Embarrassing 'Economic Action Plan' Ad Questions Taken Out from Polls

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The Canadian Finance Department has ordered its pollsters to drop embarrassing questions about the 'Economic Action Plan' advertising campaign, due to the surveys getting declining results.


City, State, Country., April 24, 2014 - (PressReleasePoint) - The Finance Department in Canada has ordered its pollsters to stop asking the public potentially embarrassing questions about the 'Economic Action Plan', the catch-all Conservative government brand.

In the ten public-opinion polls which started 2009, Canadians were asked if they responded to the ads placed on the internet, TV, radio and newspapers on the advantages of the advertising campaign. Then, it was found that results have been declining sharply with only very few of those polled in 2013 saying they visited the EAP website or called the toll-free number the ads gave.

As a result, the Finance Department has eliminated the question, along with three other questions asking Canadians to rate performance of the government.

Commenting on the issue, department spokesman Jack Aubry stated in an email, "The common measurement tool is periodically revised and was most recently modified last fall, in order to streamline data collection to questions most useful in assessing a campaign's objectives — notably recall, recognition and message retention."

In line with this, pollster Harris Decima was paid almost $31,000 by the Finance Department to conduct a shortened survey of 2,000 Canadians early in November on their reactions to two radio ads and two 30-second TV ads. Their content was described in detail to respondents, but as few as 13% recalled hearing or seeing the action-plan spots, which ran between October 7 and November 3 in 2013. And there was no data collected on specific actions those polled might have taken in response to the ads or on rating the government's performance, because those questions were quietly taken out from the survey.

The Conservative government also ran another set of action-plan ads between February 17 and March 31 in 2014, and it was confirmed that such questions were also not included.

Dropping those questions has eliminated any sarcastic comments previously gathered by the pollsters, including statements that the ads were a waste of money and a represented propaganda.

In fact, opposition parties and even some Conservative commentators have called the EAP ads as a thinly disguised propaganda. Commentaries at major news organizations, have also said that they are wasting taxpayer dollars and are designed to promote the Conservative party using public money.

Nevertheless, Aubry said the ads have continuing value. He stated, "In an uncertain global economy, it is important that Canadians are aware of the measures and programs in the EAP and how they will lead to jobs, growth and long-term prosperity." He added, "The advertising campaign highlighted key policies and initiatives flowing from the EAP."


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