The government-friendly Mediaworks media empire is ostensibly not accepting advertisements for the election campaign, but has found a loophole to make sure a particular campaign message from the government appears, reports HVG.
So-called government “public service” announcements already appear to merge with the Fidesz campaign, even to the point of having the same slogans, but there are also “paid political advertisements,” which are in a legally-distinct category.
More specifically, there is one single political ad that Mediaworks is allowing its outlets to run: the government’s own “child protection” referendum, which it is encouraging the public to vote “no” to. An example of that is seen in the picture above, a screenshot from delmagyar.hu.
The pro-government media is able to do this because although the two campaigns are being held and voted on at the same time, different price lists are submitted to the State Audit Office (ÁSZ). The ÁSZ website also lists prices separately, including where and at what price campaign ads can appear in online and print media for both the parliamentary campaign and the referendum.
Mediaworks appear to have only submitted a price list for referendum-related ads, and not for the parliamentary elections.
Presumably, they assumed that the opposition, while for the most part sharing the views of civil rights activists calling for voters to invalidate their referendum ballot, is not going to do much campaigning on the referendum and likely won’t run any ads on it.
Non-government-affiliated NGOs are waging a serious campaign against the referendum, although it is not known yet whether they have tried to place any ads in government-friendly media.
[HVG][Photo: Screenshot / delmagyar.hu]