Taxpayers are shelling out $26 million over three months for all those Economic Action Plan ads the Harper government is airing on TV and radio.
A marketing specialist says the outlay is more cash than a big advertiser like Procter and Gamble would spend in a year in Canada.
Alan Middleton, marketing professor at York University's Schulich School of Business, called the dollars involved "huge."
"A major advertiser like Procter and Gamble wouldn't spend that within a year in Canada, it's that big," he said.
Annualized to about $100 million for a full year, "not even McDonald's and Tim Hortons spend anywhere near that."
Corporate giant Bell Canada spent $89.5 million on measured media in 2009, according to Marketing Magazine.
You knew it was a big number, and I've been openly wondering if anyone was digging to get the figures. Thankfully, CP has done just that, because really the figures border on criminal- maybe not in a strictly legal sense, but by any moral measure. Critics have already noted this government has taken self promotion to new levels, "bordering" on partisan ads. The nature of the ads, coupled with ludicrous spending (for comparison the dirty Martin Liberals spent 41.3 million on advertising in a full year) have congealed to paint a Conservative government misusing the levers of power in unprecedented fashion. There is simply no point of reference, what the Conservatives are doing is a new abuse of power.
Everyone pointed to the attack ads as probably prime poll mover. Now we have evidence of a 5-10 times expenditure on government ads, which are really just watered down partisan presentations. The amount of taxpayer paid ads DWARF the Conservative Party buys, tallied up together, is it any wonder that opinions have moved, we suddenly see an uptick on "direction of gov't" numbers, improved performance by the government? It's a complete and utter outrage what is going on, the likes of which Canada has NEVER seen. All the more maddening when one weaves this abuse with other transgressions, all actions by a government who supposedly cares about the taxpayer, "your money". They allegedly skirted Elections Canada rules during a campaign, now they seem hell bent to game the pre-writ on MY DIME. Where's the moral compass here? Where's the guy/gal in the PMO that says "whoa, we can't do this?" Nobody, nothing, nada, it would appear we are suckers and our money is simply a vehicle to ensure these people retain power.
I'm hopping mad, because not only are we facing legitimate attacks, but our money is being used by the Conservatives in SHADY fashion. There is no rationalizations, no way to square this with past "regimes", this is just total, complete abuse. Now the question becomes, can and will they get away with it?