The HSE's advertising spend on traditional media almost tripled in 2020 compared to the previous year.

Freedom of Information requests show Covid-19 campaigns accounted for 60 percent of the 8.1 million euro spent.

The HSE usually spend money on advertising campaigns such as vaccines, quitting smoking, health eating and cancer screening services.

However, due to the pandemic the amount of money being spent had to increase due to the need for an education programme around Covid-19.

In terms of traditional media, the spending on television advertising increased by 394 percent, from just over 766,000 in 2019 to more than 3.7 million in 2020.

On radio, there was a 101 percent increase in advertising spending, from 1.5 million euro in 2019 to just over 3.1 million in 2020.

Printed media also saw a rise of 114 percent, however from a much lower base going from 207 thousand euro in 2019 to 443 thousand for last year.

And outdoor advertising, like billboards also went up in spending by 96 percent from 393 thousand to 772 thousand.

Spending to get messaging out on social media was also on the rise in 2020, with it going up by 137 percent to over 295 thousand euro - much of it going on getting the Covid-19 messaging out to a younger audience.

The majority of that was spent on Facebook and Instagram - which was 220 thousand, and Tik Tok which received 38 thousand from the HSE.

The HSE say it intended to get clear messaging to the public in a way that is value for money.

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