Advertising expenditures—2014–15 Annual report on Government of Canada advertising activities

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Advertising activities are funded from a central advertising fund, and from departmental budgets. Campaigns allocated from the central advertising fund are approved by Cabinet and the Treasury Board, and are reported on the Treasury Board Secretariat website under Government advertising.

All advertising activities and expenditures, regardless of their source of funds, are documented in the Annual Report on Government of Canada Advertising Activities. Expenditures cover the production and placement of advertising, including, campaign planning, the development of creative materials, media planning and media placement.

Expenditures summary

Advertising expenditures fluctuate from year to year depending on government priorities. Over the last five years, spending levels have remained fairly consistent.

Table 1—Advertising expenditures by fiscal year

Expenditures reported in millions of dollars

Table summary

This table shows advertising expenditures in million of dollars year over year since 2010–11.

Fiscal year Expenditures
2014–15 $68.7
2013–14 $75.2
2012–13 $69.0
2011–12 $78.5
2010–11 $83.3

Media placement expenditures

Chart 1—Agency of record media placements expenditures by type in 2014–15

The purchase of space and time in media is the single largest advertising expenditure. In fiscal year 2014–15, placements in international and domestic media accounted for $49,968,758 or 72.7% of all advertising expenditures.

Institutions typically work with an advertising agency to develop media strategies and plans. Decisions about which media to use are based on the communications objectives of each campaign. Institutions consider several factors, such as, the campaign budget, timelines, target markets, target audience demographics and media preferences, and media availability.

Agency of Record media placements expenditures by type in 2014–15. See text description below.
Text description of the Agency of Record media placements expenditures by type in 2014–15

This pie chart shows the amount in millions of dollars attributed to the purchase of media placements divided among eight major categories (cinema, Internet, out-of-home, dailies/national newspapers, magazines, weekly/community newspapers, radio and television) by the Government of Canada over the last fiscal year.

  • out-of-home—$964,471
  • cinema—$1,073,275
  • Internet—$13,895,288
  • dailies/national newspapers—$357,298
  • weeklies/community newspapers—$3,239,339
  • magazines—$657,214
  • radio—$2,663,807
  • television—$27,118,066

Source: Government of Canada Agency of Record, Cossette Media of Toronto, a division of Cossette Communication Group. Excludes media purchased directly by institutions for public notices.

Chart 2—Agency of record media placements expenditures by type—A five year view

Agency of Record media placements expenditures by type – A five year view. See text description below.
Text description of the Agency of Record media placements expenditures by type—A five year view

This vertical bar chart shows the percentages of expenditures that was attributed to the purchase of media types divided among the four major media types (radio, out-of-home, print, internet, television) over a five year period by the Government of Canada from fiscal year 2010–11 to 2014–15.

  • Radio
    • 2010–11—8%
    • 2011–12—28%
    • 2012–13—2%
    • 2013–14—12%
    • 2014–15—5%
  • Out-of-home
    • 2010–11—14%
    • 2011–12—8%
    • 2012–13—5%
    • 2013–14—6%
    • 2014–15—4%
  • Print
    • 2010–11—17%
    • 2011–12—14%
    • 2012–13—13%
    • 2013–14—9%
    • 2014–15—9%
  • Internet
    • 2010–11—15%
    • 2011–12—14%
    • 2012–13—20%
    • 2013–14—27%
    • 2014–15—28%
  • Television
    • 2010-11—48%
    • 2011-12—37%
    • 2012-13—60%
    • 2013-14—46%
    • 2014–15—54%

Notes:

  • Print includes magazines, weekly, community and daily newspapers, including official language, ethnic and Aboriginal newspapers.
  • Out-of-home includes cinema.
  • Internet includes search, display, paid social media and programmatic (real time bidding).

Source: Government of Canada Agency of Record, Cossette Media of Toronto, a division of Cossette Communication Group. Excludes media purchased directly by institutions for public notices.

Table 2—Agency of record official language, ethnic, and aboriginal media placements in 2014–15

Table summary

This table shows 2014–15 media expenditures in specialized print, radio and television aimed at official language, ethnic and aboriginal and communities, in particular.

  Print Radio Television Total
Official language $422,269 $193,313 $79,514 $695,096
Ethnic $1,030,499 $248,621 $979,864 $2,258,984
Aboriginal $52,622 $93,285 $71,570 $217,477

Notes:

Official language television includes spending in selective outlets only. Spending on national networks, such as Radio-Canada, TVA and TQS, that reach mainstream audiences in addition to official language minority communities, are reported in Chart 1 and 2.

Source: Government of Canada Agency of Record, Cossette Media of Toronto, a division of Cossette Communication Group. Excludes media purchased directly by institutions for public notices.

Table 3—Agency of record international media placements in 2014–15

Expenditures for international media placements represented 1.6% of the total for all media. By comparison, spending in domestic media accounted for $49,154,918 or 98.4%.

Table summary

This table shows 2014–15 media expenditures aimed at international audiences.

Media type Expenditures
Internet
$311,330
Out-of-home
$331,752
Print
$170,758
Total
$813,840

Source: Government of Canada Agency of Record, Cossette Media of Toronto, a division of Cossette Communication Group. Excludes media purchased directly by institutions for public notices.

Expenditures by institution

The Annual Report on Government of Canada Advertising Activities includes the expenditures of institutions on Schedules I, I.1 and II of the Financial Administration Act. Expenditures cover the costs to plan, produce and purchase media space and time for all types of advertising activities.

Each institution is required to document their advertising expenditures in the Advertising Management Information System, managed by Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC), and to certify final amounts for the purpose of this report.

Fifty institutions advertised in fiscal year 2014–15. The top ten advertisers accounted for $60.6 million or 88% of all advertising expenditures.

Table 4 – Advertising expenditures by institution in 2014–15

Almost all advertising media placements are purchased through the Government of Canada's Agency of Record. Consolidating the media buying function with a single supplier allows the government to get better prices and to streamline processes and reporting. In fiscal year 2014–15, the Agency of Record executed 377 media buys.

Institutions can purchase media directly from media outlets for one specific category of advertising—Public notices. Public notices are often regional in nature and are used for routine business matters, such as offers of employment, notices of public consultation, requests for tenders and changes to business hours. They are also used to inform the public about regulatory changes and health advisories. In 2014–15, institutions purchased approximately $80,000 in media through the Agency of Record (AOR) and almost $2.9 million directly from media outlets.

Table summary

This table lists Government of Canada institutions by total amount spent by each on advertising activities with and without the Agency of Record in 2014–15.

Name of institution Expenditures without AOR
(Public notices only)
Expenditures with AOR Total
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada $94,630 $101,078 $195,708
Administrative Tribunals Support Service of Canada $15,887 $0 $15,887
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada $0 $207,817 $207,817
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency $0 $20,903 $20,903
Canada Border Services Agency $8,682 $0 $26,232
Digital Campaign managed by PWGSC
$17,550
Canada Revenue Agency $17,264 $6,008,090 $6,025,354
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety $0 $16,046 $16,046
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency $147,498 $0 $147,498
Canadian Food Inspection Agency $15,960 $25,734 $41,694
Canadian Grain Commission $26,644 $0 $26,644
Canadian Heritage $3,891 $6,620,975 $6,722,379
Digital Campaign managed by PWGSC
$97,513
Canadian Institutes of Health Research $11,672 $0 $11,672
Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency $31,551 $0 $31,551
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission $88,037 $0 $88,037
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission $0 $49,346 $49,346
Canadian Security Intelligence Service $56,396 $0 $56,396
Citizenship and Immigration Canada $5,347 $2,692,924 $3,514,163
Digital Campaign managed by PWGSC
$815,892
Copyright Board Canada $19,276 $0 $19,276
Correctional Service Canada $15,581 $0 $15,581
Department of Finance Canada $0 $8,099,208 $8,099,208
Department of Justice Canada $1,877 $13,757 $15,634
Employment and Social Development Canada $56,792 $6,698,078 $6,754,870
Environment Canada $84,457 $11,552 $96,009
Financial Consumer Agency of Canada $0 $804,750 $804,750
Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada $20,095 $0 $20,095
Fisheries and Oceans Canada $72,826 $0 $72,826
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada $245,912 $0 $368,651
Digital Campaign managed by PWGSC
$122,739
Health Canada $15,733 $7,688,545 $7,704,278
Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada $6,679 $0 $6,679
Industry Canada $0 $236,527 $277,817
Digital Campaign managed by PWGSC
$41,290
National Battlefields Commission, The $117,792 $0 $117,792
National Defence $23,208 $8,811,483 $8,839,941
Digital Campaign managed by PWGSC
$5,250
National Energy Board $149,612 $0 $149,612
National Film Board $247,239 $0 $247,239
National Research Council Canada $43,791 $175,546 $219,337
Natural Resources Canada $0 $1,525,561 $1,525,561
Office of the Secretary to the Governor General $106,881 $0 $106,881
Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada $2,631 $0 $2,631
Parks Canada $238,624 $1,012,565 $1,251,189
Public Health Agency of Canada $1,792 $1,242,688 $1,244,480
Public Prosecution Service of Canada $1,350 $0 $1,350
Public Safety Canada $0 $3,537,813 $3,733,659
Digital Campaign managed by PWGSC
$195,846
Public Service Commission of Canada $12,160 $0 $12,160
Public Works and Government Services Canada $190,045 $131,124 $321,169
Royal Canadian Mounted Police $358,730 $712,159 $1,070,889
Statistics Canada $1,663 $72,109 $73,772
Transport Canada $303,330 $15,891 $618,061
Digital Campaign managed by PWGSC
$298,840
Transportation Safety Board of Canada $1,014 $0 $1,014
Veterans Affairs Canada $0 $7,605,024 $7,734,238
Digital Campaign managed by PWGSC
$129,214
Total $2,862,549 $65,861,427 $68,723,976

