One Government, 137 Agency Contracts

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) surveyed seven federal departments to account for obligated federal dollars spent on public relations and advertising activities from 2003 through the second quarter of 2005. The findings detail a total of 343 media contracts including 137 contracts with advertising agencies, 131 contracts with media organizations, and 54 contracts with public relations firms. Advertising agencies account for 40 percent of the contracts and $1.4 billion spent in just over two years.

An itemized breakout of each contract revealed little interactive commitment beyond a few Web sites and a handful of commissioned research to explore the market and advertising channels.

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