Purchase and Preparation of Television Commercials by the Government

LCD-77-415: Published: Mar 18, 1977. Publicly Released: Mar 18, 1977.

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In response to a question concerning the amount the government spends to broadcast television commercials, the total cost of advertising for 31 federal agencies for 1975 was obtained by GAO. The figures included the cost of television productions. Purchasing costs for advertising from private agencies were broken down by type of media, but in-house costs were not. Therefore, the total costs for television commercials alone has not been determined.

The agencies spent $141.6 million in fiscal year 1974 and estimated that $145.5 million would be spent in 1975 for advertising from private agencies. In addition, they spent $47,497,600 for in-house advertising in 1974 and estimated $53,287,700 for fiscal year 1975. The purchased television production costs, including both the purchase of television time and of professional services and materials associated with such production, were $4,929,300 for fiscal year 1974 and $9,596,000 for 1975. There was a large increase in television time costs between the 2 years because of the Postal Service's national stamp collecting campaign.

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