The Association of Journalists of Macedonia welcomes the decision of the Element PR agency to terminate the contract with the City of Skopje as a socially responsible move. This is a positive example that should become a practice in the future.
In the press release it is written “As an agency that cooperates with the media and journalists on a daily basis, we fully respect journalism, the code and the principles of work. Part of the agency’s team are former journalists, which is an additional reason for respecting the journalistic code of ethics and standards and preserving our credibility.”
On September 10th, on the website of the public procurement bureau, it was announced that the City of Skopje plans to invest almost 5 million denars for “Preparation and implementation of promotion campaigns for special projects for the activities of the city of Skopje” through a marketing agency. After the announcement, AJM reacted with a public statement because with this way of financing media, the City of Skopje violates the moratorium on the prohibition of public campaigns in private media and directly violates Article 102 of the Law on Audio and Audiovisual Media Services for the prohibition of advertising, i.e. the government’s decision to ban advertising in traditional and online media since 2017.
We encourage other marketing agencies that work with municipalities or other state institutions in this or a similar way to follow this practice.