Snapchat is a photo-sharing app beloved of teens – and, as it turns out, the Department of Transport.
The response to a Freedom of Information request sent by BuzzFeed News revealed that the Department had spent £70,000 on sponsored Snapchat filters in a year.
Filters are used to cover parts of your photo with doodles or pictures – in this case, bars over your face to remind you not to drive on drugs and the message “Drive High? The roadside swab will catch you.” The filters were part of the Department’s “Think!” campaign, and were available in March.
The figure sounds high, but it was actually only 5 per cent of the advertising budget for the Think! drug driving campaign. The £70,000 spent on Snapchat may also have done more to reach young people than any other type of ad, given almost 50 per cent of young Brits were on the app by 2014, and many dodge ads online and while streaming TV by using adblockers.
By your mole’s reckoning, this means the department spent £1.4m on the drug-driving campaign alone. For comparison, in 2012, the most spent by the Department on any single media campaign was £945,582 on drink driving. Austerity for some, eh?