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Type: Conference paper
Title: The Howard Government's industrial relations information campaign and the limits to incumbency advantage
Author: Van Onselen, P.
Errington, W.
Citation: Empowerment, Creativity and Innovation: Challenging Media and Communication in the 21st Century, 2006: pp.1-10
Publisher: Australia and New Zealand Communication Association and the University of Adelaide
Publisher Place: Adelaide, South Australia
Issue Date: 2006
ISBN: 0863968376
Conference Name: Australia and New Zealand Communications Association Conference (2006 : Adelaide, South Australia)
Statement of
Van Onselen, P. and Errington, W.
Abstract: The concept of the permanent campaign was recently reviewed by American political scientists Mann and Ornstein (2000). At the 2005 ANZCA conference we discussed the extent to which the permanent campaign had come to Australia, using communications strategies at the 2004 federal election as a case study. This paper analyses the Howard government’s $55m information campaign to sell its new industrial relations (IR) reforms. The expensive advertising campaign was spread across newspapers, television channels, radio stations and even internet sites. It was widely criticised by media professionals, politicians and interest groups alike. The IR information campaign was an example of permanent campaigning in so far as it was an overtly partisan information campaign in the middle of an electoral cycle. However, it also revealed the limitations of incumbency advantage. Public anger over the plethora of taxpayer funded IR advertisements was symptomatic of declining public trust in politicians not to partake in overtly partisan activities. It may be that non-partisan government advertising that genuinely informs the public of initiatives and outcomes is of more political benefit to a government than overtly partisan campaigns such as the recent IR campaign.
Rights: Copyright status unknown
RMID: 0020109847
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Appears in Collections:Politics publications

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