News Irish News

Sunday 17 December 2017

Kenny hired raunchy ad firm as part of €3m election spend

Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor

ENDA Kenny hired the agency behind the raunchy Hunky Dorys ads, Micheal Martin got the make-up artist used by Kanye West and Gerry Adams paid for Irish translation services.

The secrets of the 2011 general election campaign have been revealed in new documents supplied to the State's political standards watchdog.

They show that Fine Gael paid around €300,000 to the Chemistry advertising agency, better known as the creator of the Hunky Dorys crisps ads.

The ads, featuring scantily clad female models playing sport, were deemed "offensive, exploitative and degrading to women" by the advertising standards watchdog.

During the four-week campaign alone, Fine Gael also spent €109,000 on market research by Washington-based political consultants, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner. The company is run by political PR guru Stan Greenberg, who has also provided advice to ex-British Prime Minister Tony Blair and former US President Bill Clinton.

Fine Gael also spent €59,000 to advertise on Google -- which ensures that a party's ads are displayed when certain search terms are entered -- and it spent €39,000 to advertise on social networking site Facebook.

The party then hired the Aviva Stadium in Dublin for an election rally hosted by pundit George Hook.

Fine Gael's election spending of €3.1m was far more than Fianna Fail's €2.1m budget. But Fianna Fail did spend €1,200 on make-up artist Natalie Kinsella, who has worked for Kanye West, Christina Aguilera, and Helena Christensen.

Based at the party's election headquarters in Mount Street in Dublin, she provided make-up services for leader Micheal Martin and other party candidates. Fianna Fail spent €12,500 on "Google Ad words" and €16,000 on market research.

Sinn Fein's electoral spending records reveal that it paid €944 for work by Derry-based company Carn Translations, which translates from English to Irish. It spent €5,700 on Google ads and €1,355 on Facebook ads.

Political parties are required to supply details of their spending on the general election to the Standards in Public Office.

Labour spent €44,000 with polling company Red C and €21,000 on marketing company Demographics. But its spending statement revealed that it was in dispute with Davis Management -- an event management company which has worked with U2 -- over a €35,000 bill.

The Green Party, which does not accept corporate donations, had one of the smallest budgets. It spent €1,687 to put its logo on an election campaign car.

Fine Gael's election returns show it spent heavily on new candidates like Louth football manager Peter Fitzpatrick (€23,833), while established TDs like Richard Bruton got less than €1,000 from headquarters. Newly elected TDs who benefited from party funds included Simon Harris in Wicklow (€14,438), and Derek Keating in Dublin Mid West (€11,126).

But Fine Gael failed to get Catherine Yore elected in Meath West despite providing €18,665 in central funds for her campaign. And former Shannon mayor Tony Mulcahy, who got €20,408, missed out on a Dail seat in Clare, before later being elected to the Seanad.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News