Tourism Queensland agency review dampened by budget cuts

By By David Blight | 26 July 2012

EXCLUSIVE: Tourism Queensland has kicked off a review of its creative and digital arrangements, but one agency boss has questioned if the account is worth going after amid major funding cuts.

The northern tourism body confirmed the open process to AdNews, saying it is currently calling for submissions from agencies.

Tourism Queensland currently has contracts with SapientNitro and Clemenger BBDO Brisbane.

Meanwhile, the Queensland press is awash with reports of major budget cuts at Tourism Queensland being spearheaded by Premier Campbell Newman.

It has been suggested funding for the organisation will be cut by 35% or around $20 million, with cuts to cut significantly into the marketing department.

One source suggested that a significant portion of the current budget it taken up by operational costs, and said if Tourism Queensland wants to maintain any semblance of marketing budget, it will need to enforce widespread job cuts.

Reports have suggested the body will face job cuts of between 50 and 70 people.

One agency boss considering the current digital and creative review told AdNews: “With all these major funding cuts, you would have to ask yourself, what would you really be pitching for?”

Shortlisted agencies will be advised in mid-August, and will presenting in late August.

A decision will be made by mid-September, with new contracts starting in October.

Tourism Queensland does not currently have any digital agencies on contract.

The organisation's media agencies are MediaCom and Mitchell & Partners.

Tourism Queensland's estimated main media spend in the 12 months to April 2012 was $10.2 million, up from $10 million in the prior period, according to Nielsen.

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