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Department of Premier and Cabinet
8 Sept 2020

About the 2019-20 advertising plan

By publishing of the Victorian Government Advertising Plan 2019–20, the Victorian Government continues its commitment to maintaining transparency on government advertising expenditure.

In developing the advertising plan for 2019–20, each advertising campaign proposed by Victorian Government departments and agencies was carefully considered and assessed.

Activities that support vital health, safety and community wellbeing objectives, assist Victorians to respond to disruptions or service changes, or support economic or commercial development were prioritised for inclusion in the 2019–20 advertising plan. These activities are often undertaken by independent government bodies and agencies with statutory obligations to educate and inform the community, rather than by central government departments.

As in previous years, the Victorian Government’s 2019–20 advertising plan included significant campaigns to inform the Victorian community about disruptions and service changes caused by major road and rail infrastructure projects, to support community health and safety, and major behaviour change campaigns tackling family violence and gambling harm.

The 2019–20 advertising plan also included major new campaigns to encourage Victorians to plan and prepare for the 2019–20 fire season, and to support the Victorian tourism industry, public schools, and the TAFE sector.

The government considers these activities are critical to delivering its strategic priorities for Victoria, while representing an effective investment of public money. 

Throughout 2019–20, each individual campaign underwent a further layer of scrutiny to ensure the level of advertising expenditure planned for the campaign is prudent and represents the minimum amount required to achieve the campaign’s strategic objectives.

Adjusting the annual advertising plan

Government advertising priorities may change throughout the year in response to changing circumstances or emerging issues. Therefore, some advertising included within the 2019–20 plan did not take place as scheduled, while additional advertising was required that was not anticipated when the plan was developed.

Advertising necessary to alert the community to unexpected emergencies (such as severe heat warnings) is considered on a case-by-case basis and is not included in this annual advertising plan.

Reporting on government advertising expenditure

Each year, the Victorian Government publishes a report on total government advertising expenditure for the previous financial year, as well as a report summarising significant advertising campaigns undertaken during the year. These reports can be found online at

Departments and agencies also report details of any advertising campaigns with media advertising costs of $100,000 or more, within their annual reports.

Non-campaign advertising

This advertising plan summarises Victorian Government advertising campaigns planned for 2019–20. Campaign advertising is generally intended to communicate a particular message or change people’s behaviour over time – for example, road safety campaigns.

The Victorian Government also undertakes a range of ‘non-campaign’ advertising, which includes recruitment advertising and functional advertising (such as requests for tender, notifications about community consultations and road closure notices).

While campaign advertising accounts for the majority of government advertising expenditure, the government also has measures in place to ensure non-campaign advertising is undertaken in a cost-effective manner.

An example is the government’s policy that government departments should not place
non-campaign advertising in metropolitan print newspapers, in favour of using digital channels which can more effectively and efficiently reach the relevant audience.  

Advertising standards in legislation

In September 2017, the government passed legislation to strengthen governance of communication and advertising undertaken by public sector bodies, by introducing new
Part 5A to the Public Administration Act 2004 (the Act).

Part 5A of the Act includes measures to restrict government television advertising to five purposes or ‘priority areas’. No other government television advertising is permitted under the Act.

As detailed within this report, all advertising campaigns included in the 2019–20 advertising plan contribute to one of these five communication priority areas.

In 2018, the government also introduced new Regulations under Part 5A of the Act to further strengthen governance of public sector communication and advertising.

The Act and the Public Administration (Public Sector Communication Standards) Regulations 2018 can be viewed online at

Government campaign advertising planned for 2019-20

Victorian Government Advertising Plan 2019-20
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All campaign advertising undertaken by the Victorian Government during 2019–20 fulfilled one of five priority areas for government communications:

  1. To promote public safety, personal security and behaviour change 
  2. To promote social cohesion, civic pride and community spirit within the general public
  3. To promote commercial and economic development within the state
  4. To generate revenue for public sector bodies or for the state through consumption of        products, services or events delivered by or in partnership with public sector bodies
  5. To promote compliance with legislative requirements.