Note: total figures for Public Works and Government Services Canada include expenditures for the Office of the Procurement Ombudsman.

Chart 3—Top 10 largest Government of Canada advertisers in 2014–15

Expenditures reported in millions of dollars

Chart 3 – Top 10 largest Government of Canada advertisers in 2014–15. See text description below.
Text description of the Chart 3—Top 10 largest Government of Canada advertisers in 2014–15

This horizontal bar chart shows the advertising expenditures of the top ten Government of Canada advertising in millions of dollars in 2014–15.

  • Natural Resources Canada—$1.53
  • Citizenship and Immigration Canada—$3.51
  • Public Safety Canada—$3.73
  • Canada Revenue Agency—$6.03
  • Canadian Heritage—$6.72
  • Employment and Social Development Canada—$6.75
  • Health Canada—$7.7
  • Veterans Affairs Canada—$7.73
  • Dept. of Finance Canada—$8.1
  • National Defence—$8.84

Did you know?

In 2013, 20 years after the first banner ad ran, spending in Canadian digital advertising surpassed all other media and the trend continues.

Source: TVB, IAB Canada, 2014

Expenditures by major campaign (Campaigns exceeding $500,000 in production and media)

Table 5—Advertising expenditures by major campaign in 2014–15

Table summary

This table is a list of expenditures by major campaigns by institution for fiscal year 2014–15. The table contains an alphabetical listing by federal institution, the name of the campaign, a description of the campaign, the media used, the creative agency used, and the amount spent for each of them.

Campaign description Creative agency Cost Television Print Radio Internet Cinema Out-of-home
Canada Revenue Agency
Tax Savings: to encourage taxpayers to take advantage of applicable tax relief measures and to file tax returns online and on time.
kbs+p Canada Inc. $5,532,553 Indicates the type of campaign carried out Indicates the type of campaign carried out N/A Indicates the type of campaign carried out N/A N/A
Canadian Heritage
Canada 150: to increase knowledge and pride in Canada's history and heritage and to encourage Canadians to get involved in upcoming community activities and events.
Entreprise de Communications
Tank Inc.
$6,576,387 Indicates the type of campaign carried out N/A N/A Indicates the type of campaign carried out N/A N/A
Digital campaign managed through PWGSC
Acart Communications Inc $97,513
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Services to Newcomers: to highlight the new measures in the Citizenship Act to protect the integrity of Canadian citizenship and to encourage newcomers to access online information on how to become a Canadian citizen.

This campaign was a continuation of the 2014–15 campaign informing Canadians of the Parent and Grandparent Super Visa initiative to enable families in Canada to have extended visits from loved ones living abroad.

