Organizations urge Mexican administration to increase transparency, limit government spending on advertising

Mexican organizations Article 19 and Fundar are urging the government to limit spending on communication and advertising just days before the 2012 Expenditure Budget is set to be debated in the Mexican Chamber of Deputies, according to the website Avance MX.

“The degree of spending on official advertising is excessive, it is used in a discriminatory fashion and there is no clear criteria by which to allocate and distribute it,” says Fundar on its website.

The website Publicidad Oficial reports various cases in which mainstream media such as Diario a.m. from the central state of Guanajuato, Diario de YucatánContralínea and Proceso magazines, as well as Radio Bemba have stopped receiving government advertising as punishment for their critical coverage of state and federal governments, while other smaller publications are receiving greater amounts of advertising from the government.

Several organizations point out that since 2007, the Mexican administration has spent twice the amount approved by legislators on advertising, according to the magazine Etcétera.

Fundar investigator Justine Dupuy and Omar Rábago, of Article 19, are proposing the federal government limit its advertising spending to less than 0.03 percent of the 2012 budget, according to Letra S.

Several organizations say the federal government is currently spending more than 10 times on advertising and publicity than on reducing maternal mortality rates in the country.