A study commissioned by Tallinn city and conducted by Tallinn University associate professor Linnar Priimägi found that ads picturing local politicians advertising the city's services and events shortly before the local elections last year were not of political nature and that the politicians should not pay for the ads.
The study was a response to an investigation by the Political Party Funding Oversight Committee, which asked the politicians, nearly all of whom are Center Party Tallinn officials, to pay back the around 100,000 euros spent on the ads.
Priimägi said the committee's investigation is based on a study by a University of Tartu academic and the study does not follow rigorous academic rules for analysis, adding that color green on the posters and TV ads is not a trademark of the Center Party, although it is their official color. Priimägi also said the coat of arms and logo of Tallinn are on the posters, not any Center Party insignia.
The committee study said the ads highlighted the politicians more than the events or services, while Priimägi said that to be a political ad, a posting has to have a political brand or trademark and cover only topics relevant to elections.