The Chamber of Deputies approved the bill that allows the public administration to use specific rules for contracting advertising to bid for digital communication services (social media and digital channels) and institutional communication (press relations and public relations). The matter goes to the Senate.
The text of the rapporteur, deputy Celina Leão (PP-DF), increases the amount of advertising expenses currently allowed by legislation in the first half of election years. The bill amends legislation from 2015, which determines that this type of expense cannot exceed the average advertising expenditure in the first half of the last three years prior to the election.
“Motivated by the change in the rule, we noticed that there was a concentration of expenses by states and municipalities in the first half of each year, distorting the average of expenses. In addition, the serious health crisis faced in recent years meant that institutional advertising funds were directed to combating the pandemic, especially in educational and vaccination campaigns,” said the deputy.
In Celina Leão’s assessment, the institutional publicity of acts and campaigns by public bodies and the indirect administration was hampered by the current rule, which made it impossible or significantly reduced “the dissemination of other topics of public utility, equally relevant to society”.
The proposal now allows federal, state or municipal public bodies and the respective indirect administration entities (state-owned, for example) to commit six times the monthly average of the amounts committed in the three complete previous years (first and second semesters).
Advertising about covid-19
According to the project, in an election year, public bodies must carry out institutional publicity of acts and campaigns aimed exclusively at fighting the pandemic and orienting the population regarding public services.
Currently, electoral legislation prohibits, in the three months prior to the election (July to September), spending on institutional advertising of acts, programs, works, services and campaigns of public bodies, except in cases of serious and urgent public need recognized by the Electoral Justice. .
Deputies opposed to approving the measure argued that the change would benefit the federal government with increased spending on digital advertising in the year in which the elections will be held. Parties promise to go to court so that the proposal is not applied this year.
For deputy Tiago Mitraud (Novo-MG), the discussion about changes in advertising rules in the financing of institutional advertising in an election year should not be taking place at this moment.
“It shouldn’t be discussed now, in a hurry, six months before the elections with the intention of making these rules apply this year”, he said. “This here will certainly be prosecuted. We believe that these rules cannot be changed to apply this year. But if it was a project of interest, of rule changes and long term, it should be included in the project that cannot be valid in 2022. But it is not”.