Does Rockhampton Regional Council ‘buy local’?
NONE of the five Central Queensland advertising agencies that industry identity Noel Sorensen says could have put together council's flood levee television campaign, was approached for the task which went to a Brisbane company.
The Bulletin checked with representatives from Chris Fisher Advertising, SMR Advertising, Advertising Planning & Promotions Ap&P, Cooper McKenzie Marketing and Adz Power Agencies, who all said they were not the local operator that quoted for the project.
It has prompted Mr Sorensen to step up the pressure on council as he questions whether it adhered to its buy local policy.
While Mayor Margaret Strelow says council spends on average $400,000 a year with local media organisations, she remains tight-lipped on which local provider it sourced a quote from.
Council sourced three quotes from its preferred supplier list, with one of these local.
Mr Sorensen's business, Adz Power Agencies, isn't on the preferred list, he says, because from past experience there was too much red tape involved for little return.
However, he said if council hadn't used one of the five recognised agencies, who could have put the campaign together from start to finish, who had it turned to?
And, importantly, was this operator able to compete with the big agencies in other parts of the state.
"There are only five agencies in CQ that have the capacity to book the air time with the television stations themselves," he said.
"No other operator in CQ has an account. If they have gone to someone else, they have gone to someone who clearly does not have the capacity to fulfil the scope.
"It's time the council came clean on this matter. All we are after is the truth."
He said some in the industry were considering taking the matter to the CMC.
In a written statement, Cr Strelow said: "In this case, the project was awarded to Brisbane-based, Redsuit Advertising. "I do not think it's fair to single out the local company that quoted unsuccessfully on this project as this certainly isn't a reflection of their capabilities, it was merely a situation where they weren't the right fit for the project - and we will continue to use them for other projects," Cr Strelow said.
On council's current panel of approved suppliers three are local and six non-local.
Council has a local preference policy, which aims to encourage local businesses to tender or quote in competition with businesses outside of council boundaries. One section says: In order to enhance the capabilities of local business and industry, employees issuing invitations to suppliers must: Actively seek out potential local suppliers and encourage such suppliers to submit a bid where they are qualified and able to meet the requirements of the scope of work.