Government earmarks $2 million for pro-pipeline advertising campaign

A May 2013 handout photo of Kinder Morgan’s Anchor Loop Project in Jasper, Alta., part of the Trans Mountain pipeline. POSTMEDIA

The Alberta government is looking for an advertising agency to develop a Canada-wide campaign to promote the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, and it’s willing to pay $2.1 million.

It’s a drop in the bucket compared to the $4 million the economy loses each day thanks to a lack of market access for the province’s oil, the government said.

Premier Rachel Notley’s communications director Cheryl Oates told Postmedia in an email Canadians need to know how the pipeline expansion boosts Canada’s economy.

“They also need to hear about the broader issue of market access, which affects Canadians from coast to coast,” Oates said.

The province launched a competitive bid process for the contract this week. It closes May 10.

The plan

According to the request for proposals, the company that ends up with the contract will be charged with working out marketing and media strategies to promote the Kinder Morgan project.

The bulk of that work will be through a national market-access advocacy campaign, including paid ads, animated videos, shareable social media graphics and infographics.

The provincial government wants to make Trans Mountain “relevant to audiences in Alberta, B.C. and the rest of Canada,” and get them engaged in the campaign.

Ultimately, it wants a campaign with a tag line that resonates with Canadians, and facilitates “a consistent narrative that helps Canadians understand the economic and political importance of market access.”

Trans Mountain isn’t just an Alberta-B.C. issue, the RFP reads — it’s of interest to all Canadians.

“Failure to build Trans Mountain could have consequences that go well beyond lost jobs and reduced economic activity. This issue could call into question the authority of the federal government and the (National Energy Board), the ability of Canadian companies to access the markets they require, and even the rule of law and the foundations of Confederation,” it says.

Government earmarks $2 million for pro-pipeline advertising campaign