Yes, but it provoked questions from others which the Deputy must be happy with. In any event, I will deal with the core point he made. I did not involve myself with the specifics. I take the Deputy's point about power and such a large volume of expenditure being allocated to advertising. It happened in the context of a once in 100-year event. The pandemic is still with us, and I remember right throughout the pandemic Members in the House calling for different types of communication. The breakdown of the money spent might be of interest to the Deputy because we hear different things and people will complain.
A breakdown of the advertising spent on public information campaigns shows an even split of spend across national and regional media outlets. I am told that in 2020 the national radio advertising spend was €4 million and the regional spend was €4.8 million. The 2020 national press advertising spend was €3.4 million, with the regional spend being €3.5 million. In 2021, the national radio advertising spend was €2.1 million and the spend on regional radio advertising was €2.4 million. The 2021 national and regional press spend were both €1.3 million, an even split.
I will have to come back to the Deputies on some of their questions on whether external advisers in the media world were brought in. At one stage, we were concerned about social media, in particular campaigns targeted at young people. We improved on that in terms of the campaigns developed following a significant increase in case numbers among 18 to 24 year olds in autumn 2020. The Government Information Service, GIS, Department of Health and HSE engaged with representative groups to understand the needs of this demographic. They worked with young people.
The insights generated from the research these groups conducted confirmed that young people had been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, and were concerned about it and its impact on them and their loved ones. It also revealed that they wanted this to be recognised and for information to be given to them in the appropriate way by their peers. Taking on board this insight, we worked with an agency with a track record of communicating with this demographic and developed the anti-viral campaign that encouraged this group to assume a leadership role in dealing with the pandemic, generating a movement they could relate to that was delivered by their peers. The campaign was very successful, and utilised platforms like TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram. It evolved based on feedback from young people and the final strand featured the stories of young people who had been directly affected by the virus. It has been particularly effective and has performed extremely well, with overall impressions and reach of 18.8 million and 1.48 million, respectively. I can send the Deputies information on the engagement metrics.
That is an illustration of the approach that was adopted. It was all about getting the message about Covid restrictions and behaviour across. The most recent campaign, RSVP, was particularly effective, and involved information on moving from a restrictive environment to what people should and should not do and what steps they should take.
I will follow up on Deputy McDonald's discussion with the Minister, Deputy O'Gorman, in terms of the audit. We need to move very quickly on the gaps in the provision of refuge places and centres. Our meeting was focused on the lead Department, which is the Department of Justice, and how to deal with wraparound services. The outcome of the meeting was that the Minister for Justice's Department would be the lead Department in respect of domestic violence.
Deputy Murnane O'Connor has, in fairness, consistently raised the issue of the absence of a centre in Carlow.
We will continue to work with the Deputy and other public representatives in the area to proceed with that.
Deputy Boyd Barrett's point was well made in respect of winter-ready campaigns. Once we emerge from the pandemic, we should be able to do more specific campaigns. That should also fall to other Departments. The Department of Social Protection and other Departments have campaigns within their policy remit.