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Taxpayers will want to call ten-five on Police campaign

Taxpayers will be tempted to call ten-five on cost of Police’s promotional campaign

28 AUGUST 2019

The Police spent an eye-watering $238,000 producing a video of singing officers and call operators to promote the 105 non-emergency number, with the overall campaign costing taxpayers $1.22 million, the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union has revealed.

Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says, “This level of spending speaks to a culture of corporate-style gimmickry that has crept into the public sector. $1.2 million is enough to pay a year’s salary for 20 junior police officers.”

“This should have been a fundamentally simple campaign to make a short number stick in people’s heads. The campaign didn’t have to communicate complex values or win awards, so why did the Police contract the same top-tier ad agency used for police recruitment ads?”

“This ad could have been short, low-budget, and repetitive, like the excellent ‘Auckland Glass’ ads. Every Aucklander knows that number: ‘oh-eight-hundred, eight-oh-four, eight-oh-four’.”

“The Taxpayers’ Union requested this information three and a half months ago, receiving the response two and half months after deadline and only after threatening to go to the Ombudsman. This type of basic spending information should be released up front alongside the campaign to save everyone the hassle of the official information request process.”

The video was produced by advertising agency Ogilvy, but also involved approximately 100 hours of Police time.


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