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Ad watch no.4

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John Faulkner - Ad Watch No. 4 Wednesday, 20 June 2001

Ad Watch No. 4 John Faulkner - Shadow Minister for Public Administration

Media Statement - 19 June 2001

The Howard Government plans to spend around $20 million a month in advertising in the six months up to October in a desperate attempt to save its political skin.

Figures gleaned from Senate Estimates show a massive advertising bombardment on both tax and social issues is planned in the next six months in a desperate attempt to make the Howard Government look good.

The Pensioner Bonus campaign running currently was not mentioned by either the ATO , FACS or PM & C officials during Estimates hearings. PM and C has finally admitted the placement costs alone will reach $4.1 million.

This campaign advertises a $300 bonus that pensioners will receive automatically through their bank accounts.

Other campaigns that will culminate in August - October are the $6.9 million Telstra Besley response; a $5 million campaign on the abolition of the Financial Institutions Duty, a State tax; and a $4.2 million campaign at the end of the year to promote Work for the Dole.

Instead of genuine information programs, the Government is trying to shore up support in key areas: farmers, pensioners and self-funded retirees, and the overwhelming number of people in regional Australia who oppose the sale of Tesltra.

Australians will not be fooled by the barrage of advertising, and many will be angry at the $150 million advertising spend proposed so far this year.

It's no wonder that the Government refused to allow Kim Beazley's Bill which aims to rein in Government advertising by imposing the guidelines recommended by the Commonwealth Auditor-General.

Mr Howard's last card is to advertise his way out of trouble, while pouring millions of taxpayers dollars into the pockets of television and advertising companies. Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.

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