter.

While the initiatives cannot be promoted for free, the costs involved for Government policies online are likely to lead to fresh concerns over the focus on PR in the current coalition.

The cost of the social media promotions emerged before Fianna Fáil communications spokesman, Timmy Dooley, launches a new party policy document today aiming to help local newspapers and media outlets struggling with falling advertising revenue. The document is believed to say that grants and other supports to help local media outlets should be considered due to the risk that dwindling resources could leave smaller outlets at risk of being forced to limit their content or rely on PR initiatives from Government and private firms.

More on this topic

Fergus Finlay: From government formation talks to Croke Park, time to look ahead...Fergus Finlay: From government formation talks to Croke Park, time to look ahead...

Leo Varadkar pledges 25,000 homes to be built in 2020Leo Varadkar pledges 25,000 homes to be built in 2020

Leo's Brexit warning: 'The harder approach being taken by Boris Johnson is a risk to us'Leo's Brexit warning: 'The harder approach being taken by Boris Johnson is a risk to us'

Taoiseach used Government jet to travel to EPP eventTaoiseach used Government jet to travel to EPP event


More in this Section

Fine Gael Senator's office vandalised in same week 250 of his posters are stolenFine Gael Senator's office vandalised in same week 250 of his posters are stolen

Cork Gardaí play down fears Cameron Blair stabbing suspect has fled countryCork Gardaí play down fears Cameron Blair stabbing suspect has fled country

Two men questioned in connection with Dublin shooting released without chargeTwo men questioned in connection with Dublin shooting released without charge

Paschal Donohoe: 'No panic' in Fine Gael over bad opinion pollPaschal Donohoe: 'No panic' in Fine Gael over bad opinion poll


Lifestyle

I see that a website describes the call of Canarian cory’s shearwaters as ‘waca waca’. It’s a mad, hysterical call, uttered when the parent birds arrive to feed their nestlings.Cory’s shearwaters show long-distance qualities

Is it too much to hope that an important public health matter, such as Lyme disease, will be an issue in the general election? There’s been a worrying reluctance by the authorities to face up to the extent of the disease here.Facing up to Lyme disease

A paper published in Current Biology examines the extinction of a colourful little bird which, until recently, thrived in the eastern US. With the appalling environmental catastrophe enveloping Australia, home to 56 of the world’s 370 parrot species, this account of the Carolina parakeet’s demise is timely.Trying to save the parrot is not all talk

The recent rescue of a trawler 20km north of Fanad Head in Co Donegal gave us a glimpse of the enormous seas that occasionally strike that part of the coast.Islands of Ireland: Inishbeg Island begs the question

More From The Irish Examiner