Federal Government confirms $100m+ media review this year

Arvind Hickman
By Arvind Hickman | 27 July 2017

The Federal Government will invite agencies to tender for its master media agency services contract in the last three months of this year, AdNews can reveal.

Dentsu Mitchell has held the campaign portion of the $100 million-plus account for the past three years, winning the business from UM.

Last September, it took over non-campaign work from Adcorp in a dispute that is currently before the NSW Supreme Court.

Maria Navarro, director of government advertising, told AdNews the government will release an approach to market in Q2 of its 2017/18 financial year, at some point between October and Christmas.

Last financial year, the government spent $174.7 million on media placements, including $43.3 million on Australian Electoral Commission campaigns, making it Australia's largest advertiser. In non-election years, the spend is closer to $110 million (see chart below).


Industry rumours about a federal government review have been doing the rounds in recent months as media agencies work through master media agency tender processes for the Victorian and NSW State Governments – two massive accounts with annual media budgets of between $70 million to $80 million.

For Dentsu Mitchell, the next six months will be vital. The agency is currently defending its Victorian Government contract in a procurement process that is further advanced than NSW.

The Victorian and Federal Governments are Dentsu Mitchell's largest clients with a combined media budget of $250 million last financial year.

In June, Dentsu Mitchell's long-serving Victorian Government group client service director Ron Phillips retired and was replaced by Sylvia Pickering. Ten days ago Gary Power was appointed as government head of non-campaign.

The Federal Government account is likely to attract interest from all of the major media holding groups, but exactly which agencies bid for the business depends on outcomes in NSW and Victoria.

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