Thursday, February 16, 2006

Your Tax Dollars at Work

Via TPM and AdWeek:

The Bush administration spent $1.4 billion in taxpayer dollars on 137 contracts with advertising agencies over the past two-and-a-half years, according to a Government Accountability Office report released by House Democrats Monday.

With spending on public relations and other media included, federal agencies spent $1.6 billion on what some Democrats called “spin.”

The six largest recipients of ad and PR dollars were Leo Burnett USA, $536 million; Campbell-Ewald, $194 million; GSD&M, $179 million; JWT, $148 million; Frankel, $133 million; and Ketchum, $78 million. The agencies received more than $1.2 billion in media contracts, according to the report.

Ketchum was embroiled in a scandal last year when it was revealed that the Department of Education had paid commentator Armstrong Williams $250,000 to promote President Bush’s No Child Left Behind initiative.

They call it “spin.” I call it “propaganda.”