Introduction: Annual Report on Government of Canada Advertising Activities 2020 to 2021
In fiscal year 2020 to 2021 (April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021), Government of Canada (GC) advertising expenditures totalled $128.95 million. COVID-19 pandemic advertising was used to inform Canadians about government programs, services and safeguards being put in place.
Of the total amount spent on advertising, media expenditures through the Agency of Record (AOR) amounted to $106.97 million. A variety of media were used, including both traditional and digital media. Traditional media expenditures surpassed those in digital media, totalling $55.99 million, representing 52% of the total media expenditures. Digital media expenditures were $50.97 million, representing 48% of the total media expenditures.
In traditional media, television received the largest share of the total media expenditures (54%), followed by radio (21%), print (17%) and out-of-home (9%). In digital media, display programmatic received the largest share of the total media expenditures (41%), followed by social media (39%), search engine marketing (12%) and display non-programmatic (8%).
Advertising associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, which had started in the previous fiscal year, continued with various campaigns taking place throughout the fiscal year as the situation evolved. By the end of the fiscal year, $72.81 million was spent on media placement through the AOR, making up the majority of the total media expenditures for the entire fiscal year (68%). Most of these media expenditures, $45.39 million (62%), were allocated to traditional media. Digital media received $27.41 million (38%).
In order to ensure that GC advertising activities are effective and efficient in reaching audiences in both official languages, guidance to institutions was refined and updated to address today’s media environment. This work was undertaken to ensure better compliance with the obligations set out in the Official Languages Act, Part IV, Section 30, under which the majority of GC advertising activities are undertaken.
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