These communication priority areas mirror those included in Part 5A of the Act, which establishes parameters for government advertising on television.

The chart below shows planned spending for each priority area as a proportion of the government’s overall expenditure on campaign advertising for 2019–20.


Public safety, personal security and behaviour change 62%; Commercial and economic investment 16%; Generation of revenue for institutions or events 15%; Social cohesion, civic pride and community spirit 5% and Compliance with legislative requirements 2%

More information about each priority area, including examples of significant advertising campaigns planned for 2019–20, is provided on the following pages.

Priority area 1: Public safety, personal security and behaviour change

Government invests significantly in the promotion of safe and responsible behaviour, to advise of service disruptions and to promote programs that help people stay safe and well.

Pie chart for priority area 1 - 62% public safety, personal security and behaviour change

Priority area 1: Public safety, personal security and behaviour change 62%

The 2019–20 advertising plan includes ongoing campaigns to improve road and workplace safety, increase summer fire preparedness, minimise harm caused by gambling and support the community to adapt to disruptions caused by major transport infrastructure projects. Victoria Police also planned major campaigns to recruit new officers and promote a new police assistance hotline.

Victoria’s Big Build

Continuing in 2019–20, the government provided information on major transport infrastructure projects, including road and rail projects in Melbourne and regional Victoria, such as Level Crossing Removals, Metro Tunnel, Suburban Road Upgrades and Regional Rail Projects. Advertising informed the public of disruptions and progress and promoted alternative transport arrangements during construction.

Road safety and workplace safety

In 2019–20, the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) and WorkSafe Victoria continued to deliver critical safety messages to reduce the risk of deaths and/or injuries. Campaigns promoted responsible behaviour and practices and educated Victorians about how to stay safe on the roads and in the workplace. This included a new campaign from TAC highlighting mobile phone distractions and a new campaign from WorkSafe Victoria to support the introduction of workplace manslaughter laws for employers that risk the lives of workers.

Victorian Fire Season

In 2019–20, the government expanded its annual fire season campaign and introduced new messaging encouraging people to plan and act earlier to prevent loss of life and property. Annual campaigns alerting the public to planned burning activities taking place in spring and autumn also continued.

Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation

To reduce harm and encourage a balanced perspective on gambling in the community, the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation continued to run campaigns to increase community and individual understanding of harm from gambling. This included challenging the normalisation of gambling in sport and the impact that stigma has on people’s willingness to seek help. 

Family violence

During 2019–20, the government continued its major, long-term initiative to prevent family violence. The program is supported by advertising intended to change behaviour through the ‘Respect Women: Call It Out’ campaign and a new campaign aimed at keeping older people safe from family abuse.

Priority area 2: Social cohesion, civic pride and community spirit

Advertising in this priority area supports Victorians to participate in public life, engage with their community, understand their rights and responsibilities and contribute to Victoria’s many cultural, social and natural assets.

Priority area 2 Social cohesion civic pride and community spirit 5%

Priority area 2: Social cohesion, civic pride and community spirit 5%

These include annual campaigns to celebrate Australia Day in Victoria and acknowledge the service and sacrifice of Victoria’s veterans.

Deadly Questions and Treaty

In 2019–20, the government continued its ‘Deadly Questions’ Treaty campaign, which aims to build greater understanding among all Victorians of what a Treaty between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people would entail. The campaign supports the government’s commitment to advancing Aboriginal self-determination and Treaty. A new campaign promoted the election of the First People’s Assembly of Victoria; the body that will negotiate a Treaty with the government.

Foster Care Attraction

This ongoing campaign aims to generate enquiries from potential foster carers and emphasises the need for carers from all walks of life, cultures and communities for children and young people.

Australia Day and veterans’ acknowledgement

Each year, the Victorian Government promotes celebration of Australia Day and acknowledges the service of Victoria’s veterans through several campaigns to increase community awareness and inform Victorians of opportunities to participate in various events.

