With over R50 million spent on outdoor advertising for the 2015-2016 financial year, Lucinda Jordaan breaks down the figures to find out which media companies benefit most from government’s OOH campaigns.
It’s near impossible to pin down GCIS’s acting chief director of media buying Sinombulelo ‘Ace’ Mlisa or his boss, acting director general Donald Liphoko, for comment on how government gets its messages across – and how much of it is carried in the out of home sphere.
The most we could get out of them was a spreadsheet detailing OOH adspend for the 2015-2016 financial year, which shows that various government departments spent over R53mn on over 30 campaigns in those 12 months, with no less than 32 OOH media companies tasked with spreading those messages far and wide.
Interestingly, considering the rumbles of ‘tender fraud’ amongst various media owners, it’s clear that government is more inclusionary than assumed, contracting a diverse spectrum of media owners as service providers – from large, well-established conglomerates like Primedia and Continental Outdoor (now JCDecaux) to smaller, local independent Level 1 BEE firms like Adverlife Media (Pretoria), Percipient Media, Front Seat, Mamela Media and more.
Spreading the spend
Given that OOH placement is key for ultimate reach, it seems media companies are selected by various government departments according to site specific campaigns, with key national campaigns fairly evenly spread across the spectrum of media owners across various platforms.
No single department can be accused of favouring any specific company above another, though electronic screen pioneers Alive Advertising managed to acquire the largest number of – and most lucrative – government contracts across various departments, from labour to public enterprises, and including the National Youth Development Agency and Military Veterans – proving that digital is leading the OOH platform pack, as far as government is concerned.
Go big or go home: The big spenders
The department of labour’s compensation fund proved the biggest spender, with four key campaigns – Beneficiaries, Employee Education, Return of Earnings, and the Umehluko campaign – carried through by 15 media owners at a cost of R26.3m.
The department of labour also focused a huge amount of funds and energy on its Employee Education campaign, spread across 14 media companies and costing over R13m. The department’s 2015 Beneficiaries campaign, carried by eight different media houses, came in at nearly half that, just over R7m.
The department of transport favoured six BEE companies; XII Star, Percipient Media, Outsmart Outdoor Media, Media Active, Kena Media and Front Seat for their Transport Month Campaign in October 2015. Interestingly, that month-long campaign, which was largely localised, totalled R6 195 829.32 – nearly three times that of the Road Accident Fund’s (RAF) two key national campaigns during the year: Take Charge (R654 745.35) and Road Safety Mass (R1 392 014.11); 10 media companies carried RAF’s campaigns countrywide.
This story was first published in the November 2016 issue of The Media magazine. Read the digizine here.