Government Covid advertising topped $35m last year alone

Te Pāti Māori and the ACT party wonder why government Covid advertising is costing tens of millions of dollars.

1 News obtained figures under the Official Information Act showing that $35,097,479 was spent on the vaccination campaign between March 1, 2021 and February 28, 2022.

The Prime Minister and Cabinet Department said the bill includes creation, advertising, content, website maintenance, translation services and printing, social media, radio, billboards display and television.

No breakdown was provided on what was spent, where or how much 11 social media influencers were paid.

The so-called Vaxathon in October came out of a different budget.

“The vaccine public information campaign is developed and funded by the Ministry of Health, in partnership with the DPMC to ensure a complementary and holistic approach to campaign activity,” the statement said.

Duncan Shand of advertising agency Young Shand said that although it was an extraordinary amount of money, it was an extraordinary problem that the government was trying to solve.

“A normal large advertising campaign can take months.

“There’s a lot of research and strategy work, figuring out how to position things and then really working on all the elements,” Shand said.

ACT leader David Seymour said he was unconvinced that much money needed to be spent, given that the Prime Minister was getting his message out for free anyway.

“Thirty-five million is a lot of money for something that got wall-to-wall media coverage.

“Most people wanted (the vaccine) and those who didn’t mostly had to have it anyway,” Seymour said.

The campaign included specific ads targeting Maori and Pasifika, but Te Paati Māori co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer said those on the front lines had been more successful in convincing people to get the shot.

“The bureaucrats of this public health response have continually let us down because they were no strangers and didn’t even know their own tangata communities when they are out there doing massive amounts of work,” Ngarewa- said. Packer.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern supports the campaign.

“The covid publicity work has been really critical. We had to make sure everyone was aware of alert level changes and traffic light setting changes.

“He will adapt, he won’t always stay the same and he won’t always have been this big,” Ardern said.

A previous version of the title had an incorrect period.

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