Social Media Websites Make Up the Biggest Slice of Federal Ad Spending

According to a report by the National Post, the government spent roughly $7.8 million for ads on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media websites last year, which is almost 43% of the total federal spending of $18.2 million on digital ads. In total, $39.2 million was spent on ads by government departments and agencies.


Although ads on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Snapchat featured prominently in the government’s digital ad buys for the 2017-18 fiscal year, almost 73% of the government’s social media spending went to Facebook.

The government’s annual report on advertising activities notes that Facebook had a 75% reach among Canadian internet users, which is double than that of Twitter. Last year also saw the lowest amount spent on traditional advertising outlets like newspapers and television in over a decade.

“Canadians are using more digital platforms and with greater frequency, and therefore expect their government to communicate with them on those channels,” says the government’s newly tabled annual report on advertising activities.

“Departments challenged their creative agencies and the (advertising) agency of record to ‘spread their creative wings.”‘

Television ads, which had long been the government’s advertising medium of choice, received only 11.5% of the total advertising spend last year.

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