Facebook Advertising and The Canadian Government

Facebook Advertising and The Canadian Government

According to an article in the National Post last week, the federal government is on pace to spend more on Facebook ads this year than the amount spent from 2006 to 2014 combined. The Conservative government spent a total of $5.8 million on Facebook ads from 2006-14, during their run as the party in charge of our country. The Liberals – the current federal party –  are on pace to spend over $6 million this year on Facebook ads.

This news shouldn’t come as much of a surprise for many Canadians, as the Liberal government successfully maintained a presence on social media during last years’ federal election, which played a significant role in their victory. The Liberal party, via social media, have maintained an online presence both in our country and abroad – with many countries around the world noticing our current “selfie-taking leader.”

The Post article goes on to break down how this Facebook advertisement money has been distributed. Destination Canada (formerly the Canadian Tourism Commission) spent a little over $1.8 million, the most on Facebook advertising, primarily targeting potential visitors to Canada. Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada spent nearly $500,000 on Facebook ads – including an initiative to raise awareness among Canadians to get involved in welcoming Syrian refugees.

This increase in Facebook advertising follows a rising trend in government advertisement spending utilizing the internet as a medium. For example, in 2006-07 the Canadian government spent a little over 7% of the advertising budget on online ads, compared to 28% in 2014-15. Television has remained the top medium used by the feds to carry their message, however, the amount spent on TV ads has fluctuated from year to year. Also worth noting, print advertising has consistently declined from year to year.

Now that I have bored you to death with numbers and figures, let’s look at more numbers and figures. The government is increasingly utilizing online resources, specifically, Facebook to carry ads. Facebook is the preferred social network for Canadians according to research conducted by InsightWest. The research found that 71% of respondents polled use Facebook at least twice a week, followed by YouTube at 49%, and Twitter at 27%. All of these social media networks are heavily plastered with ads.

As social media has grown to become part of our daily lives, advertising plays a significant role in making social media profitable. The government of Canada is clearly paying attention to the trend of more Canadians using social media over other mediums and this has been shown in the increasing amount of money spent on advertising online.


Fekete, J. (2016, October 10). Liberals have spent more on Facebook ads than total amount spent between 2006 and 2014. National Post. Retrieved from http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/liberals-government-has-spent-more-on-facebook-ads-than-amount-spent-between-2006-and-2014

Feature Image [Image File]. Retrieved from https://www.iprospect.com/~/media/Local/Canada/Our%20blog/Article%20Covers/2015/facebook-twitter-video-ads.jpg

McKinnon, M. (2016, May 24). 2016 Canadian social media use and online brand interaction (statistics). Retrieved from http://canadiansinternet.com/2016-canadian-social-media-use-online-brand-interaction-statistics/

Public Works and Government Services Canada. Annual Report on Government of Canada Advertising Activities 2006-2007. (2008). Retrieved from http://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2008/pwgsc-tpsgc/P100-2-2007E.pdf

Public Works and Government Services Canada. Annual Report on Government of Canada Advertising Activities 2014-15. (2016). Retrieved from http://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/pub-adv/rapports-reports/documents/rapport-report-2014-2015-eng.pdf

Selfie 1 [Image file]. Retrieved from http://wpmedia.windsorstar.com/2015/12/justin-trudeau-kathleen-wynne.jpeg?quality=55&strip=all&w=840&h=630&crop=1

Selfie 2 [Image file]. Retrieved from http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/article26902124.ece/BINARY/w620/OTTK102-FedExln+Liberals+20.JPG

Selfie 3 [Image file]. Retrieved from http://thumbnails.cbc.ca/maven_legacy/thumbnails/1015/471/trudeu-selfies.jpg

Skiing Ad [Image file]. Retrieved from https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CZGErgaUAAEnKEd.jpg

Social Media Usage Chart [Image file]. Retrieved from http://canadiansinternet.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/2016_Canadian_Social_Media_Usage.jpg

Syrian Refugee Ad [Image file]. Retrieved from https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CXph1CyW8AIQETR.jpg:large


2 thoughts on “Facebook Advertising and The Canadian Government

  1. I wonder if the increase in spending on the part of the Liberal Government is a natural reflection of changing market, or if the Liberals are just more internet savvy than their Conservative counterparts. I’d be interested in seeing the social media marketing costs compared across different parties. Really interesting statistics though, thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m a big fan of your use of numbers and figures! I was very surprised to learn that Instagram is used less overall than Google+. I enjoyed reading your post, so thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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