Tourism QLD unveils expanded agency roster

By By Amy Kellow | 14 November 2012
Image Source: Tourism Queensland.

EXCLUSIVE: Tourism Queensland has appointed a panel of creative and digital agencies to its coveted advertising account, retaining incumbents SapientNitro and Clemenger BBDO Brisbane and enlisting a range of new partners.

The organisation has retained creative incumbents SapientNitro and Clemenger BBDO Brisbane, in addition to appointing agencies including Publicis Mojo, Play and The Hallway.

It has also hired a host of digital and social media agencies including XCOM, Speedwell, Reborn and ThinkSocial!Media.

AdNews understands the tourism body whittled its interested agencies to nine in total, with five on digital and five on creative.

One source suggested that SapientNitro was the only agency on both rosters.

Tourism Queensland claimed it has opted for a panel of agencies to ensure it can harness a variety of strengths for differing campaigns.

The organisation's executive director marketing Steve McRoberts told AdNews: “The agencies we’ve selected were very impressive and demonstrated a variety of skills and strengths that will help forge an exciting future for the Queensland brand, destinations and our visitor experiences.

“Over the past seven years, our marketing team has formed a strong and productive working relationship with Clemenger BBDO and Sapient Nitro and we look forward to continuing our work with them along with establishing relationships with the new agencies.”

SapientNitro, which has offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, was behind the tourism body's highly awarded 'Best Job in the World' campaign.

However, it is currently undergoing job cuts of up to 15 staff across its three offices as a result of recently losing the Stockland Residential business to incumbent Clemenger BBDO Sydney.

Shortly after the Tourism Queensland pitch was released, one agency boss hinted to AdNews the account wasn't worth going after any more due to major government funding cuts, saying: “With all these major funding cuts, you would have to ask yourself, what would you really be pitching for?”

At the time, Tourism Queensland was rumoured to have suffered major budget cuts at the hands of a plan led by Premier Campbell Newman. It was suggested the organisation's funding would be cut by 35%, equivalent to around $20 million, with many believing the loss would significantly impact its marketing department.

According to Nielsen, the tourism body's estimated main media spend in the 12 months to April 2012 was $10.2 million, an increase from $10 million in the prior period.

Its media account, which was not included in the creative review, is handled by MediaCom and Mitchell & Partners.

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