Initiative and Carat share $60m+ WA Government master media contract; OMD, Adcorp miss out

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VanOmme_O'Sullivan_BLOG.jpgThe Government of Western Australia has appointed Carat and Initiative and to handle campaign components of its $60 million media communications portfolio following a six-month competitive tender.

In something of a surprise, Initiative has also been appointed as the sole agency for non-campaign services, previously held by Adcorp, giving it the lion's share of the Government's media spend.

The decision means Carat has retained a share of campaign services but OMDWA has missed out. It ends a thirty year association with the WA Government contract for Marketforce, which established the forerunner of OMDWA - Media Decisions - when it won the first master media contract in 1988.

Former Carat Perth MD Adam Marshall is due to start as CEO of Marketforce in July. Marshall has been on 'gardening leave' since his move was announced in March.

Initiative's appointment is a major win for the agency and a boost for the team under Luke O'Sullivan and Judi van Omme (pictured), who assumed leadership of the agency in December last year.
Officially starting its new assignment on July 1st, Initiative will be handling media strategy, channel planning, media buying and other related media assignments for the WA Government. 

Initiative's WA Government media assignments will be directed from the agency's Perth office, which is expected to add substantially to its staff numbers to help manage the additional business. O'Sullivan  said winning the WA Government media portfolio was one of the most important moments for the agency and an important new responsibility. 

"We are naturally thrilled with this win, but we do not underestimate the importance of the tasks at hand in Government communications. We will ensure the agency continues to deliver the most efficient and effective media performance in the market."
Initiative Perth was named Campaign Brief's Western Australia Media Agency of the Year for 2018 and the new WA Government assignment is another major milestone for the agency.
Melissa Fein, CEO of Initiative Australia, said the Perth agency's performance in the past seven months had been accelerating under O'Sullivan's leadership.

"Luke and the Perth team are proving to be one of the finest media teams in Australia. To be selected by the Government of WA to such a key communications portfolio further galvanises our commitment to deliver the highest measures of efficiency and effectiveness."

Carat's appointment continues the agency's five-year partnership with WA's largest advertiser, retaining its long-standing position on the agency panel for all campaign work, which accounts for approximately 90% of overall spend.

The retention follows the recent appointment of new managing director, Jim Groves (pictured), and the relocation of the agency's now 50+ strong team to new offices in the Perth CBD. Carat is WA's largest media agency, with 60% market share in the region.
Carat CEO, Paul Brooks, said it was "a fantastic win for the agency."

"This is testament to the trusted working relationship our Perth team has established with the WA Government over the last five years. As a client, they have an enormous appetite for a progressive agency offering. I'm proud that Carat's breadth of capabilities and expertise continues to evolve at a pace that sees us holding off the competition on this prestigious account." 

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