Ottawa’s advertising budget grew to a record $130-million in 2009, according to previously unreleased figures that show a 64-per-cent increase in the government’s marketing bill. The latest tally is more than three times higher than the advertising budget of $41.3-million in 2005-2006, when the Harper government took office. Last year’s advertising blitz on the promotion of the Economic Action Plan, which cost $49.5-million, was by far the most costly element of the advertising blitz. “Advertising costs for the Economic Action Plan were one-time only costs in the context of the global economic crisis, during which the [government of Canada] deemed it important to communicate with Canadians about the programs and services available to them to counter tough economic times,” the Department of Public Works and Government Services Canada said in a statement. Up until now, the Conservatives had spent much less on advertising than their Liberal predecessors.