THE news of Marketforce Advertising’s $44 million State Government master media agency contract win has shocked some of its competitors.
MJB&B Advertising, Adcorp Australia, and TMP Worldwide Advertising and Communications were all bidders for the non-campaign component of the contract (estimated to be worth $13 million) and are frustrated that a lengthy and expensive process has resulted in no change.
Marketforce has held the campaign component of the contract since 1988 and the non-campaign component since 1996.
All three unsuccessful bidders are seeking State Government feedback before considering whether to tender for the contract in the future.
MJB&B Advertising was touted by the advertising industry as the strongest competitor, so much so that the company has received congratulatory phone calls, even though it was unsuccessful.
MJB&B’s Craig Billings was frustrated with the timing of the announcement.
The Government was expected to announce a successful bidder on June 30, however agencies were not notified until August 5 (five days after the existing master media contract held by Marketforce expired).
“I had a hold on some new premises and I spoke to a number of people with regards to employment, and the decision went right down the line. I put in several calls and the Government couldn’t tell me when they would make an announcement,” Mr Billings said.
Marketforce managing director John Driscoll is relieved at the contract win but agreed the late announcement had caused him some concern.
A Government spokesman said the decision had been delayed because of “a few contractual issues that needed to be resolved”.
Mr Driscoll said Marketforce’s pitch was centred on technology, service and a good price.
“We knew the non-campaign bid would be the area that we would have competition and it would be fierce competition,” he said.
“Our approach was to leave no stone unturned. Technology played a strong part. Most of that technology was developed in house and some of that was specifically for this bid.
“When we looked at price we knew we would have to beat the previous tender.”
TMP state director David Morrison said he would not bid again if price were the main determinant of the contract.
“If Marketforce won the contract purely for the reason of a low price then we wouldn’t bother doing it again. We went in offering a high standard of service,” Mr Morrison said.