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November 9, 2015
Should the DoD Disclose its Ad Budget?
 
In case you missed it, news came out that the federal government’s Department of Defense has been spending millions of dollars on promotions during games to highlight veterans and the various arms of military personnel.

The reactions to the news have been mixed. Some media folks are “so upset” that the military decides that it’s a good idea to pair the armed forces and sports together, as if the promotions during the games are advocating war.

Others would prefer the government to at least disclose to the people that the promotions are not “free,” but that the government paid venues to hold these events and special appearances.

But our question remains — should the DoD feel the need to disclose its actions? And, if they decide to, should we really care?

We’re torn.

On one hand, we believe that if the DoD is going to play the advertising game, then it should abide by the same rules that AdLand has established and governed.

On the other hand, we feel like the federal government has every right to pay for opportunities to showcase the men and women and the branches that defend our nation, and the need to disclose its advertising expenditures is an unnecessary venture that the everyday citizen thinks they need to explore.

For example, the media gets the privilege to refuse to disclose its sources when exploring different stories. Why can’t the government be afforded that same decency when promoting its services and goods?

Next time the government feels like criticizing AdLand, perhaps they should remember this moment. Hopefully folks will hold their tongues.

At least for a little while.

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Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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