Labour Newspaper Marks Two Years Of Robert Abela With Ad Bonanza By 17 Ministries
Labour’s Sunday newspaper marked the two-year anniversary since Robert Abela’s election as Prime Minister with an edition packed with ads from 17 ministries.
Kullħadd promised readers a “special 32-page supplement” about Abela’s two years in charge but 26 of these pages turned out to be ads touting successes by various ministries.
The Health Ministry kicked things off with a full-page citing investment in the national health system and the national COVID-19 vaccination system.
It was followed up by the vast majority of ministries, with only the Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs, the Ministry for Tourism and Consumer Protection and the Ministry for Finance and Employment not participating.
Michael Farrugia’s Ministry for Senior Citizens and Active Ageing was the most productive, taking out no fewer than four pages.
Within the paper, the ads were wrapped around a collage of images displaying 24 national records that were broken in the past 24 months.
Last year, Standards Commissioner George Hyzler published a set of guidelines on government advertising so as to ensure that public funds aren’t spent on the personal and political publicity of individual politicians.
These state that government ads should always be truthful and never be disrespectful towards third parties, overly contentious, or partisan in nature.
Hyzler also stated that government ads shouldn’t include the names or photographs of ministers. Government promotional material shouldn’t either except in the case of leaflets, brochures, flyers, and other documents, videos and audio clips, and here only if relevant.
The Kullħadd ads are largely compliant with Hyzler’s rules except for the last one, as photos of individual ministers regularly feature.
However, it could prompt a discussion on the current lack of regulation on how the government spends its advertising budget, with nothing stopping them from teaming up to advertise at the same on a newspaper owned by their own political party.
Do you think government advertising should be regulated?