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Newspapers: gov’t ad revenue up 55%

A man looks at the headlines in downtown Buenos Aires.
A man looks at the headlines in downtown Buenos Aires.
A man looks at the headlines in downtown Buenos Aires.

Official advertising in Perfil rises 842% following Supreme Court ruling

Government advertising on nationwide newspapers reached 62,599,651 pesos during the first six months of 2013, a 55-percent hike compared to the 40,359,371 pesos that the President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner administration spent one year earlier — an increase that ended up benefiting both pro- and anti-government newspapers.

Centre-left daily Página/12 was the newspaper that most benefited from the government’s advertising decisions, receiving a little more than 24 million pesos, 18.9 percent more than the same period last year.

In second place, pro-government daily Tiempo Argentino — founded in 2010, which was during the Cristina Fernández de Kirchner administration — received almost 12 million pesos, 94.1 percent more than in 2012. It is worth noting than those figures correspond only to Comunidad Virtual SA and that other side companies used by media mogul Sergio Szpolski, such as Balkbrug SA publishing company, are not taken into account in the chart on the previous page.

Ámbito Financiero ranks third with 11.3 million pesos in government advertising during the first six months of 2013, a 71.6 percent hike compared to 2012. The Buenos Aires Herald, which is part of the same media group, received 2,720,537 million pesos, some 332,463 pesos (13.9 percent) more than the previous year.

In contrast, opposition newspapers like Clarín, La Nación and Perfil received less than 2 million pesos each.

And while Clarín and La Nación — the two best-selling newspapers in the country — received 62 percent and 148 percent more in official ads than in the first six months of 2012, respectively, the figures are low if compared to their competitors that generally have a more government-friendly editorial line.

Perfil is a special case. In December 2012, the Supreme Court confirmed a 2011 ruling that the government should allocate official advertising to three publications owned by the Perfil publishing group.

It therefore does not seem strange that at first glance during the following six months the Fernández de Kirchner administration directed 1,794,373 pesos worth of advertising to Jorge Fontevecchia’s newspaper that comes out only on weekends — not only a higher amount than the amounts for Clarín and La Nación, but also a startling 842 percent hike if compared to the negligible 190,431 pesos Perfil had received between January and June of 2012.

Perfil received its first piece of official advertising in August 17, 2008 after its launch in September 2005.

Opposition financial newspaper El Cronista doubled its revenue from government advertising, going from 1.437 million pesos in the first semester of 2012 to 2.93 million pesos one year later. Dissident Peronist lawmaker Francisco de Narváez reportedly owns a 20 percent stake of the company.

Another big beneficiary was economic daily Buenos Aires Económico (BAE), which received 4.31 million pesos, registering a 116.8-percent increase from the previous year.

Herald staff

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Edition No. 5055 - This publication is a property of NEFIR S.A. -RNPI Nº 5343955 - Issn 1852 - 9224 - Te. 4349-1500 - San Juan 141 , (C1063ACY) CABA - Director Perdiodístico: Ricardo Daloia