Manifest Communications Inc., Acart Communications Inc. & Ogilvy Montréal Inc. $2,535,307 Indicates the type of campaign carried out Indicates the type of campaign carried out Indicates the type of campaign carried out Indicates the type of campaign carried out N/A Indicates the type of campaign carried out
Express Entry—International: to raise awareness among potential newcomers of the new electronic Express Entry system which processes applications for permanent residence in economic immigration programs such as the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP).
Digital campaign managed through PWGSC
Acart Communications Inc. $815,892
Employment and Social Development Canada
Canada Apprentice Loan: to inform Canadians of the new Canada Apprentice Loan program designed to support training and skills development in high demand fields.
kbs+p Canada Inc. $6,698,078 Indicates the type of campaign carried out Indicates the type of campaign carried out Indicates the type of campaign carried out Indicates the type of campaign carried out N/A N/A
Department of Finance Canada
Economic Action Plan (EAP): to inform Canadians of the programs and benefits available to them through the Economic Action Plan.
kbs+p Canada Inc. $8,099,208 Indicates the type of campaign carried out Indicates the type of campaign carried out Indicates the type of campaign carried out Indicates the type of campaign carried out N/A N/A
Finance Consumer Agency of Canada
Financial Literacy Portal: to encourage Canadians to access the new Financial Literacy Portal to get information on how to make good financial decisions.
kbs+p Canada Inc. $663,257 N/A N/A N/A Indicates the type of campaign carried out N/A N/A
Health Canada

Prevention of Illicit Drug Use: to educate Canadians on the harms and risks associated with prescription drug abuse and ways to securely handle prescription medications to prevent diversion into communities.

Marijuana component: to educate youth on the health effects and social consequences of marijuana use and to encourage parents to talk with their teens about drug prevention.

Ogilvy Montréal Inc. $7,075,244 Indicates the type of campaign carried out N/A N/A Indicates the type of campaign carried out N/A N/A

Healthy Canadians: to inform Canadians of the vast amount of health and safety information available on Government of Canada - Health

Safe Food Handling for Vulnerable Populations component: to educate vulnerable populations about the health risks associated with unsafe food handling and food poisoning.

Ogilvy Montréal Inc. & Manifest Communications Inc. $576,827 N/A N/A N/A Indicates the type of campaign carried out N/A N/A
National Defence
Recruitment: Excellence in Ops and Priority Occupations: to encourage Canadians from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds to learn about career opportunities in the Canadian Forces.
MacLaren McCann Canada Inc. & Ogilvy Montréal Inc. $7,299,759 Indicates the type of campaign carried out Indicates the type of campaign carried out N/A Indicates the type of campaign carried out Indicates the type of campaign carried out N/A
Women's Recruitment Campaign: to encourage women to seek information on career opportunities in the Canadian Armed Forces.
Acart Communications Inc. & Ogilvy Montréal Inc. $1,324,502 N/A Indicates the type of campaign carried out N/A Indicates the type of campaign carried out N/A Indicates the type of campaign carried out
Natural Resources Canada
The Stakeholder Engagement and Outreach Campaign—U.S. Component: To promote Canada's interests globally in order to secure and expand markets and global partnerships.
Fleishman Hillard Canada Inc. $1,525,561 N/A Indicates the type of campaign carried out N/A Indicates the type of campaign carried out N/A Indicates the type of campaign carried out
Public Health Agency of Canada
H3N2 Influenza: to prevent the spread of the flu virus by encouraging infection prevention behaviours and for adults 65 and older to get their flu shot.
kbs+p Canada Inc. $636,260 N/A Indicates the type of campaign carried out N/A Indicates the type of campaign carried out N/A N/A
Public Safety Canada
Stop Hating Online: to inform Canadians of the potential legal consequences of cyberbullying, its social impact, and how to report it.
Manifest Communications Inc. $3,537,813 Indicates the type of campaign carried out Indicates the type of campaign carried out N/A Indicates the type of campaign carried out Indicates the type of campaign carried out N/A
Digital campaign managed through PWGSC
Acart Communications Inc. $195,846
Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)
Police Officer Recruitment: to promote the RCMP as an inclusive workplace which is working to reflect Canada's diversity and which offers many opportunities for career specialization.
BCP Ltd. $712,159 N/A N/A N/A Indicates the type of campaign carried out N/A N/A
Veterans Affairs Canada
Remembrance Vignette: to encourage Canadians to learn about the sacrifices and contributions of veterans at Veterans Affairs Canada—Remembrance and to participate in remembrance activities honouring Canada's men and women in uniform.
Target Marketing & Communi-
cations Inc.
$3,725,114 Indicates the type of campaign carried out N/A N/A Indicates the type of campaign carried out N/A Indicates the type of campaign carried out
Digital campaign managed through PWGSC
Acart Communications Inc. $129,214
Support and Services to Veterans: to inform Canada's veterans, their families and survivors of services and financial supports available to them.
Manifest Communications Inc. $3,879,910 Indicates the type of campaign carried out Indicates the type of campaign carried out Indicates the type of campaign carried out Indicates the type of campaign carried out N/A N/A

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