Cancer Council steps away from retainer model - parts with Match

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 4 August 2015
Daffodil Day

After two and half years with Match Media, Cancer Council NSW has parted ways with the agency saying its new approach will see it focus on digital efforts and it will simply work with media agencies on a project by project basis.

With more and more talk of increasing project work in the creative agency landscape, could this be a turn in the tide for media agencies too?

One media agency executive, who did not want to be named, said that more media agencies are increasingly taking on project work too and it's not just something charities look to do.

“Speaking as a larger agency we have twice as much project by project work compared to this time last year,” he said.

“Because we are bigger we have the staff to reposition to suit this. I think it's the smaller media agencies that may not cope as well due to less staff – meaning they'd need to pay higher rates to get freelancers in.”

Cancer Council’s NSW (CCNSW) head of brand, marketing and communications, Sarah Jauncey, said the charity mutually ended its contract at the end of this financial year. AdNews understands it's media spend is just over $2 million for NSW, with the combined total of separate states reaching more than $11m.

A spokesperson at Match said with the changes in CCNSW's it meant they were looking more at project work, and from its point of view this does not provide the type of client partnership where it believes Match offers most value.

"However we have enjoyed a good relationship with CCNSW and wish them all the best in the future," the Match spokesperson said.

Following the departure from Match it signed up with Atomic 212 on an ongoing basis for its digital capabilities including search and search engine optimisation, but it now has no above the line agency on the books.

“We've changed our approach with our media buying in that we will now look at individual media agencies when we need them on a project by project basis,” Jauncey said.

“Match Media were our main above the line media agency for the past two and half years. Within this period they managed the NSW media spend including key campaigns such as Daffodil Day, Australia’s Biggest Morning, Pink and our ‘What will you do today to help beat cancer?’ campaign. Our next big campaign is coming up in November so we will look closer to what we need at the time.

“We'll use a pitch process to ensure we get the best for us and to ensure we have someone that understands our brand.”

She said having one agency doing everything no longer worked for them and that the change in approach was more in-sync with what the charity was doing at a national level.

Despite not committing to one media agency it has inked a longer term deal with Atomic212, to ensure it stays on top of its digital efforts.

Creative agency-wise, Cancer Council NSW doesn’t have one sole creative agency, instead, the creative it uses can be fed down from its federated sister company, Cancer Council Australia, which leads the creative for the national campaigns.

Locally it uses a mix of creative agencies for NSW specific based campaigns.

“We use a pitch process to ensure we get the best creative, value add and to make sure we are getting the best use of money as we are 97% community funded,” Jauncey said.

Some of the agencies it currently used in the past include Cobe, The Royals, Tiger Pistol, March One, Daisy, Feel, Agency, and Three Blocks Left.

“We also are fortunate to have pro bono arrangements, interns and volunteers supporting our creative development,” she added.

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