|LANSING – Besides dodging potholes and orange barrels, Michigan drivers this summer may also find themselves encountering several raccoons staring down at them from billboards beside the road.|
But these raccoons aren’t hawking any particular wares for purchase. They want you to recycle properly. They serve as mascots of a $2 million state ad campaign intended to bolster recycling rates.
Government spending on advertising isn’t anything new or unusual – think the ongoing Pure Michigan tourism campaign, or the occasional health-related public service announcement.
But this year has seen the launch of some visible ad campaigns. Beyond the raccoons, there’s also the $3 million state-sponsored campaign to boost skilled trades that has also appeared on billboards.
There were enough billboards spotted to prompt a question: How much do the state agencies spend on advertising in a year?
After a survey of nearly every principal state department and other agencies, MIRS was able to identify $87.5 million spent toward advertising in Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 after obtaining data from 24 state agencies.