CIG given almost 3,000 free ads for port promotion

| 14/01/2019 | 51 Comments
Cayman News Service

Cruise ship in George Town Harbour

(CNS): Radio Cayman has confirmed that the government received almost 3,000 free advertisements on the publicly-owned station between early October and the end of December. Responding to a freedom of information request from Opposition Leader Ezzard Miller, the information manager said the station broadcast the public service announcements on behalf of the tourism ministry for free as it is part of its mandate to provide government ministries and departments with PSAs as outputs. The records show that if government had been required to pay, it would have run to more than $57,000.

While Radio Cayman is government owned, it is funded by the public purse. With these advertisements plus those in the print press and on television, as well as with a local PR firm, the current administration spent more than $100,000 last year on promoting the project that has divided the community.

CIG spends $55k promoting cruise port

Miller, who made the FOI request, said he spent $600 of his own cash on just a handful of announcements on Radio Cayman promoting a series of meetings the opposition organised across Grand Cayman to challenge the misleading information that government has persistently used public cash to promote.

Government’s continued claims that a referendum equates to a ‘no’ vote for the project, undermining democratic principles and the constitutional right to a people-initiated national ballot, has raised questions as to whether its promotion of the port is political rather than advisory.

Radio Cayman explained that its only requirement for PSAs is for them to generally stay within 30 seconds and that the station has the flexibility to remove them from certain slots when the space is needed for paying customers. The station also said that there should be no more than four productions per month and it limits the broadcasts to ten per day on Radio Cayman, though more can be placed on Breeze.

“Radio Cayman should have a balanced position; we should be entitled to the same number of ads as PSAs,” the opposition leader said. “What we heard on Radio Cayman were not informational PSAs but promotional adverts pushing the port project. I was flabbergasted when I learned that government did not have to pay for these thousands of adverts repeating the same promotional message.”

The Cruise Port Referendum campaign, which is a grass-roots organisation that is pushing for a people-initiated referendum funded only by private sector donations and the work of volunteers, said that all of the promotion or advertising it has done has had to be paid for from their own funds and that Radio Cayman has not offered any free air time to them to promote the referendum, even when the government was using public cash to undermine it.

While they have been able to go on the government radio’s talk shows to get their message out, there have been no free PSAs about the people’s petition.

See documents released in CNS Library

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Category: Politics

Comments (51)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    There isn’t a Petition for Enactment of Standards in Public Life, because not a single voter is brave enough to start one. For shame.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Government radio makes announcements for the government. Dude, that’s what they are supposed to do. This is much a do about nothing.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    The referendum jokers has their own financier and we all know who that is. Just stop being cry cry babies and accept that the caymanian people want the cruise dock and it’s going to be built.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Wasting resources on personal agendas.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Cayman more like Russia than USA.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    One would think this is almost identical to what happened at the Port?

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Why would ci government write a check to ci government? This seems like much ado about nothing

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  8. Anonymous says:

    And Radio Cayman is still sending me a $40 bill for a death announcement from 2008 – which was paid in cash on the spot!!??

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Unchecked propoganda mixed in with little to no accountability, no checks and balances and politically apathetic populace

    Perfect foundation for a Banana Republic

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Give them an inch, they’ll take a yard.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    If Ezzard wanted free ads he should have formed a Government.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Really? You think Government should be allowed to do this? Come on, this is corruption at its best…

      I don’t support the Port so why should my money be used to promote it?

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      • Anonymous says:

        I don’t support the religious gay bigots denying other humans equal rights because they don’t accept their indoctrination.

        Yet my government also uses my money to fight equality in court.

        See how that works ?

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    • Anonymous says:

      PPMBOT at work again.

  12. Anonymous says:

    For thinking Caymanians this CIG propaganda ought to be a concern.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    $19 an ad? Best bargain in Cayman.

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    • OLD Caymanian Captain says:

      Everyone better start grabbing the bulls by their horns because this is beginning of the end , cause I don’t know what most Caymanians wouldo bemail worth after 2021 .

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  14. Anonymous says:

    CIG propaganda machine hard at work.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    Radio Cayman & Breeze should be sold off to private industry. Maybe a management buy out. Let the market decide if it floats or sinks.
    RC served a great purpose when there were no radio stations. Now we have so (too) many so there is no need for a government entity.

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    • Anonymous says:

      We need to start a petition and then go to a referendum, it’s the only way we will get value for money. We have to be absolutely sure.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    Voters need to awaken to the remaining democratic powers that exist for them to change the standard and method of governance. Preferably before it dissolves further into the sort of colluding autocracy we can’t recover from without an Order in Council and 18months of international headline risk with special inspectors and prosecutors.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    More corruption at its finest. Cayman, you must be so proud.
    Desperate and proud…

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  18. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone actually listen to Radio Cayman?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Food for thought:

      Every marketing study ever done in Cayman places Radio Cayman as the most listened to station.

      Just because you don’t listen to Radio Cayman, doesn’t mean the vast majority of Caymanians and the Business community don’t.

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      • Anonymous says:

        12:49 And who runs the marketing surveys? I bet it’s the same people who rely on RC to spread their propaganda. While working in eastern Europe years ago I learned that state-funded media is unadulterated BS and that’s clearly what we have here.

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      • Anonymous says:

        marketing study! like the one the compass does that ‘proves’ millions or so read every page! give me a break…did u know 86% of all statistics are made up? 43% of people believe that

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    • Anonymous says:

      Who listens to radio period!? It’s 2019!!!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Im forced to sometimes listen with the japanese deck in my car. Then I quickly turn it off as i here the radio hosts saliva constantly clapping on the mic.

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      • Caterwauler says:

        My car radio has been out of order for the last 12 months, but when i did listen to Radio Cayman (infrequently) my ears were assaulted having to listen to all the local musicians given air time, very few had any talent, bui all thought they did.

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    • Bluff Patrol says:

      Yes, extensively. Best news and great music.

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      • Anonymous says:

        NEWS FLASH!! Nothing is free, everyone living on this Rock is paying for it whether for or against the port.

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