The six merchants to which the Judge Juan Jose Escalonillaowner of Court of Instruction 42 of Madridproposed last November to take charge of the expert on the price that the political consultancy Neurona charged to Can (363,000 euros) for his work for the April 2019 electoral campaign, they have told him no.
With these six companies, there are already eleven companies and entities that have refused to carry out the final forensic report that Judge Escalonilla has been demanding since November 2021. It must be remembered that the investigation of this case on the work of Neurona para Podemos has been closed since July 2021. 2022 and that the judge has accredited that Neurona workers transferred to Spain actually carried out the political marketing work for Podemos.
However, he ordered an expert report to verify that the price and quality were in line with the market. Said expert “will include the assessment of the segmentation strategy work prior to editing or making the videos and their quantity and quality, the latter aspect, that of quality, also to be taken into account in relation to the designs”, it is stated in The car for which I ordered the report, more than a year ago.
The Interprofessional Union of the Community of Madridwhich encompasses 42 professional associations in the region, informed the judge that there is no specialty and/or subspecialty within the professional associations that make up this association with knowledge to issue the requested expert opinion.”
In view of the refusal of the companies proposed by himself, in an order, to which he has had access Publicthe judge asks the Police Fiscal and Economic Crime Unit (UDEF) to inform him about “electoral consultants who could be qualified to carry out the expert report agreed upon in these proceedings.”
The UDEF, in search of experts
Now it will have to be the UDEF that looks for companies that could make the final report of the cause neuron. Faced with this situation caused by the apparent desperation of the Judge Escalonilla for carrying out an expert report that, according to the Prosecutor’s Office, would not contribute anything substantial, and that contributes to lengthening the already extensive process of more than two years against a political party, Podemos has presented a brief in court in which it requests the case file.
In said letter, the ‘morada’ formation recalls that the UDEF did not consider itself competent to assess or report on the market prices of said products and services, “from which it would be deduced that they do not have knowledge or experience in said matter either”.
“It is (very) relevant to point out that a market economy governs our country, so that (…) the expert opinion that, regarding the value of the materials, can be carried out (…), will only reveal if the price paid by our client is expensive, medium, or cheap, in comparison with other providers or according to their criteria, which would be completely inconsequential from a criminal perspective”, indicates the letter of the Podemos lawyers.
The party considers that “there is not a single indication of use other than the payment of the services”, for which reason “the proceedings must be filed due to the absence of a crime”.
The ‘expert opinion’ of Podemos
Podemos includes in his writing a market study on similar campaigns commissioned by Public Administrations of all political persuasions to illustrate the range of prices that exist in the market. The conclusions of his study are that the average price of the contracts analyzed by, among other administrations, the Madrid’s communitythe Department of agriculture and the Cordoba Tourist Boardamounts to 37,418 euros per video, “significantly higher than the theoretically calculated 6,250 euros for each video of the Neurona contract.”
Thus, for example, in the contract of the Tourism Institute of Spain, Turespañawithin the General State Administration, for a digital marketing plan campaign awarded in November 2019 and completed in December 2020, with a budget of 666,666 euros, 5,291 euros were paid for each minute Of video.
In the communication plan with advertising contracted by the Department of agriculture in a statement of 600,413 euros, “it would result in a price per video of 30,020 euros. If we look at the total video minutes (55), the price would be 10,916 euros per minute”, stated in the Podemos report.
In the contract of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Sports of the Madrid’s community for the realization in 2019 of a promotional audiovisual work, for which the filmmaker was in charge Grace Querejeta, a budget of 144,274.20 euros was offered for seven days of work. The five-minute ad reached the number of €28,854 per minute, according to Podemos calculations.
In its conclusions, the party indicates about the half dozen jobs analyzed in the public sector that “the average price per minute of video in the contracts analyzed amounts to 9,706 euros per minute, completely comparable to the 8,333 euros calculated for the Neurona contract “. It must be remembered that the contract with the Mexican consultancy amounted to 363,000 euros and that the work included making videos, segmenting social networks, even creating the logo of the electoral coalition and that said money was paid for with funds from the party itself.
Podemos warns that in preparing the report it has focused solely on making videos and “a very important part” of the contract signed with Neurona has been ignored, such as the making of “the different web designs, bannersfolders, cards, electoral posters, etc., including collaboration and advice on the graphic identity of the campaign, as well as the creation of the electoral coalition brand itself ‘United We Can’ (which comprises the entire brand design process)”.