Sherbrooke paid more than $ 78,000 to web giants in 2018

The City of Sherbrooke invests thousands of dollars in advertising on Google and Facebook, mainly through Destination Sherbrooke. In 2018, the combined expenses with the two web giants exceed $ 78,000.
IfMayor Steve Lussier confirms that there is no “local” advertising policy for the City, he says City Council could look into it. Like Lynn Blouin, director of marketing and communications at Destination Sherbrooke, he explains the major investments in tourism with Facebook and Google through the mission of the paramunicipal organization.

According to data obtained by La Tribune , between 2015 and 2019, the City invested between $ 2,500 and $ 7,000 a year at Facebook, for a total of approximately $ 20,000, while purchases at Google are almost always non-existent. At Destination Sherbrooke, total investments are growing year after year, with some exceptions.

The amounts spent on Facebook went from $ 2,769 in 2014 to $ 15,643 in 2016 and $ 44,820 in 2018. For Google, we are talking about $ 20,974 in 2014, $ 12,252 in 2016 and $ 727 in 2018.

Note that the total advertising budget of the organization dedicated to the promotion of tourism varies between $ 285,000 and $ 400,000 depending on the year, and that the traditional media are also part of Destination Sherbrooke’s communication strategy. For sampling purposes, out of some $ 350,000 in advertising in 2017, $ 56,261 was spent on Facebook and Google together. This is less than what was invested in TVA Group ($ 60,674.06), a traditional media.

Several other media, radio, television or paper, touched their share. Radio-Canada ($ 34,698.52), Capital Media Group ($ 8078.51), Energy ($ 8468.87), Cogeco ($ 8080.33) and Estrie Plus ($ 3622.39) among other.

The data obtained by La Tribune does not attribute any expense to Sherbrooke Innopole among the web giants, and 24% of its advertising investments in La Tribune between 2012 and 2017. Regional radios and some magazines also receive a share of the investments.

At Commerce Sherbrooke, there is little investment in Facebook, except in 2016, where about $ 9,000 was spent on the social network. The advertising strategy seems to focus almost exclusively on traditional media.

At the time of the parliamentary commission on the future of regional media where Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple have been blamed for the decline in advertising revenue, Lynn Blouin believes that the city has a moral obligation to contribute to the vitality of its media. “At Destination Sherbrooke, we have no desire to abandon the traditional media, on the contrary. Only, do not put all our eggs in one basket. The scope of each media is different. What is good with Google and Facebook is the geographic or interest targeting. We can talk to an age group depending on the product to promote. ”

Ms. Blouin also cites the ease with which it is possible to measure the impact of an online advertisement by counting visits to the organization’s website. “We have a sensitivity to keeping other media out, even though our mission is to talk to people in other cities. ”

For example, when the Starmania show launched its tour, targeted ads were purchased to invite fans of the regions visited to attend an even greater experience in Sherbrooke.

For the year 2018, the increase in investments in Facebook is due to a shift in other advertisements purchased online due to a change in regulations that no longer allowed adequate targeting of the targeted clientele.

Steve Lussier, for his part, himself asked the question whether a policy governing the purchase of online advertising existed at the City of Sherbrooke. “There are none and I think Facebook and Google are good vehicles. Perhaps we could adjust our expenses, but for the moment, there does not seem to have been any exaggeration. If we stand in these waters, I do not feel unwell. What is important is to keep our media here. ”

√Čvelyne Beaudin returns to the charge to denounce the municipal investments that she considers insufficient in La Tribune. On her Facebook page, she publishes a graph accompanied by projections according to which the advertising budget for the local daily newspaper would halve in 2019.

“If we do a projection based on the data as of August 28th of this year, we can expect that the ads [bought by the City] in La Tribune will have increased from $ 128,000 in 2018 to … $ 63,000 this year, a 50% drop, “she wrote. She also accuses Mayor Steve Lussier of hammering the investment figures of 2018 while public notices were still published in The Tribune.

“My goal is to show that no matter what they say, the City’s support for La Tribune has decreased substantially in the last year. The council is talking about recovering from GAFA (Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple), but he could look at his belly button and see what he could do. It is important for the City of Sherbrooke to take note of the situation and redefine its business relationship with La Tribune. ”

Ms. Beaudin does not believe that we should abandon other means of communication, such as Facebook and Google. “The municipality must reach a maximum of people and must use all the tools at its disposal. ”

Steve Lussier, who sits among the leaders busy reviving the daily, again denies the fall of the regional media. “We had a presentation to the executive committee to see how we are going to communicate about major upcoming works. We could use advertisements to talk about the scope of the work, illustrate the detours to be taken or, in another area, talk about what we give to community organizations. ”

The investment plan in this area should be presented to elected officials at the next municipal council on October 7th.

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