Priority area 3: Commercial and economic investment in Victoria

This priority area includes advertising campaigns that help grow Victoria’s economy and promote investment by driving tourism, increasing employment and career opportunities, promoting business and commercial development, and encouraging regional growth.

Priority area 3 Commercial and economic investment in Victoria 16%

Priority area 3: Commercial and economic investment in Victoria 16%

Tourism promotion

In 2019–20, advertising campaigns by Visit Victoria promoted intrastate, interstate and international tourism to attract visitors and business to Melbourne and regional Victoria.

As well as major campaigns to promote Melbourne and regional Victoria, advertising campaigns promoted selected major events attracting visitors from interstate and overseas, such as White Night Melbourne and the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.

Business Victoria Resources

Business Victoria aims to promote support services and resources through this campaign, to assist Victorian businesses, particularly small businesses, to plan, grow and expand. The campaign also encouraged participation in workshops and mentoring programs to facilitate business growth.

Study Melbourne

This ongoing campaign promoted Melbourne, and Victoria, as among the world’s top destinations for international students, thanks to its liveability and high-quality education opportunities.

Priority area 4: Generation of revenue for institutions or events

This priority area supports Victoria’s many iconic arts and educational institutions and major events, which offer world-class attractions, events and services for all Victorians and attract interstate and international visitors.

Priority area 4 Generation of revenue for institutions or events 15%

Priority area 4: Generation of revenue for institutions or events 15%

Many of these institutions and events rely on advertising to attract the patronage and attendance that generates revenue for their programs and activities.

Creative Victoria campaigns

Institutions such as Museums Victoria, Arts Centre Melbourne, the National Gallery of Victoria and the Melbourne Recital Centre host a diverse range of world-class programs each year. In 2019–20, advertising informed Victorians about events at these iconic venues and also attracted interstate visitors.

TAFE and vocational institutions

Advertising in 2019–20 supported the TAFE Victoria brand by encouraging Victorians to explore the opportunities for learning, development and advancement offered by Victorian TAFEs, including the Free TAFE for Priority Courses initiative. Throughout 2019–20, advertising undertaken by individual institutions informed prospective students about their unique course offerings.  


Melbourne Zoo, Healesville Sanctuary and Werribee Open Range Zoo are iconic tourism drawcards, family destinations and centres for learning and conservation. Advertising by Zoos Victoria promoted new experiences offered by these venues and encouraged Victorians to visit, explore and learn about the natural heritage of Australia and the world.

Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix and Moto Grand Prix

In 2019–20, local and interstate advertising drove ticket sales and attracted visitors to the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix at Albert Park and the Moto GP at Phillip Island.

Priority area 5: Compliance with legislative requirements

When there are changes to laws or regulations that affect Victorians, government has a responsibility to communicate the changes to assist the transition to new requirements.

Priority Area 5 Compliance with legislative requirements 2%

Priority area 5: Compliance with legislative requirements 2%

For wide-ranging changes, advertising provides an essential means of reaching as many affected people as possible.

Consumer Affairs Victoria

Consumer Affairs Victoria undertakes campaigns to raise awareness of consumer rights, particularly in areas where there have been legislative changes and reforms, such as in rental agreements and real estate. In 2019–20, Consumer Affairs Victoria promotional activities included educating the community about reforms to the Sale of Land Act 1962.

Labour Hire Licensing Scheme and Portable Long Service

Advertising promoted awareness of a new business licensing system to protect vulnerable labour hire workers from exploitation and regulate the provision of labour hire services. Another campaign raised awareness among employers and workers in community services, contract cleaning and security about Victoria’s new portable long service scheme and encouraged compliance with new laws.

Planned department and agency campaign advertising: 2019-20 and 2018-19

The charts below show the proportion of campaign advertising planned by government departments and agencies during 2019–20 and 2018–19. Each chart lists examples of significant department and agency advertising campaigns, including major new initiatives planned for the year.  

Planned campaign advertising expenditure – 2019–20

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Planned campaign advertising expenditure – 2018–19

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