Better know a talking point -

Better know a talking point

Notes on the government’s advertising math


As noted yesterday, Tony Clement attempted to explain the government’s spending on advertising with an apparently flattering comparison.

“Last year, our advertising budget was $83.3 million, which is well below the last full year under the former Liberal government of $111 million.”

In citing “the last full year under the former Liberal government,” Mr. Clement is referring to the fiscal year of 2002-2003: all subsequent years are apparently disqualified because each included an interruption in advertising. Here is the relevant chart.

In 2009-2010, the Harper government spent $136 million on advertising. That included spending related to the H1N1 outbreak ($24 million) and spending related to the “economic action plan” ($53.2 million).

In 2010-2011, the Harper government spent $83.3 million. But the approved budget that year was apparently $65.4 million.

A preliminary estimate, tabled in response to an order paper question last month, pegged government advertising at $74.4 million for 2011-2012. (I presume that fiscal year will include an election-related suspension of some kind.)