The Tourism Australia pitch shortlist

Ashley Regan
By Ashley Regan | 6 February 2024
Tourism Australia matesong campaign

Accenture, Publicis Groupe and Clemenger BBDO are on the shortlist for Tourism Australia's (TA) last stage of pitch, AdNews can reveal.

The account has moved to a panel model, with one or more agencies partnering to pitch for both the creative and digital account. Insiders say the winner will be decided in two months.

Incumbent M&C Saatchi, which partnered with independent hot shop Howatson+Company, is out of the running, according to insiders.

M&C lost its chief creative officer Cam Blackley in October after six years at the agency.

It is understood Accenture is leaning into its global model, pushing Droga5 as the creative offering to tap into international markets, with The Monkeys, part of Accenture Song, on the ground in Australia.

Publicis, with its underlying global assets, is leveraging its local expertise and knowledge.

Saatchi & Saatchi's joint chief creative officers Mandie van der Merwe and Avish Gordhan worked on the Tourism Australia account at M&C Saatchi, including TA’s Mate Song.

And Publicis' Digitas is the digital incumbent for TA. Davy Rennie has just been appointed CEO of the digital agency.

Clemenger BBDO, which won the account in 2013, is working with its sister agency CHEP Network and indigenous agency Campfire X.

It is believed Tourism Australia is seeking a partner to continue the current brand platform, developed by M&C Saatchi, rather than developing a new strategy.

Industry rumblings suggest Accenture is the front runner.

Droga5 (now owned by Accenture) was a controversial part of the last pitch process in 2018, as the New York-based agency didn't then have a Sydney office.

Droga5 was also involved in the creative tender in 2013 and agreed to partner with Ogilvy to secure the account, but lost out to Clemenger and DT (now AKQA).

All agencies and Tourism Australia declined to comment.

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