“It is now a stand-alone conclusion that the NSW Government will not support Australian businesses and send the money to another international economy in the UK, US or France. The EOI process has clearly eliminated the Australian independent agencies. This is anti-Australian and anti-competitive at a time when independents need the support of their government. This is a terrible message to send to Australian businesses. We are not asking for a free kick, just a chance to compete,” Buchanan said.
“Collectively grouping independent media agencies into the Advertising and Digital Communications Services program is far-fetched and only caters to niche digital services and does not even include media agency services. The NSW government has also handed over the 10% SME allowance for its Treasury contracts, which is another rabbit hole to negotiate. We are in disbelief that the NSW government has turned its back on Australian businesses.
In August last year, the IMAA implored Mr Dominello and the NSW Government to make the following changes to the EOI:
• Review and modify the EOI process in its current format, as it excludes independent agencies
• Ensure an equal share of government campaigns goes to independent agencies
• Independent Australian agencies are included in government preferred supplier lists
• To ensure an equal distribution and fair balance of all government campaigns, an independent voice should be ensured within the selection committee.
In addition, a freedom of information request from the IMAA asked the NSW government to release the members of its advisory committee, who advise the government on the EOI of mainstream media, which was ignored.
“If the New South Wales government were to look into the independent media agency sector, it would find a host of smart, nimble and successful Australian businesses, employing over 2,000 Australians. AAMI has worked hard to level the playing field for freelancers, with a code of conduct, group trade credit agreements, group search and services agreements, a diversity council, partnerships with media owners and associations industries, events and more to come for our 130+ members. It is incredibly disappointing that we have been excluded from this contract which only favors foreign companies,” Buchanan said.