Agencies told to slash govt ad bill

PERTH advertising agencies have been told to cut costs by 30 per cent to meet Labor’s pre election promise to strip $54 million out of the Government advertising budget over the next four years.

Deputy Premier Eric Ripper said advertising agencies had been contacted and asked to submit an outline of how these savings could be achieved.

“What we’ve done is issue an instruction to agencies to cut advertising budgets by 30 per cent,” Mr Ripper said.

“Agencies will look at an average of their budget over the last two years to work out the basis of the cuts.”

Mr Ripper said the Government would discuss proposed changes with advertising agen-cies.

“It may be some agencies will say ‘this piece of advertising shouldn’t be cut’ and we will assess any claim,” Mr Ripper said.

Stephen Wells, chairman of the Advertising Federation of Australia, said the Government was one of the biggest clients in the local market.

“There is just some concern to the industry because we’re not quite sure what the Government objectives are,” Mr Wells said.

“The Government is a big client in the market and this has an impact on our forward planning. It filters right down through the industry, we’re trying to work out the best approach.”

Mr Wells said this 30 per cent cut to the Government’s advertising budget had the capacity to impact on all the support industries that worked with advertising agencies, including printers, direct mail companies, signwriters and public relations companies.

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