A recent FOI response from the Scottish Government has revealed the government's funding for advertising Covid vaccines to media outlets in Scotland. In Dumfries & Galloway, those outlets were:
- Dumfries & Galloway Standard
- Dumfries Courier
- Galloway Gazette
- Galloway News
- Westsound (radio)
Under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, I require the following information:
1. Any additional outlets missed from above list that ScotGov funded to advertise Covid vaccines.
2. Was Dumfries & Galloway Council (DGC) paid to advertise the vaccine?
3. Details of the individual adverts for each outlet (inc. DGC if applicable)
4. The amount each outlet was paid for each advert (inc. DGC if applicable)
5. The contract(s) along with terms and conditions accompanying each contract (inc. DGC if applicable)
6. Scottish Government's assessment of the legality of advertising a not-fully authorised vaccine (which was only allowed under emergency use) still within Phase 3 clinical trials; eg, under which condition(s) in The Human Medicines Regulations 2012, etc?
1. The Scottish Government didn’t run any activity specifically targeting Dumfries & Galloway for vaccine, only all the national and health board targeted campaigns, which covered that area. E.g. Local newspapers the cost would have already been included.
2. The Scottish Government did not pay Dumfries and Galloway Council any funds towards advertising Covid vaccines to media outlets.
3. Print : in the local Dumfries & Galloway titles, Quarter page March 2021, Half page Dec 2021 Radio : on local Dumfries & Galloway radio, Jan/Feb 2021 30” spot airtime; live presenter reads and 60” spotlight trails May/June 2021 30” spot airtime
TV : 60”, 40” and 30” tv ran nationally
Outdoor : 6 sheets and 48 sheets, bus panels, ran nationally
Digital national : 6”, 15”, 10”, 40” and 60” video, 30” audio, promoted posts, static formats including carousels, 52” long format video, plus search ads.
4. Regarding the question of cost per advert, whilst our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide the information requested because an exemption under section 33 of FOISA applies. This is because disclosure of the information would (or would be likely to) substantially prejudice the commercial interests of the organisation (section 33(1)(b)). All Scottish Government media buying and planning is undertaken via agencies appointed through the Media Planning, Buying and Associated Services 2019 to 2023 framework, and never directly with media owners or channels. Providing the costs would therefore enable competitors to determine the buying rates (price) for individual media companies. This information is highly commercially sensitive within the sector and disclosure would materially disadvantage the Scottish Government contractor. Providing the specific expenditure per advert would disclose the rates negotiated by the appointed media buying agency who work on behalf of the Scottish Government.
5. The Scottish Government does not have the information you have asked for because the contract is between the appointed media buying and a planning agency and the media outlet. The Scottish Government does not hold the terms and conditions. Details of the Media Planning, Buying and Associated Services 2019 to 2023 framework can be found at https://www.gov.scot/publications/mediaplanning-buying-and-associated-services-2019-to-2023/. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.
6. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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