Agencies prepare for $140m Victoria and NSW government tenders

Arvind Hickman
By Arvind Hickman | 3 March 2017

Media agencies are preparing to tender for two of Australia's largest media accounts, the Victorian and NSW governments – both worth between $65 million to $80 million.

Media agency leaders tell AdNews they expect the Victorian government to put out a tender of its master agency media services tender “any day now”.

The contract is currently split between long-term partner Dentsu Mitchell, which manages buying and planning across campaign advertising, and Zenith, which carries out non-campaign work, such as tenders and road closure notices and recruitment advertising.

The Victorian government spent $74.9 million on campaign advertising and $15.4 million on non-campaign advertising in FY16. This is well below the $94.9 million spent in the year prior and the $130.3 million spent in the FY10.

In the FY16, about seven out of 10 advertising dollars (70.7%) were spent on messages to drive public safety and behavioural change, 19% is on campaigns that support institutions and events ans 7% is spent on supporting economic investment.

The Victorian government has not yet released a breakdown of the campaign costs but the agency that traditionally spends the most is the Transport Accident Commission, which runs campaigns on speeding, drink driving and other road safety messages.

AdNews understands the NSW government is due to put out its its master media contract to tender in the second quarter of 2017, possibly as soon as April.

The NSW government spent $68.3 million on advertising in its FY16. UM is the media buyer for campaign work and is on a panel with Blue 449, MediaCom and Optimum Media Direction for planning. Zenith carries out non-campaign advertising work.

The largest government agency spender – by some margin – is Transport for NSW, which spent $25 million on ads about speeding, drink driving and other road safety messages. This is a fraction of the more than $200 million the government receives in fines from speed and red light cameras.

The second largest spender is the Cancer Institute of NSW, with $8.2 million in annual ad spend, followed by tourism agency Destination NSW ($5.1 million), Ministry of health ($4.8 million) and the Office of Local Government ($3.3 million – including a campaign to sell unpopular council amalgamations to the public).

The tenders should draw interest from non-conflicted agencies from across the media industry. 

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