Win doesn’t add up

LOCAL advertising agencies could face big cuts in advertising budgets for government clients following Labor’s election victory.

The Labor Party has promised to cut the government advertising and promotion budget by 30 per cent, a total of $54 million over four years.

Deputy Premier-elect Eric Ripper said the Labor Government had a broad two pronged approach.

“We will cut out tax-funded propaganda and look at efficiencies within government advertising,” Mr Ripper said.

“We will concentrate on restricting advertising to the government’s core business.”

The major government accounts in WA include the Lotteries Commission of Western Australia, the Office of Road Safety and the high-profile WA Tourism Com-mission.

“Obviously, if 30 percent was cut off the government advertising budget that would be a concern for advertising agencies in WA,” an industry source said.

Marketforce holds both the government master media contract, the Lotteries Comm-ission and part of the Office of Road Safety account.

“In a similar way to new ministers being briefed, we would expect the new government would want to discuss advertising,” Marketforce group managing director John Driscoll said.

303 holds WATC and the other part of the ORS contract.

The WA Health Department’s wide range of advertising campaigns is spread between a number of agencies, including the Brand Agency and Vinten Brown-ing.

Details of exactly how the government will strip $54 million from the advertising and pro-motion budget is unknown.

The government advertising budget funds both the campaign advertising and the non-campaign material including public notices, tenders and job notices.

“It will be interesting to see how and how quickly the government will enact these budget cuts,” the industry source said.

Government advertising plays an important role in WA, where a large number of national accounts have consolidated their advertising with eastern States agencies over the past few years.

“Government advertising gen-erates significant revenue in this State,” the source said.

Major government accounts like the ORC and the Health Depart-ment generate social marketing, targeted at changing community attitudes and behaviour.

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