Government Advertising

In 2018–19, the Victorian government spent $88.5 million on campaign advertising. Every year, government departments must report on any campaigns they have run, for which they spent over $100 000 on purchasing media placements. 

Our dashboard brings together this information for all government departments for 2017–18, 2018–19 and 2019–20. It allows you to compare departments’ spending and conduct your own analysis.

This dashboard only presents a portion of the government’s advertising spend. It does not include any campaigns that cost under $100 000 in media buy, and it does not include government agencies outside of departments. 

This dashboard is part of our work on the government advertising audit, which is scheduled to table in December 2021.

Objective

To determine whether selected government campaign advertising complies with the Public Administration Act 2004 and is cost-effective.

Issues

The Victorian Government uses advertising to communicate information about its programs and services, changes to legislation and health and safety issues. Advertising may appear in print, on radio or television, outdoors and online. Campaign advertising costs vary significantly each year. Government spending on buying media space for campaign advertising cost taxpayers $88.5 million in 2018–19. This figure does not include production and other costs associated with advertising such as research, evaluation and print expenditure.

In September 2017, Parliament passed legislation to strengthen the governance arrangements for communication and advertising undertaken by public sector bodies. Transparent government campaign advertising is not just a legislative requirement, it is a matter of significant public interest. Misuse of advertising for political reasons may have an impact on community confidence and may also give one political party an unfair advantage at elections. 

This audit will assess the transparency and accountability of government campaign advertising and its conformance with Part 5A of the Public Administration Act 2004.

Proposed agencies

DET, DH, DoT, DPC, DTF and the Major Transport Infrastructure Authority.