20/11/2007 - 22:00

Scaffidi promotes advertising levy

20/11/2007 - 22:00

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Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi has called for the introduction of a new retail investment scheme next year, with retailers in a defined ‘business investment district’ of Perth city to be charged a compulsory levy for promotional events and advertising cam

Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi has called for the introduction of a new retail investment scheme next year, with retailers in a defined ‘business investment district’ of Perth city to be charged a compulsory levy for promotional events and advertising campaigns.

While the outline of the district is yet to be set, Ms Scaffidi said the area would probably be bounded by Irwin, Milligan and Wellington streets and St Georges Terrace.

The City of Perth has introduced a fund with a similar aim before, but its voluntary nature led to the financial burden being picked up by large retailers, with smaller retailers priced out of the process.

“This time the rates would be pro-rata, so the charges are fair for all businesses. From that, we would create a working committee to look at how the money is spent, perhaps for Easter or Valentine’s Day decorations and promotions, street art or public artworks,” Ms Scaffidi told WA Business News.

Property Council of Australia (WA) executive director Joe Lenzo said the idea had been raised by its retail members before, out of a desire to have the same marketing powers as the major shopping centres.

Mr Lenzo believed retailers were prepared to put the money in if they could have an ambassador of the city retailing sector managing the fund.

“What we need is a dedicated ‘marketing manager’ and supporting team, exclusively for Perth retail, which gets people to come in to the city and coordinates the retailers,” Mr Lenzo said.

“They [retailers] don’t want just a City of Perth marketing department to do the retail stuff, because in the past they’ve felt it wasn’t necessarily hands-on.

“They want a true representative.”

He said the retail sector in Perth was “starting to hum”, and a fund similar to that introduced in the Brisbane CBD would help Perth retail build momentum and attract investment, including initiatives such as music events and celebrity appearances, which were used to great effect by major shopping centres. 

“It’s worked well in Brisbane with its ‘Brisbane Marketing’ team, which has a dedicated marketing director and staff. It’s since been broadened and now markets the entire capital city,” Mr Lenzo said.

With funding from the Brisbane City Council, Tourism Queensland and industry, Brisbane Marketing now works across a range of sectors including the retail, leisure tourism sectors to promote the city and surrounding regions as a destination of choice.

Ms Scaffidi said she would likely raise the idea of a ‘business investment district’ at a meeting of the City of Perth marketing, sponsorship and international relations committee in the new year.

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