ABC defends ad spend on digital platforms

2014-11-04_1203The ABC has responded to a report in Fairfax Media which suggests the broadcaster has increased spending on advertising by 40 per cent”, claiming the article contains “a number of inaccuracies.”

Fairfax reports ABC spent $2.76 million on advertising in the 12 months to June 30, up from $1.98 million the year before, implying that it has lifted its impact on social media with ABC News Facebook page, now over 885,000 ‘likes.’

‘The ABC’s spending on market research and promotion, which includes advertising, rose 16.6 per cent to $11.63 million in the 12 months to June 30. Its promotion spend increased 15.7 per cent to $3.3 million,’ it notes.

But ABC says the success of the Facebook page is not a result of paid advertising on, but due to a high level of audience engagement with the content.

In a statement the broadcaster claims it spent less than $9000 on Facebook advertising for news content, “a minuscule amount compared to other organisations active in this space.”

It continued, “In fact, the reports that have generated the most traffic on the ABC News’s Facebook page have required no ad spend at all.

“For example a report about the health of AC/DC musician Malcolm Young reached 3.7 million people worldwide at no cost to the ABC; an ‘explainer’ about the various forms of head covering worn by Muslim women reached 2.3 million with no ad spend; and a report on Stephen Hawking’s musical abilities reached 2.4 million with no ad spend.

“The figures contained in the 2013/2014 annual report reflect the total amount spent by the Corporation across all of its advertising, marketing and audience research requirements. This budget supports a range of platforms unrivaled by other Australian media outlets – five television channels, 67 local and national radio services and a raft of online services.

“The ABC’s marketing budget fluctuates year-to-year depending on audience strategy and opportunity for specific content initiatives. In 2011/2012 the budget fell 18 per cent from the previous year.”

ABC, which has also come under recent scrutiny from News Corp, takes an “orthodox” approach to advertising and marketing and says Digital platforms allow them to be targeted and cost effective.

“We invest in creating strong, distinctive, Australian content and we want that content to be found by audiences in a highly fragmented media landscape.”

This year the ABC will not host an Upfronts, while the broadcaster is awaiting funding cuts and job losses.


  1. Except the ABC increased it ads and promotions in recent years and while the audience decreased.

    Facebook is efficient and useful.

    It is the rest that is questionable, including trying to buy up keywords on Google to poach traffic from commercial media.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.