Government Advertising Campaigns

Wait Less in Yorkshire and Humberside
Wait Less in Yorkshire and Humberside - Poster at Menston Station, Yorkshire

The text on this advertising poster says:

Patients in Yorkshire and the Humber are usually treated within eight weeks of being referred to a doctor.

What is the point of this?

  • Maybe it will discourage people from leaving Yorkshire and going to live in Lancashire?
  • Maybe it will encourage a sense of civic pride and revive the Yorkshire Independence Movement?

Waiting lists can be a misleading guide to quality of health care. In a bid to get the lowest waiting lists health authorities may prioritise low important referalls over more painful problems.

It may encourage doctors to dismiss patients completely.

But, the real issue is why do the government spend so much on advertising and does it help?

I remember before Water Privatisation, there were repeated adverts telling us about tap water.

The government is now the biggest advertising spender in the country with an annual budget of £400 million.

“Stop smoking. Drink less. Learn new skills. Stop defrauding the benefit office. Claim tax credits. Wear a condom. Join the Army.”(telegraph)

It is estimated that there are more than 10,000 government advertisements every day,

I’m not criticising all adverts, the spending may help overcome market failure more effectively than taxes or regulation. If advertising does reduce binge drinking the cost of advertising may easily be worth the economic benefits of less drunkeness and absenteeism at work.

But, this advert strikes me as being of no benefit.

One thought on “Government Advertising Campaigns

  1. I was wondering exactly the same thing as i stumbled accross this page. Surely all this spending on what seems like ‘waste of time’ adverts is pushing up the costs for small bussiness who want to advertise aswell, and surely this money is far better spent elsewhere like on schools or hospitals… seems crazy.

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