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Government Campaign 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 government advertising campaigns comply with the Public Administration Act 2004, are cost-effective and in the public’s interest.

Issues

The Victorian Government uses advertising to communicate information about government programs and services, changes to legislation and health and safety. Advertising may appear in print, radio, television, outdoors, online, and other digital platforms. Campaign advertising costs vary significantly each year. Government spending on advertising campaigns cost taxpayers $88.7 million in 2017–18. 

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

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

Proposed agencies

DPC, DTF, Victoria Police and a selection of agencies who have had recent advertising campaigns.