Tag Archives: advertorials

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Times Ireland edition journalist Ellen Coyne and a tweet by Ms Coyne last night

This afternoon.

On RTE Radio One’s The Gathering

Ellen Coyne, of The Times Ireland edition, took presenter Sean O’Rourke through the events of the week concerning her reporting of Leo Varadkar’s Strategic Communications Unit…

And how, using taxpayers’  money, paid for Government advertorials in regional newspapers and used an agency which specifically requested that the material didn’t appear as advertorial.

“The Ireland edition of The Times reported on Monday that with Ireland 2040 and with a similar advertising campaign for Creative Ireland, regional newspapers were instructed by an agency, commissioned by the Government to make publicly funded advertisements, promoting the Government, look like organic, independent news stories.

“So we reported that story on Monday, the initial reaction from Leo Varadkar was to claim that my story and similar reporting by Justine McCarthy in The Sunday Times was inaccurate.

That led to a very heated exchange in the Dail during Leaders’ Questions on Tuesday and up to the unbelievable moment on Wednesday when Leo Varadkar went into the Dail and said on the public record that, actually, my story had been filled with anonymous sources who were secretly Fianna Fail candidates which is completely untrue.

“We kept reporting this story, I think the public got angrier, the Opposition were furious.

“And then that lead up to, yesterday, Independent Government ministers pulling Leo Varadkar to explain they were extremely unhappy with this – leading to, basically, an announcement last night that, from now on, the Strategic Communications Unit is going to be issued with clear guidelines, that means that if the Government is paying for ads that appear in your local paper or national paper, it’s going to be very, very clearly marked when it is an advertorial.”

“…The Taoiseach has been blue in the face all week saying that the Irish public deserves to know what the Government is doing with its money. That’s all the Ireland edition of The Times has been doing this week – making it clear to the public what this €1.5million advertising campaign is being used for…”

Listen back in full here

Previously: “Part Of Our Deal Is That We Don’t Have Any Moniker Such As ‘Advertorial”

Earlier: Frilly Keane: Bought And Sold


Good times.

Today’s Times Ireland edition

This morning.

Following on from Ellen Coyne’s previous reports about how the State paid for content in newspapers, including the Irish Independent and Irish Times, here and here

In today’s The Times Ireland edition.

Ms Coyne reports:

A drive to cut hospital admissions during the winter flu crisis was among the publicly funded campaigns that local papers were instructed to present as a news story, The Times can reveal.

The HSE was given final approval over journalists’ copy during the initiative, run by Mediaforce, the same agency used by the government for Ireland 2040 and Creative Ireland campaigns.

To create advertorial content, local newspaper journalists were sent to interview staff at a number of HSE injury units. The interview was arranged by the media agency. It is understood that in at least one case, the journalists had been working in-house while others were freelancers.

Mediaforce told journalists that the advertisements should be laid out like a normal news page. Yesterday, The Times revealed that the same firm told editorial staff that advertorials had to look like normal news stories.

Correspondence seen by The Times shows that after journalists wrote the interview it was laid out on the page, often labelled as a “special feature,” and the HSE was allowed to request amendments.

HSE campaign to cut hospital admissions during winter flu crisis pushed as genuine news (Ellen Coyne, Times Ireland edition)


In the Irish Independent

A British newspaper has denied it is using Facebook data to influence the result of the upcoming abortion referendum.

And the newspaper with a London-based headquarters insisted it used the social media platform to promote its stories to all sides of the abortion debate.

The pro-life side of the abortion campaign has frequently accused ‘The Times, Ireland Edition’ of being biased in favour of repealing the Eighth Amendment.

British newspaper in ‘bid to influence abortion vote’ denial (Irish Independent)


Last night…

Ah here.

Peter Murtagh?

Previously:  Propaganda Is Something You Pay For