The Social Democratic Party (SPÖ) of Austria has alleged that the current coalition government between the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) and the Greens has spent more money on advertising and PR than the previous government coalition of the ÖVP and the Freedom Party (FPÖ). The SPÖ has referred to the Minister of the Environment as the “Inseratenkaiserin” (the “Emperor of Advertisements”).
The SPÖ has been making parliamentary inquiries every three months since they became the opposition party, asking the ministries about the flow of money to external service providers, staffing levels, and advertising and advertisement costs. The party’s previous government was criticized for their advertising spending, known as the “SPÖ-Inseratenaffäre.”
The increase in the number of government employees has recently caused criticism of the current coalition government. The evaluation of advertising spending follows this criticism. The SPÖ claims that the government has set new standards in terms of advertising costs, mostly through advertisements in the media, printed advertising materials, and the like. The Covid campaigns have been a driving force behind the increased advertising spending. The SPÖ calculated that a record-breaking 73 million euros was spent on advertising and PR in 2021, which includes the vaccination campaign. In the previous year, 65 million euros were spent on advertising, according to the SPÖ’s calculations.
The allegations made by the SPÖ have brought to light the issue of government advertising spending, particularly during the pandemic. This issue is of concern to taxpayers, as it raises questions about the effectiveness of government advertising campaigns and their impact on public opinion.
In light of this issue, it is important for the government to be transparent about its advertising spending and to justify the costs incurred. The government should provide a detailed breakdown of the advertising campaigns, their objectives, and the results achieved. This information would help to ensure that taxpayer money is being used effectively and efficiently.
The SPÖ’s allegations also highlight the need for stricter regulations on government advertising spending. There should be clear guidelines for the approval and execution of government advertising campaigns. The guidelines should specify the objectives of the campaigns, the target audience, the channels to be used, and the maximum amount of money to be spent.