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OMD wins Victorian Government’s $100m master media account

The Victorian Government has awarded its master media account, worth around $100 million, to OMD, Mumbrella can reveal, ending MediaCom’s relationship with the significant piece of business.

The government informed OMD it had won the account on Friday, Mumbrella understands, triumphing against Group M’s MediaCom and Publicis’ Zenith. The Omnicom Media Group agency’s appointment is effective from 1 June.

Mumbrella first revealed the account had gone to tender in March last year, as the state government opted not to extend its contract with MediaCom for up to an additional two years.

“We are thrilled to be working with the Victorian Government,” OMD’s CEO, Aimee Buchanan, told Mumbrella, confirming the news.

“It is an absolute privilege to be selected to partner with them and testament to the team and product we have built.

“As an agency, we are driven by delivering real change and impact for our clients and working with the Victorian Government offers that opportunity in spades.”

The Victorian Government also confirmed the decision to Mumbrella, and said the contract will run for three years.

“This follows a rigorous and highly competitive tender process to ensure the contract delivers optimum value for money in meeting media strategy and buying needs across all Victorian Government departments and agencies,” a spokesperson said.

“Major government campaigns deliver critical messaging to Victorians on topics such as COVID-19, road safety, workplace safety and bushfires.

“We would like to thank MediaCom for its hard work and commitment to Victorian Government advertising over the past three years.”

The spokesperson added that OMD will hire 12 young people to work directly on the account, and another 15 young people across the agency.

“In addition to delivering excellent value, the partnership with OMD Australia will deliver additional benefits in priority areas aligned with Victoria’s Social Procurement Framework,” the government spokesperson said.

“This includes employment opportunities for those cohorts most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with a commitment by OMD to hire 12 young people to work on the Victorian Government account and, on an annual basis, employ an additional 15 young people across the agency.

“Other social benefits of the contract include a commitment to employ a person with a disability to work on the government account, internship opportunities for Aboriginal people, and purchasing from Victorian social enterprises and Aboriginal businesses.”

MediaCom took over from Dentsu Mitchell on 1 December 2017, with its contract running until 20 November last year. The government decided against exercising two one-year options to extend the relationship, but the pitch process was drawn out given the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of that process, the government gave MediaCom an extension until this month, in order to not disrupt a number of COVID-19 campaigns.

The Group M agency’s chief executive, Willie Pang, said: “We are incredibly proud of the results we have accomplished with the Victorian Government over the past three years.

“From creating tens of millions of dollars in value improvements, implementing government wide automation systems to creating some of the most iconic advertising campaigns ever seen in the state, it’s been an exhilarating journey. In particular, I am most proud of the crisis management work done to support the community through the devastating bushfire season of 2020, leading directly into the one of hardest years in the history of mankind.

“I’d like to thank all our people and the Victorian Government for their commitment to our partnership.”

MediaCom did not confirm whether the account loss would lead to redundancies, and if so, how many.

The most recent advertising spend report for the Victorian Government shows it spent $105.7 million across 2017 and 2018 in the lead up to Victoria’s November 2018 state election, which Daniel Andrews won to remain premier, a position he has held since 2014.

From 2008 to 2018, the state government has spent an average of $101.29 million each year on advertising. During the pandemic, that figure has likely increased.

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