Tag Archives: radio ads

Public Services Card; Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon at a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee this morning; the Public Accounts Committee

This morning.

The Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon is appearing before the Public Accounts Committee.

It follows Ms Dixon finding that there is no legal basis for the State demanding the use of the Public Services Card in order to access a range of public services beyond social welfare payments.

Ms Dixon ordered that Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Regina Doherty’s department stop issuing new PSCs, with immediate effect, to people seeking a service outside of her department, and that it delete the supporting documentation – such as utility bills, etc – that the department has retained on the 3.2million card holders.

Ms Doherty is categorical her department will not be complying with these orders and has said the State will challenge the findings of Ms Dixon – in court, if needs be.


Irish Times journalist Jack Horgan-Jones has obtained documents [above], under the Freedom of Information Act, outlining radio ads that the Road Safety Authority planned to use but scrapped.

It’s understood they were scrapped after Minister for Transport Shane Ross announced in May 2018 that applicants for the driver theory test would not have to produce a PSC to satisfy identification requirements, reportedly after the Attorney General told the minister such a mandatory requirement was not legal.

This is despite Minister Doherty saying over the past few weeks that the State will challenge the findings of the DPC based on “incredibly strong” advice from the Attorney General.

Asked about Mr Ross’s announcement, Ms Doherty told the Dáil last night:

“I cannot say why the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Deputy Ross, said what he said other than to say I am not responsible for the delivery of policy…

“I cannot say why he said what he said. I am only responsible for delivery of policy in my Department. I do not know if he got legal advice and to answer the same question, I do not know if the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade got legal advice on its policy formation.”

Watch the Public Accounts Committee proceedings live here

One of a series of documents released by the Department of An Taoiseach last week

Last Friday.

On – the day of the referendum on the Eighth Amendment – the Department of An Taoiseach released to a number of journalists records they had requested under Freedom of Information laws in relation to the Strategic Communications Unit advertorial controversy.

Further to this…

In The Sunday Times, Mark Tighe reports:

The head of the advertising agency promoting the government’s national development plan (NDP) said he did not want promotions for the project on radio to appear as advertising for “legal” reasons.

In correspondence released after a freedom of information request, Jason Nebenzahl, managing director of PHD Media, told ad bookers it was “key” that the scripts used in radio promotions for the Project Ireland 2040 plan came from the radio stations, “but [are] labelled in partnership with the government of Ireland”.

“We do not want ads, nor are we legally able to have ads on radio, so nothing produced can be misconstrued as an ad as this is not our intention,” wrote Nebenzahl in an email on February 16 to Urban Media, which was arranging the promotions with local stations. “It is simply sharing content that is relevant and important to a given area.”

The radio spots were pulled after it was revealed by The Times Ireland edition that Mediaforce, an agency retained by PHD to book local-newspaper adverts, had told them not to label the Project Ireland 2040 adverts as “advertorial”. Mediaforce also instructed that the adverts should fit in with the “tone” of normal coverage.

…The department did not respond to questions about how broadcasting promotions for Project Ireland 2040 could ever be illegal.

…Other documents released show that a sentiment analysis was carried out by PHD. It said when the emotion of users who interacted with the online content promoting the national plan was examined, “an overwhelming sense of joy was perceived”.

Project Ireland ads had ‘legal issues’ (Mark Tighe, The Sunday Times)

Pic: Steve White