Advertising budgets and expenditures—2016 to 2017 Annual report on Government of Canada advertising activities

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In this section, activities and expenditures associated with campaign planning, production of advertising materials, media planning and procurement of media placements are documented.

How it works

The process for allocating and managing advertising expenditures is designed to ensure that advertising campaigns align with government priorities, comply with government policies, procedures and legislation, and address the information needs of Canadians.

The majority of government advertising campaigns are funded from the central advertising fund. Federal institutions may also fund their advertising initiatives from their operating budgets.

To access the Central Advertising Fund, institutions work with the Privy Council Office to develop advertising proposals that are based on government priorities. The result is an annual advertising plan that is presented to Cabinet for approval. The plan is then formally submitted to Treasury Board for funding approval, and approved by Parliament for appropriations to specific institutions. Advertising fund allocations from the central advertising fund are reported on Canada.ca.

Summary of expenditures

Advertising expenses fluctuate from year to year depending on the Government of Canada's priorities and other factors such as a general election. In fiscal year 2016 to 2017, the Government of Canada spent $36.1 million on advertising (including planning, production of creative materials and media).

The majority of advertising media expenditures were made through the Government of Canada's agency of record (AOR). The remaining expenditures for media were made directly by institutions. The new Policy on Communications and Federal Identity allows institutions to purchase advertising, valued at less than $25,000 directly from media outlets, without involving the government's AOR. In general, these purchases are for initiatives for routine business matters, such as regulatory or administrative announcements (previously referred to as public notices) and for small paid print and social media campaigns to boost organic social media activities.

Chart 1: Advertising expenditures–a 10-year perspective

Chart 1: Advertising expenditures–a 10-year perspective - Image description is below.

Description of Chart 1: Advertising expenditures–a 10-year perspective

This line chart shows the total Government of Canada advertising expenditures in millions of dollars over a 10-year period with explanations of fluctuations that occurred year over year.

Table 1: Advertising expenditures 2016 to 2017

Type of advertising Total
Advertising campaigns–media purchased through the agency of record $33.3 million (92.2%)
Advertising campaigns–media purchased directly by institutions $2.8 million (7.8%)
Grand Total $36.1 million

Note: Figures include expenditures for planning, production of creative materials and the purchase of media placements, exclusive of tax.

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