Poder Ciudadano, Transparency International’s national chapter in Argentina, analyzes the use of government advertising as a potential source for corruption in the country.
The study points out that the national government’s share of the Argentine advertising market is about 9%, a very high number in comparison to other governments, such as in neighboring Brazil, where government advertisement is not more than 3% of the market, or even in the United Kingdom, where it is about 5%.
These data raise questions about the use of government advertisement to unduly influence media outlets, which might have less incentives to adopt critical positions in relation to the government and thereby risk losing a significant share of their advertising revenue. Moreover, the use of public resources for advertising can be a way to reward political supporters of the party in power, or even to by-pass restrictions on electoral advertising.
Poder Ciudadano lists some recommendations to avoid the use of public advertisement funds for political interests, such as limiting the amount of resources that can be used for advertisement, increasing monitoring by other government branches and also by media and civil society, and clearly establishing bans on the use of any reference to political parties.
For additional information read the article “Public service advertising – has political corruption found a new home?” on blog.transparency.org. The picture shown above is also featured in the article.