Átlátszó: Gov’t spent HUF 380 million on xenophobic propaganda campaign

August 6, 2015


The Hungarian government spent HUF 380 million (USD 1.33 million) on its xenophobic billboard campaign to raise awareness about the national consultation on “immigration and terrorism”, according to Átlátszó.

The Hungarian investigative journalism NGO filed a Freedom of Information request with the Prime Minister’s Office to find out just how much was spent on advertising the national consultation questionnaire.

The government announced at the end of April that it would undertake a national consultation on “immigration and terrorism”. Not much later, the xenophobic propaganda campaign was in full swing.

The controversial questionnaire was criticized by opposition parties, as well as domestic and international human rights groups.

The Prime Minister’s Office responded to Átlátszó’s Freedom of Information request. The response shows the government spent just under HUF 380 million to advertise the national consultation.

The total cost was HUF 379.578.780. HUF 77.4 million was spent advertising in print media, HUF 46.8 million was spent advertising on online news portals, HUF 141.4 million on television ads, HUF 39.2 million on radio ads and HUF 74.4 million on billboards like the two appearing in the background above.  The sign on the left says “If you come to Hungary, you cannot take the Hungarian’s work!”.  The sign on the right says “If you come to Hungary, you must respect our laws!”. The sign held by the minion in the center, which says “We hate everyone”, is actually a parody of the government’s xenophobic campaign dreamt up by Hungary’s satirical “Two-tailed dog” political party.

The government, however, failed to provide an answer to precisely which media platforms it advertised on. Átlátszó says it will continue to pursue those details as well.