Thank you for making it quite clear that the government's advertising purchasing program is not a grants and contributions program to help groups that might have fallen on hard times such as the print media. Ultimately, Industry Canada or the Department of Canadian Heritage, for instance, could choose to create a budget to encourage the purchase of advertising.
You said that it was up to the print media, which is facing fierce competition from new media, to show that it still has a relevant place in the market. That's precisely what we heard from members of the print media. The runaway trend seems to be to throw the baby out with the bathwater and to think that, because everyone is on social media, advertisers are turning away from the print media.
That is the claim, and I'm inclined to believe it. The figures actually back that up. Despite the fact that many people are increasingly turning to new streaming platforms and such, television is still the place where advertisers go because it seems to produce the best results. That's reassuring.
We are politicians. Doing an interview on CTV during prime time will reach a larger audience than if we were to do an interview that was broadcast on some small obscure website aimed at a very specific group of people. Therefore, television does offer that general interest appeal in terms of reaching the public.
You purchase an enormous amount of advertising. Well, not you, per se, but, rather, all the departments. That's a huge account as they say in the advertising world. As a corporate citizen, the Government of Canada should apply best practices. It is expected to be extremely savvy and to spend advertising dollars as effectively as possible. To that end, it might be advisable not to believe the hogwash claims that ad agencies make in an effort to convince clients that this type of advertising has seen its last day and that social media is the far better option.
Rumour has it that ad agencies get big kickbacks from new media. If they buy $100 worth of advertising space on CTV, they get nothing in return. If, however, they buy $100 worth of advertising space from Google or some other programmatic agency, they get a little kickback or something free in return. As a Canadian taxpayer, I would find it comforting to know that my government had an analyst overseeing all of its advertising purchases to make sure ads were taken out in the right places. It's a fair concern.
Do you think agencies would be interested in having that information? Obviously, it's in Parks Canada's best interests to take out ads in Canadian Geographic. We agree on that. Does the federal institution, however, benefit all that much from programmatic advertising on social media? Would it not be a good idea for the government to have an expert to set the record straight on the advertising value of traditional media versus social media?