Newspaper article The Canadian Press

New Poll Suggests Economic Action Plan TV-Radio Ads Stirring Little Interest

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

New Poll Suggests Economic Action Plan TV-Radio Ads Stirring Little Interest

Article excerpt

Canadians shrug off action-plan ads: poll


OTTAWA - Canadians tuned out another series of slick, taxpayer-funded Economic Action Plan ads that filled the airwaves in the spring, a new survey suggests.

Radio and TV spots appeared in late March to coincide with the release of the 2013 federal budget, but an internal poll of 2,009 adults indicates the action plan brand remains tarnished.

The Harris-Decima survey found 38 per cent were happy with the Conservative government's performance, the lowest level among the 10 such polls conducted since April 2009, when the first wave of action plan ads was released.

The number of people who did something as a result of seeing the ads registered at seven per cent, little changed from the six per cent for the winter ad campaign.

The levels are sharply down from a peak of 25 per cent in 2009, when a popular home-renovation tax credit caught the attention of homeowners across the country.

The Finance Department's key yardstick for measuring success is to count how many viewers and listeners visited, the web portal that's promoted at the end of the 30-second ads. Harris-Decima found six people who did so, double the number from its winter polling.

No one called the toll-free number also listed in the latest ads, which ran from March 21 to April 4.

At the same time, the pollster found another 22 people who "felt/expressed displeasure/complained to others," up from nine in the earlier winter survey completed in April.

The Canadian Press obtained a copy of the June 19 survey report under the Access to Information Act.

Finance Canada paid $29,373 for the telephone poll, conducted April 29-May 11, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

The Harper government has spent well in excess of $100 million on Economic Action Plan promotion over the last four years.

A Finance Department spokeswoman declined to provide the cost of the spring TV-radio campaign, saying the numbers would be published eventually. Stephanie Rubec also did not indicate whether Canadians can expect to see more such ads this year, saying plans have "yet to be finalized."

Rubec added that traffic to the web portal increased to almost 15,000 visits daily during the spring TV-radio campaign, from a "baseline" of 2,300 visits. …

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