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At Executive Council Meeting, Sununu Administration Says They’ll Keep Running Taxpayer-Funded Ads

Concord, N.H. -- During today’s Executive Council meeting, Governor Sununu’s administration refused to commit to not including politicians in a new round of taxpayer-funded PSA ads. The state’s previous PSA campaign starred Sununu, despite data that shows politicians are ineffective messengers. The ads have been largely seen as ineffective, as New Hampshire currently ranks last in New England for vaccinations and the state’s vaccination rate has been stagnant for months. “Chris Sununu is once again scheming to spend taxpayer dollars on campaign ads that will do absolutely nothing to increase our vaccination rates and get Granite Staters through this pandemic,” said NHDP Chair Ray Buckley. “Sununu’s first round of taxpayer-funded campaign ads was an abject failure and now Granite Staters are paying the price. Sununu should commit to not starring in these PSAs and do what the science says and feature medical professionals and community leaders instead.” Even the Sununu administration has admitted that ads without doctors are ineffective, saying the new ads “will recognize that people are more likely to receive the vaccine if advised by their doctor or someone they know or relate to. Therefore, the new PSA campaign will feature real stories from people across the State and doctors practicing in New Hampshire.” However, when Councilor Cinde Warmington asked DHHS Commissioner Lori Shibinette to confirm that these ads will feature medical professionals and community leaders and not political figures, Shibinette refused to rule out featuring politicians in the new ads. For months, available data showed that politicians are not effective messengers for encouraging people to get vaccinated, but Sununu's administration aggressively pushed for the ads to include Sununu at the center of the first PSA campaign anyways. As a result, New Hampshire’s vaccination campaign is struggling, with the state falling behind the rest of New England. Despite these failures, according to a report from the New Hampshire Bulletin, DHHS and GYK Antler have refused to explain their messaging strategy. Background: