Where does the money the National Government appoints to advertising go?
<p><span style="line-height: 1.6em;">AGN stated that sometimes "it is impossible to be certain of the media where advertising was placed." The audit said that not only is there a "lack of criteria to justify the allocation and assignment of the advertisements" but there is no "proper segmentation of recipients". The latter could blur the effectiveness of the political campaigns.</span></p> <div> </div>
A report by the General Auditor’s Office (AGN) argues that it is not known if there is an official guideline that distributes advertising spots because "no details of the date or the channel in which they are issued received sponsorship." This information arises from the analysis of the government propaganda that was performed by the federal watchdog’s inspection of the Secretariat of Public Communications.
AGN observed that Telam (the body responsible for planning advertisements) had assigned a column, in the advertisement planning worksheet, with the header: "contact name". In that column the name that appeared was not the name of the media, but the firm’s name. Therefore, with this data, "it is impossible to be certain of the medium where advertising actually aired" and therefore, "cannot know the distribution of government advertising in the media".
In the graph we can see channels as well as production companies, which could have acquired multiple spaces on those channels. This is not a minor detail if we want to know how advertising is distributed. Another striking fact is that the producers “XES PLANET SRL” and “XESALUD SA”, which are regarded as separate entities, "have the same address in the IRS records".
Sender - Message - Recipient
Although "government advertising should be directed to the effectiveness of the message, that is, that guidelines are followed in order to reach the desired audience," AGN detected that "the President has no studies on the advertising market segmentation" therefore, making it difficult for the message to reach the people to whom they want to inform.
Why is this point important? Because the State is responsible for prevention campaigns of certain diseases such as dengue and Chagas disease, primarily affecting certain portion of the population, in this case the most deprived. If the Secretariat is responsible for launching such campaigns but has not segmented their advertising market, it is very difficult to get the message to which it was meant to be reached in an effective manner, and therefore meet its principal and original goal.
Not only is transparency in relation to the media in which the advertisements are issued important, but also in relation to the criteria used. On this last point, AGN stated that "in the Secretariat of Communication no records of this information exists, nor is there an objective criteria to justify the distribution of government advertising."
The federal watchdog quoted the Rapporteurship of Freedom of Expression, which in its Annual Report of the Commission on Human Rights stated that "campaigns should be decided on the basis of clear and public criteria for its distribution, and should have been established prior to the decision.”