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U.S. Government PR Contracts
In February 2006, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the nonpartisan investigative arm of the U.S. Congress, released a report on the media contracts of seven agencies— Commerce, Defense, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Treasury and Veterans Affairs—which "account for nearly all the obligated federal dollars for public relations and advertising activities in fiscal year 2003."
The departments self-reported on 343 media contracts, worth $1.62 billion, from fiscal year 2003 through the second quarter of 2005. The Defense Department spent the most on media contracts, at $1.1 billion. Fifty-four contracts, worth $197 million, were with public relations firms. Fourteen contracts, worth $1.2 million, involved video news releases, for the Census Bureau, Food and Drug Administration, National Institutes of Health, Transportation Safety Administration, National Park Service, and U.S. Mint. The top recipients of federal media contracts were Leo Burnett USA, Campbell-Ewald, GSD&M, J. Walter Thompson, Frankel & Company, and Ketchum.
Related SourceWatch Resources
- Armstrong Williams
- Bush administration and the press
- controlling the message
- Combined Press Information Center (CPIC in Iraq)
- fake news
- Information Operations Roadmap
- Information Operations Task Force
- information warfare
- Iraqi Media Engagement Team (IMET)
- John Rendon / Rendon Group
- Lincoln Group
- No Child Left Behind Act
- Video news releases
- war propaganda
- Government Accountability Office, "Media Contracts: Activities and Financial Obligations for Seven Federal Departments," GAO-06-305, January 13, 2006.
- Jennifer A. Dlouhy,, "Bush PR costs taxpayers $1.6 billion", San Francisco Chronicle, February 14, 2006.
- Keith O'Brien and Erica Iacono, "GAO report: Administration spent at least $1.6 billion on marcomms since 2003", PR Week, February 14, 2006. (Sub req'd).
- Richard Williamson, "Report: Bush Spent $1.4 Billion on 'Spin'," Adweek (Brandweek), February 14, 2006.
- Walter Pincus, "Positive Press on Iraq Is Aim of U.S. Contract," Washington Post, August 31, 2006.