The health of the economy, consumer confidence, the NBN and affordable childcare are issues concerning creative agencies in the lead up to the September 7 federal election.
B&T asked the management of five advertising agencies to share what their top business priorities ahead of the election are and what they believe needs to happen to push Australia forward.
Cluttered advertising space was dismissed as a key concern for client’s that have campaigns booked in the election lead up.
Russ Vine, managing director of Brisbane agency Junior, said most clients have moved onto the “darker” and “more sophisticated practice of content led solutions and integration.
McCann’s chief executive Ash Farr said the key challenge for the election is the management of the economy: “How can Australia lead not just consume technology? How do we find an appropriate level of total taxation (direct and indirect) so that the vast majority of middle class Australians who drive the economy can afford to spend without a credit crisis?”
To read Vine’s and Farr’s full response to the question ‘What are your business priorities head of the election’ see below.
Also featured are Publicis Mojo’s Joe Pollard, Havas’ Anthony Gregorio and Moon Communication’s Anouk Darling.
Ash Farr, national CEO, McCann
“The Labor government has introduced significant legislation since the last election, but the key challenge for this election will be the management of the economy.
As a business, we have a number of questions we’d like to see resolved. What initiatives in the next five years will provide the right platform for the economy to be as robust as the past 20? How do we support all businesses and encourage investment? How do we encourage pioneers to give it a go? How can Australia lead not just consume technology? How do we find an appropriate level of total taxation (direct and indirect) so that the vast majority of middle class Australians who drive the economy can afford to spend without a credit crisis? How do we make housing affordable so the Aussie dream can once again become a reality? How do we invest in infrastructure to increase productivity and not time in traffic?
The party that comes to power will need to rethink who the worker of tomorrow is and understand how to increase competition to benefitconsumers. The answers to these questions will determine our economic and social health and wealth, both in the short term and for generations to come.
I also hope the country gives a mandate for either party to truly govern without compromise, so we can look forward to strong and astute stewardship.”
Joe Pollard, CEO, Publicis Mojo
“NBN: Faster and affordable access to high speed broadband. A balanced and informed debate about the progress of the NBN, its impact on businesses and the status of the programme to date. More constructive information around the infinite possibilities for businesses once we see the NBN start to achieve critical mass.
Diversity in the workforce: A diverse workforce is critical to the success of any business. Having a balance of males and females across all levels of seniority in an organisation must be a priority for all of us. Affordable, flexible and available childcare is a critical element in helping parents come back to work after becoming a family. Currently the debate is focussed on paid leave instead of supporting people back into full time work careers with affordable childcare options
Consumer confidence in our economic climate: Talking the economy up in realistic and optimistic way without the hype. High consumer confidence is good for business. What's good for business is good for marketing investment. We could all do with a bit more positive vs negative commentary.”
Anthony Gregorio, CEO, Havas Worldwide Australia
“My priorities I think would line up with those of most business people. I would also prefer to think about the greater good, rather than just what’s right for the business I’m in. A functioning majority government would be a good start. Regardless of your politics it’s not good for whoever is in charge of the economy to be at the mercy of independents and their specific interests.
The fundamental question both party needs to address is jobs growth. We can’t succeed as a nation, develop the infrastructure and have better schools and hospitals if we don’t have the revenue base. And that means we need jobs. We clearly can’t rely on mining to save us for much longer; so what initiatives and policies will create jobs for Australians moving forward. NBN is a good start. What else? The party that offers the best long-term vision for jobs growth and therefore lifestyle stability will win…and that’s what will keep the economy and the advertising business flourishing.”
Anouk Darling, CEO and managing director, Moon Communications Group
"Leading up to the election, Moon is here to help ambitious thinkers do better. With headlines like 'unemployment will lead to a new deficit, the NBN debate around fibre to the home or the node and the coalition’s promise to abolish carbon tax’, it’s time to focus on what really matters for our clients; creating more value for their brands, their staff and their customers. While projects like the NBN are a future proof play and need to happen, we don’t have the luxury to stop and wait.
Consumer sentiment is down and with negativity there is a sense that people are playing it small. Australian businesses have a choice to shift gears with the vigour around the election. It’s time to shake off inertia, lose the fear and play big where others are playing it safe. It’s business that will get us out of the quagmire – not government – and that’s what we’re focusing on inspiring with our clients."
Russ Vine, managing director, Junior Advertising
"It's proving to be a strange one this election. Was always the event that was annoyingly far off and difficult to plan around. Then all of a sudden it is upon us. And difficult to plan around.
Priority number one is of course to take stock of any campaigns that are live or due live soon and then consider what the impact or disruption might be. So we’ll need to check in with some media colleagues to see if rumours are true that every last iota of paid media space has now been immediately snapped up. Then we will need to have a good old worry that the inevitable clutter of electioneering will render all brand messaging completely ineffective for the next 4 weeks dead.
It won’t of course. Because whilst political parties here still seem to favour adverts and advertising, most of our clients have long since moved onto the far darker – and some might say more sophisticated- arts of content led solutions and integrated engagement."
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