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Master contracts targeted

THE Merger of Starcom Media, AIS Media, Total Media and Fusion Strategy in Australia has created a powerful new force for the local media buying industry in Perth.

Starcom claim the combination of local market expertise and global resources will create strong competition for the government master media contracts, currently held by Media Decisions and Marketforce Productions.

Starcom Media WA managing director Alan Matthews said it would be interesting to see what happens with the review of the master media contract with the new State Government.

There will be a review of the master media contracts following its expiry on July 31, 2001, however there is a two-year option on the contracts

“The government did make some comments about advertising, but there’s been no specific statements,” a spokesperson from Contracts and Management Services said.

“The contracts were awarded 18 months ago and it was a two-year contract with a two-year option, it’s just standard practice, now it goes to internal review and in most cases we then extend the contract.”

Unless there’s been a major problem with the contracts, the incumbent agency can retain it without retendering.

“Marketforce productions do all the non-campaign production and Media Decisions handle the media for both the campaign and non-campaign advertising, they’re all in the one location which makes them a fairly powerful commodity,” Mr Matthews said.

With national billings worth more than $850 million nationally, Starcom claims it will be strong competition for the other media operations in Western Australia including Merchant & Partners Australia, The Media Shop and Media Specialists.

Starcom claims to offer a more strategic service to clients, based on the company’s major investment in research and development.

“We’re taking quite a different tack, a lot of people are going the e-commerce root, but that’s very low on the totem pole for us at the moment, we’d rather leave that

to specialists,” Mr Matthews said.

“Our style is quite different, we’ve basically eliminated the word media and replaced it with communication strategy and compelling conn-ections...this is putting business in closer contact with their client market.”

As the second largest media agency in Australia, Starcom has six offices in Australia and 250 on staff.

The new media buying business will operate as an independent media company reporting to Starcom Mediavest Group management in New York.

Starcom started as an independent media services division of the Leo Burnett Company

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