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142. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he has engaged and-or consulted with a public relations online advertising agency regarding social media advertising and online promoted content in 2018 and to date in 2019; and the amount spent by company; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11142/19]

Answer

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): My Department engaged with two such agencies in 2018 as part of the promotion of public information campaigns. The agencies were engaged in order to assist in targeting specific demographic groups which were targets of the campaigns but which may not be as effectively accessed through traditional channels such as broadsheet newspaper advertising.  
PHD media were paid a total of €139,266 in 2018 as part of the "What would you do?" national awareness campaign on domestic violence. This encompassed spending on social media (€17,470), Google Adwords (€20,336), Video on Demand (€28,449), online content partnerships (€48,713) and digital display ads (€24,298). 
Spark Foundry were paid a total of €4,298.88 in 2018 as part of the Department's annual fireworks awareness campaign in the run up to Halloween. This consisted of €3,868.38 on online promoted content and €430.50 in online campaign management fees.
My Department has not accrued any such expenditure thus far in 2019.