The advertising agencies of the past now mainly refer to themselves as communications consultants, offering everything from social media strategies, to market analyticis, to speech writing.

The provincial auditor did not include communications in her review, so we also set them aside from our final tallies.

But given that such firms now tread deep into consultation territory, we made note of some of the more active ones over the years. These include:

When they formed the government, the NDP were frequently under fire for government-paid advertising, particularly before election years. You can see this trend in the highest spending year we examined, $7.4 million in 2005-06.

That aside, the communicators remained busy folk in subsequent years examined, most recently taking in $2.5 million.

Downloadable data spreadsheet of communications contracts (Excel file)