News

TBWA wins $4.95m SA Tourism creative account, with local agencies labelling decision a ‘disgrace’

TBWA Melbourne has won the $4.95m South Australian Tourism Commission creative account over 35 other agencies, including incumbent KWP which previously held the account for 20 years.

The win, however, has caused a stir in the local Adelaide market, with agencies labelling it “an absolute disgrace” and saying the appointment makes the city “the laughing stock of the Australian advertising industry”.

Mumbrella understands TBWA will open an Adelaide office and service the account from both Adelaide and Melbourne.

The shortlist included five agencies – four interstate agencies and only one Adelaide-based agency, KWP and Mumbrella understands TBWA Melbourne will lead the account.

KWP’s contract expires with the SA Tourism Commission on June 30 this year.

The local industry has hit out at the win, with the Adelaide Advertising and Design Club sending out an email labelling the account move as “an absolute disgrace”.

“In its entirety, the SA government is the largest advertising client in the state. If taxpayers’ money continues to be sent east, it will adversely impact hundreds, if not thousands of livelihoods and supercharge the brain-drain,” the email stated.

The AADC said the appointment by the Melbourne agency was “adding insult to the injury” as Adelaide has now become “the laughing stock of the Australian advertising industry”.

“The reality is, all the strategic and creative work will be done interstate and that’s where the profits will go.

“Aside from the advertising agency personnel directly affected, the domino effect will be felt by many in the creative services industry the AADC represents. Graphic designers, artists, photographers, videographers, editors, audio engineers, film crews, producers and actors are an example of just how many local jobs will be under threat, while Melbourne bank accounts are swollen by the tax dollars collected from these threatened workers, and every South Australian.”

In a statement provided to Mumbrella, a spokesperson from the South Australian Tourism Commission, said: “The procurement process was undertaken in accordance with the State Procurement Board guidelines and the market approach was an open Request for Tender (RFT).

“Five agencies were short-listed from a total of 35 who submitted entries and were initially evaluated by the panel facilitated throughout by an in-house Procurement Consultant.

“Four of the five agencies shortlisted were based interstate, with the incumbent KWP being the only Adelaide based agency.

“The SATC has appointed TBWA as the lead global agency for creative services, following this rigorous State procurement process.

“TBWA is part of the Omnicom Group of companies with a worldwide network of media and communication agencies allowing the SATC access to a global creative talent pool. The agency is equipped to meet our creative services needs in our key international and domestic markets.”

Alongside TBWA, Adelaide agencies Blacksheep, Fuller and Showpony have been selected to work with the Tourism Commission on a project-by-project basis for campaigns targeting other Australians.

“We thank the KWP team for their hard work and commitment and wish them all the best for the future. We have shared many wins with KWP along this 20-year journey. The campaigns designed by KWP have been instrumental in our journey to a $6.6 bn visitor economy.

“The 2020 tourism target of $8bn calls for a fresh perspective and some disruptive strategies which we believe TBWA is best placed to deliver,” the spokesperson continued.

The SA Tourism Commission opened the tender for its creative account in November last year for an initial two year-contract period, with the opportunity for the successful agency to extend the contract for another two years.

TBWA has been approached for comment.

The full AADC email:

The decision by the state government to award the multimillion dollar advertising account for the South Australian Tourism Commission to an interstate company is an absolute disgrace.

More alarmingly, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

In its entirety, the SA government is the largest advertising client in the state. If taxpayers’ money continues to be sent east, it will adversely impact hundreds, if not thousands of livelihoods and supercharge the brain-drain.

A yet to be named Melbourne agency was handed the jewel in the crown of South Australian government advertising accounts.

You might remember how a local Adelaide advertising agency had the eyes of the world turned toward South Australia with globally lauded campaigns like Barossa. Be consumed. In their infinite wisdom, it appears the SATC has concluded only an interstate agency is now capable of such a feat. This of course, is utter nonsense. There are several highly capable, local companies that could have, and should have, been considered for such a lucrative account.

It will be argued the successful agency will now open a local office, but renting office space and dropping a couple of people in it is little more than smoke than mirrors. The reality is, all the strategic and creative work will be done interstate and that’s where the profits will go. Local companies have been invited to tender for the ‘scraps from the Melbourne table’, under the direction of the interstate agency.

Aside from the advertising agency personnel directly affected, the domino effect will be felt by many in the creative services industry the AADC represents. Graphic designers, artists, photographers, videographers, editors, audio engineers, film crews, producers and actors are an example of just how many local jobs will be under threat, while Melbourne bank accounts are swollen by the tax dollars collected from these threatened workers, and every South Australian.

Adding insult to injury, if losing the revenue and creative opportunity isn’t enough, we’ve now become the laughing stock of the Australian advertising industry.

The AADC, on behalf of its members, sponsors and the broader creative community it represents, will continue to fight this injustice and lobby for measures to be put in place to protect local jobs and stem the brain-drain.

You can help, by sharing this release with colleagues and friends, by writing in protest to your local MP and encouraging your colleagues to do the same.

And, if like us, you believe we need to grow and develop our industries instead of decimating them, become a member, committee member or sponsor to help your Club help you. The bigger our membership base, the louder our voice.

Yours Sincerely,

The AADC.
Your club. Your voice.

ADVERTISEMENT

SUBSCRIBE

Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing