Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Ceisteanna (111)

Peadar Tóibín

Ceist:

111. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Taoiseach the amount spent on digital marketing in each of the past eight years; the items on which funds were spent; the criteria by which target audiences were selected; the amount of the digital spend targeted here; the amount targeted abroad; the amount that related to private companies; the amount that related to policy initiatives; and the purpose of the digital advertisements. [29203/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Taoiseach)

Expenditure on digital and online space over the past eight years was as follows:

2011 – Nil

2012 – €639.90

2013 – Nil

2014 – Nil

2015 – €861.00

2016 – Nil

2017 – Nil

2018 - €451,351.03

2019 - €1,355.46

Total Expenditure: €454,171.09

A decision was taken in 2017 to fund and run cross-Government public information programmes centrally. As a result of this, in the period between Quarter 4 of 2017 and July 2018, a number of public information campaigns aimed at improving citizens' lives, such as the Healthy Ireland campaign, the Project Ireland 2040 campaign and the Self-Employed Benefits campaign, were run and funded from my Department. This was a departure in approach from previous years, when such campaigns would have been led and funded by the relevant line Department. Since July 2018, the Department has reverted to the previous model.

These public information programmes were aimed at the Irish general public, with the exception of the promotion of Global Ireland, which was targeted at international audiences in the UK and the US. The total amount spent was €184,869; the remainder of expenditure outlined above was targeted at a general audience here in Ireland.

The purchase of digital and online space is managed through a media-buying company contracted to the Department, PHD Media.

As stated above, all expenditure related to cross-Government public information programmes. These consisted of:

- The National Digital Strategy

- Budget 2019

- End of Dáil Term Legislation

- Global Ireland

- Back to School 2017

- Rugby World Cup 2023

- Bliain Na Gaeilge

- Project Ireland 2040

- Self-Employed Benefits

- Healthy Ireland

- 25th Anniversary of Decriminalisation of Homosexuality

- Government Health Measures

- Irish Aid Campaign

- The Action Plan for Education

- The UN Disability Campaign

It is important that Government communicates across a variety of platforms, including online and in social media, to ensure transparency and clarity for all citizens. Engaging with search engine promotion helps ensure the public is directed to the sites that deliver the services/information they are looking for. Using sponsored posts on Social Media ensures a strong dissemination of Government Information.