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Despite the proclaimed austerity measures, twenty Belgrade public companies have spent €2.5 million on marketing and advertising alone since 2008.
Twenty Belgrade public companies and institutions have spent about €2.5 million since 2008 on marketing and advertising services and on consulting services and press clippings provided by PR agencies, according to the BIRN research.
Research showed that spending on promotion increased fivefold from 2008 to June 2012 in spite of the city’s announced austerity measures.
Most of the companies included in the research have their own staff employed in public relations, marketing, and information and media relations departments.
As the all contracts were valued below €26,000, the companies were not obliged to launch a tender.
The research included 24 Belgrade companies and institutions: Ada Ciganlija, Arena Beograd, Beograd put (Belgrade Roads), Beogradska tvrdjava (Belgrade Fortress), Beogradske elektrane (Belgrade Power Plants), Beogradski vodovod i kanalizacija (Belgrade Water Supply and Sewerage), Beogradvode (Belgrade Waters), Direkcija za gradjevinsko zemljiste i izgradnju (Directorate for construction land and development), EPS Elektrodistribucija (Belgrade Electric Power Distribution), Gradska cistoca (City Waste Disposal), Gradske pijace (City Markets), Gradsko saobracajno preduzece (City Transport Company), Gradsko stambeno (City Housing), Hipodrom (Belgrade Racecourse), Infostan, Javno osvetljenje (Public Lighting), Javno radio-difuzno preduzece Studio B (Studio B Public Broadcasting Company), Parking servis (Parking Service), Pogrebne usluge (Funeral Services), Sava centar, Urbanisticki zavod (Urban Planning Bureau), Veterina Beograd (Veterinary Institution), Zelenilo (City Greenery), and Zooloski vrt (the Belgrade Zoo).
Of the total of 24 companies, the following four did not enter into contracts with marketing and PR agencies: Studio B, Sava centar, Urbanisticki zavod and Zooloski vrt.
Out of the €2.5 million, €960,000 was spent for services provided by public relations agencies. This includes marketing and PR activities, organising campaigns and promotions, education employees in the field of public relations and making presentations and videos.
About €900,000 was spent on advertising services, promotional articles and production of promotional materials.
The companies spent about €273,000 on consulting services, while €240,000 was spent on press clipping services.
The amounts spent on these services show significant growth since 2008.
While the companies have paid about €150,000 to PR agencies in 2008, the amount doubled in 2009 to about €360,000.
About €581,000 was spent in 2010, while in 2011 agencies earned about €705,000 working for the public companies.
Most of the money was spent by five public companies: Beograd put; Beogradski vodovod i kanalizacija; Ada Ciganlija; Gradska cistoca and Beogradske elektrane. Since 2008, these five have spent €1.3 million.
The PR agencies that got most money from city companies and institutions for the provision of services in the period covered by the research include PR and Media Consulting Agency Headline Milos Miloradovic, Brendon d.o.o, Infobiro d.o.o, Ninamedia Kliping d.o.o. and Pleon Olaf & McAteer d.o.o.
One third of the total amount of €2.5 million was spent on paying for services provided by these agencies.
Working with four public companies, Ada Ciganlija, Gradska cistoca, Infostan and Zelenilo, Headline earned about €380,000. In 2011 and 2012, Brendon agency made a total of €193,000.
Infobiro earned about €166,000 from three public companies, Ada Ciganlija, Gradske pijace and Parking servis. Pleon Olaf & McAteer agency signed €111,000 worth of contracts for PR and marketing services with Beogradske elektrane.
Ninamedia Kliping, which has offered media monitoring and media content analysis services since 2009, signed contracts with seven public companies: Arena Beograd; Beogradske elektrane; Beogradski vodovod i kanalizacija; Beogradvode; Gradske pijace; Javno osvetljenje and Zelenilo. Together they earned it about €151,000.
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