It is difficult to calculate the amount of funds spent by the federal government on advertising each year. The reasons for this include (1) there is no government-wide definition of what constitutes advertising and (2) there is no central authority to which agencies are required to report advertising expenses. However, an estimate of the federal government’s expenditures on contracts for advertising services can be derived from data in the Federal Procurement Data System. According to these data, federal agencies spent $750.4 million on advertising services in Fiscal Year 2011. From A CRS Report to Congress called, “Advertising by the Federal Government: An Overview” by government analyst, Kevin R. Kosar. April 6, 2012
Has anyone other than myself noticed the exponential increase in Public Service Announcements on the radio? These ads are easy to spot because they are not usually selling anything. You know what I’m talking about; the ads that are aimed at “teaching” you some critical life lesson such as when to dial 911, how to avoid food poisoning, how to save electricity, why I should be using the Post Office, why I should be using the library, what great things my kids can learn online, why I should stay in school, why I shouldn’t do Meth, or why I should not be using small kitchen appliances while soaking in the tub.
At the end of the commercial, they always say, “Brought to you by such-and-such.gov and the Ad Council“. Aren’t you just a little bit curious how those commercials get on the air and are run over and over and over?
The War Advertising Council was conceived the year that the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor (1941). It’s purpose was to mobilize the war effort, encourage people to purchase war bonds, and conserve materials used in the war (practically everything). When WWII ended, the War Advertising Council changed its name to the Ad Council and shifted its focus to peacetime campaigns. In 1945, the Ad Council began working with the “non-profit” group, The National Safety Council, whose motto is, “Making our World Safer by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes, and communities, and on the roads through leadership, research, education and advocacy“.
One of the official sites touting The Ad Council states that it is itself a “non-profit” organization that distributes Public Service Announcements on behalf of various sponsors —- including non-profit organizations and agencies of the United States Government. Calling anything that has to do with the Government “non-profit” is deceptive at best. Many would probably call it out and out lying.
So, the Ad Council is providing PSA’s (Public Service Announcements) for the Government and Government “non-profits”. What does this really mean? Every time you hear these idiotic, moronic, worthless, brainless commercials on the radio like the “Know-it-Alls and the Car Seat“, “Stay Seated during Airplane Turbulence“, “Hands only CPR“, “Billy can’t go to the State Fair because his parents did not use Mercury-Based Lumen Light Bulbs“, Michelle Obama’s “Move Campaign” (Salad on Saturday, Fruit on Friday, Throw a ball Thursday, Water, Water, Wednesday, Touch your Toes Tuesday, Let’s Move Monday, Swap a Snack Sunday.), “Unity“, “Neighborhood Diversity — HUD” (Mehan and her dad), “Animals are People to“, or the latest AUTISM ads; just remember that this garbage is your tax dollars at work!
I love what Wikipedia says about the subject. “Given the Ad Council’s historically close collaboration with the President of the United States and the Federal Government, it has been labeled by Robert Griffith as ‘little more than a domestic propaganda arm of the federal government.‘” I could not agree more.
We have an extremely wasteful government at all levels — both parties. At a time when the President says that we are in the worst economy since the Great Depression, we should bail on this sort of worthless junk. These ads do not help anyone other than the Ad Agencies who receive significant federal monies to create them, and the radio stations that get paid to run them over and over and over and over and over and over until they can be recited in your sleep.
I sometimes listen to Sports Radio on 100.9 out of West Plains, Missouri. I am not exaggerating when I say that every other ad is a PSA of some sort. In fact, just the other day, I counted five in a row. Every time you hear the end of the ad say, “Brought to you by _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ and the Ad Council”, don’t forget to eat a FEW MORE VEGGIES, get a FLU SHOT, buckle up, PREPARE FOR ZOMBIES, and stop beating your children.
And while you are at it, roll down your window, reach into your pocket, and throw some more of your hard-earned money out the window —– just like the government is doing with this ongoing and worthless endeavor! But hey; it’s the one thing our government is really good at — spending other people’s money.