15 YEARS IN FOREIGN HANDS: IMAA DEMANDS ACTION FROM QUEENSLAND GOVT TO SUPPORT AUSTRALIAN BUSINESSES AS MASTER MEDIA TENDER ANNOUNCED
IMAA reaffirms its call for mandated 35% of Queensland Government ad spend to go to independent media agencies
As the Queensland Government releases its tender for the Master Media contract for the state, the Independent Media Association of Australia (IMAA), the national, not-for-profit industry association for the independent media agency industry, is demanding action from the Government to support Australian businesses.
The Queensland Government has used a multinational agency for its master media planning and buying for 15 years and the time has come for change, say the IMAA.
“It’s extraordinary that the Queensland Government has worked with one global agency for 15 years – that’s 15 years of Australian taxpayer funds going to the coffers of a faceless foreign company and not being reinvested into the Queensland economy or creating jobs for locally-owned Australian businesses,” IMAA CEO, Sam Buchanan (pictured), said.
“If this government wants to be taken seriously on its election promises and commitment to Queensland and its small business community, then it should demonstrate policy action that reflects those commitments. Right now is the time to adjust government policy settings to actually support small and local business.”
The IMAA opened discussions with the Queensland Government in early 2023 on how to translate progressive policy and commitments into positive outcomes for independent media agencies. A significant percentage of the IMAA member agencies are locally owned and operated and provide a critical voice for the Australian community.
As part of those discussions, the IMAA is calling for a mandated, minimum 35% of the Queensland Government’s annual advertising spend by volume to go to Queensland independent media agencies. The IMAA is also calling upon its members to write to their local electorate members and ministerial offices to express the need to support local business and concerns about being locked out of this significant government procurement.
“The Government has utilised a single, multinational agency master contract for media services for the past 15 years. Of course it’s easier for government agencies to buy through one company and shut the gate on everyone else, but there is a real question on whether this is the best arrangement for Queenslanders. It’s clear that even modest reforms to government contracting could benefit the local economy,” Buchanan said.
“Why aren’t we creating opportunity and access for small and local enterprises? It creates a competitive efficiency, promotes creativity and innovation, and encourages a fair and accessible business environment. All of these are good things that offset a single, foreign company monopoly.
“The Government says that small business is critical to the economy, and we’d like to see Minister for Small Business, Dianne Farmer MP, come to the table on our proposition for a mandated percentage of the government media contract being supported by and through independent media agencies. Queensland is a progressive state; we think the right policy settings can be put in place now to benefit all Queenslanders.”
Alongside the IMAA’s commitment to supporting local and independent businesses, the industry body has led three initiatives to build a better community and a progressive Australia in diversity and inclusion, environmental sustainability, and reconciliation. It has launched a mentoring program for emerging female leaders, fostered carbon-neutrality, implemented Clean Up Australia working groups in every capital city, and ratified its Reconciliation Action Plan, including supporting First Nations charity, Kings Narrative.