How much did the Harper government spend on their Super Bowl ads?

Economic action planCanadians were two-time losers when it came to those Super Bowl ads.

Not only did we not get to watch the really cool ads that our American brethren did, but we also ended up footing bill for those Government of Canada commercials on Canadian television.

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Well, the New Democrats want to know exactly how much we paid for those ads. On Tueady, NDP MP Mathieu Ravignat filed an order paper question about that in Parliament:

"With regards to advertising by the Government of Canada during the broadcast of Super Bowl XLVII on February 3, 2013: (a) what was the total cost for advertising; and (b) what was the cost for each advertisement shown?"

While we wait for the government to respond — they have 45 days to answer the order paper question — we might be able to get some answers by looking at how much they spent in the past.

In an article for The Canadian Press, Bruce Cheadle noted that the Treasury Board had already approved $16 million in "economic action plan" advertising for fiscal year 2012/13.

[ Related: Government ad spending on economy balloons under Conservatives since recession ]

Cheadle also claims that the Tories have 'upped the ante' when it comes to government advertising.

"Average annual ad spending by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, or HRSDC, was up 72 per cent in the four years following the 2008 recession, compared to the five years that preceded it.

Spending by the Finance Department was up 58 per cent, while advertising by the Canada Revenue Agency almost tripled.

The last time the department spent significant ad money was in 2002-03 under the Liberals, when it rang up $21 million in advertising."

If you missed the government's Super Bowl ads, don't worry. The next Canadian T.V. ratings bonanza — the Oscars — are just around the corner. Last year over 7 million Canadians watched those on CTV.

Another perfect opportunity for our government to advertise?

(Photo is a screen grab from actionplan.gc.ca)

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