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Government spends almost €700,000 on social media and digital ads related to Covid-19

A total of €688,805 was spent across nine different campaigns.

Image: Shutterstock/sitthiphong

THE GOVERNMENT SPENT almost €700,000 on digital and social media ad campaigns related to Covid-19 during the first nine months of the year, new figures show.

Figures provided to TheJournal.ie reveal that €688,805 was spent across nine campaigns informing the public about various aspects of the pandemic.

The campaigns included advertisements on Covid-19 restrictions, different supports open to businesses, the re-opening of the economy over the summer, and the Calculated Grades system for Leaving Certificate students.

The total costs included the price of ‘promoting’ posts to target specific groups on social media, as well as on specific ads contained in mobile apps and search engine results. 

The most expensive single advertising spend was in the category of ‘Wellbeing’: €136,262 was spent by the Government promoting the importance of looking after mental health and highlighting different resources available, including online.

Meanwhile, €149,974 was spent over two different campaigns targeting businesses set to re-open under the Government’s roadmap for re-opening the economy during the summer.

The ‘Return to Work Safely’ campaigns aimed to make business owners and the public aware of the roadmap for guidance on when businesses could reopen and how they could do so safely.

A further €161,403 was spent on digital ads for the roadmap itself, as well as a ‘Business Supports Campaign’ which aimed to make businesses aware of support measures that would allow them to re-open safely under the roadmap.

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Digital and social media advertisements about the first phase of re-opening under the roadmap, which began on 16 May, totalled €128,343.

The Government also spent €100,520 on a ‘Community Call’ campaign, which advertised an initiative that sought to coordinate volunteers to offer assistance in local communities during the pandemic.

Another €5,064 was spent on a campaign encouraging people to ‘Stay at Home’ at the start of the pandemic. The campaign also sought to reassure the public that the Government was responding to the crisis and prioritising the health of all citizens.

And €7,239 was spent advertising the postponement of the Leaving Certificate and the introduction of the Calculated Grades system. The ad campaign was developed to provide students in particular with an overview of how the new system would work.

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