Control over ads not new, Manyi says

2012-04-16 22:33

Johannesburg - The centralisation of government departments' advertising was not new, Cabinet spokesperson Jimmy Manyi said on Monday.

"What surprises me is that this is not a brand new thing. It is already in operation since June 2011," Manyi said following reports in The Times that he was tightening his grip on advertising by government departments.

The Democratic Alliance claimed the centralisation was an attempt "to strengthen Manyi's propaganda machine and to shield the government’s advertising expenditure from public scrutiny.

"Government communication should be about providing non-partisan information to as many people as possible, and not about serving party-political purposes, as Mr Manyi regularly does," the DA said.

However, Manyi said the allegations were "unfounded".

"They must understand that it is the role of the Government Communication and Information Services (GCIS) to co-ordinate government's messaging. That's why we are here."

Manyi said the centralisation made business sense.

"Government has derived a lot more discounts using this method. There is also no middleman. Before we even start, the middleman costs have been cut."

In The Times article Manyi, who spoke at a community media indaba on Saturday, said that at a national level the government wanted a model where all departments gave their advertising to one centre - the GCIS.

The newspaper reported that each of the 34 governmental departments had its own funds for advertising and was in charge of its own advertising by appointing an advertising agency.

At the indaba, the funding and lack of government advertising in community media was negotiated by the GCIS and the Media Development and Diversity Agency with community representatives, The Times reported.

According to newspaper community media had complained that the government was ignoring them when allocating advertising, instead placing advertisements with mainstream media at a much greater cost.

Last year, Manyi said the government, through the GCIS, would monitor and enforce adherence to the "government brand".

Non-Cabinet weeks would, among others, be used for media briefings to communicate progress on the implementation of government's programme of action.

The implementation of the strategy would result in a much more informed and empowered public, Manyi said told the Times.

  • Crracker - 2012-04-16 22:59

    Novelty is surely not the issue.

      Lacrimose - 2012-04-16 23:34

      Jimmy is correct. Control over the media and the people's access to information is always severely curtailed as a precursor to dictatorship and/or war. Much like the 'it is our turn to eat' philosophy. Apparently, 300 years of wrongs do make a right. And all the learning in between, is irrelevant or for the next generation to sort out.

  • Luviwe - 2012-04-16 23:45

    I can see more adverts on new age now.

  • Wilma Crous - 2012-04-16 23:48

    How very communistic ...

      Mark - 2012-04-17 11:53

      No it's not new and nor is the abuse of power. You can dress a duck up and talk the slant as much as you like, but it remains a duck.

  • Lee.CPT.ZA - 2012-04-17 07:56

    Since when has government been interested in cutting costs! Since when has govt been interested in empowering the masses with a centralised message? The only thing govt is concerned with is looking after their little empires and elections come December. I bet if it was a general election the messages would be very different to the empowerd masses.

  • Melt Olckers - 2012-04-17 08:31

    Jimmy Manye Goebbels!

  • Blixum - 2012-04-17 10:07

    That's right Manyi. Keep them stupid and uninformed. Thank you for your selective advertising of the 'achievements' of your government and not its failures.

  • Cayowin - 2012-04-17 11:11

    Very true this is not new, the first propaganda was the list of the Pharaoh's achievements carved on the temple walls. Will the central government have control of the western cape's Ad budget? Can Manyi stop an Ad by Zille on how good life is in the WC? Will these Ads be run around the time of general elections, all chosen by an ANC cadre? Will Manyi choose which current political favorite's face will bless our billboards with his beatific face?

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