The U.S. government spends $1.5 billion annually on public relations and advertising contracts, according to a new report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).
Federal agencies spend approximately $1 billion annually on public relations and advertising, and some 5,000 federal employees collect nearly $500 million in salary annually from this activity, the GAO finds.
The median salary for government public relations agents is approximately $90,000. That is about $40,000 higher than the average salary for many Americans, with the average American salary at just over $51,000 a year.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the institution that slapped Wells Fargo with a $185 million dollar fine last month, spent the largest share of its annual budgets on public relations/advertising contracts over the past decade, the report finds.