M&C Saatchi and Carat Involved in Australia Tourism Conflict of Interest

By Matt Van Hoven 

Not only is the $500 million Australian tourism account in review, but board members that made the deal with M&C Saatchi and Carat are said to have ignored conflicts of interest pertaining to the agencies, by not removing themselves from board negotiations. Scandal and so forth.

The Australian published this report today. Here’s a particularly juicy part:


Tourism Australia has had its fair share of controversy since its founding, centred on its “Where the bloody hell are you?” campaign, created by advertising agency M&C Saatchi.

The ANAO report questioned the handling of the M&C Saatchi deal and another one with media planning and placement agency Carat &#151 contracts that between them cost more than $184 million.

Tourism Australia was not transparent enough in evaluating the tenders for the jobs, gave insufficient thought to the tenderers’ financial viability, and had started work before the contracts were in place, the report concluded.

A Tourism Australia spokesman said yesterday both contracts had now expired and the process of appointing new creative and media placement agencies had been “significantly” improved.

Thanks Tribble!