Media Planning and Buying for campaigns

The Communications and Engagement branch manage the Media Agency Services (MAS) Contract and the Advertising and Digital Communications Services Prequalification Scheme (the Scheme). Both are whole-of-government arrangements to assist NSW Government departments with cost effective media strategies, media placement, creative and digital communications services for their campaigns.

The Media Agency Services (MAS) Contract commenced on 1 October 2017, and runs for three years. Departments are required to use only the media agencies on this contract for all advertising campaign planning and buying.

The Advertising and Digital Communications Scheme lists prequalified creative and digital communication suppliers. Departments are recommended to utilise the Scheme and should liaise directly with the suppliers for their enquiries.

The NSW Government Advertising Handbook outlines the requirements, standards and approvals to be followed in the planning, preparation, management and reporting of advertising activities.

Advertising Categories and Media Agencies

The MAS contract is set up to best meet government's advertising needs.

NSW Government advertising activities can be classified as one of Public Awareness, Recruitment or Public Notice advertising.

Public Awareness Advertising is a series of coordinated communications to raise awareness of key issues or encourage behavioural change and participation in or promotion of government services (also known as Campaign advertising).

Recruitment Advertising promotes specific job vacancies and employment opportunities.

Public Notice Advertising contain a clear, simple message or announcement, and are generally one-off or short-term in nature. Typical NSW Government public notices include public transport timetable notices, regulatory notices, grants and awards programs and urgent public health or safety announcements. Recruitment and public notice advertising is also known as non-campaign advertising.

If expenditure on any advertising activities is likely to exceed $250,000, the campaign will require a peer review. 

Media agencies under the MAS Contract

The planning, purchase and placement of all NSW Government public awareness advertising, including health and road safety messages, tourism promotion and other government announcements, must be done through one of the five appointed Communication Agencies (CA). Wavemaker (part of the WPP AUNZ Group) negotiate media rates on behalf of all NSW Government departments.

NSW Government departments must book recruitment and public notice advertisements through Blaze (part of the WPP AUNZ Group) using their online advertising booking system, Campaign Xpress.

Communications Agencies

The five agencies that can assist with media planning and buying are:

NSW Government departments should directly engage the agency they have been allocated to. Contact the Communications & Engagement team if you are unsure which agency is allocated to your department. A competitive pitch process is not required and strongly discouraged as these agencies have already undergone a thorough tender process to be appointed to the panel.

Planning your public awareness campaign

In the planning and development of campaigns, NSW Government departments should prepare a brief that outlines the objectives of the campaign, target audience and indicators of campaign success. This is then used as the basis for the planner to develop a media plan.

Where a media planner from the four planning agencies above has been engaged to prepare a media strategy and/or plan, they will provide documented recommendations and a costed media schedule in response to your brief. The brief needs to be detailed and clear to get the best results. At minimum, the brief should cover:

  • background information
  • brand information
  • possible competitive challenges
  • past learnings
  • campaign objectives
  • target audience
  • broader communications strategy
  • campaign logistics and budget

A Media Booking Authority Form from your allocated agency should be used to brief in your campaigns. Once advertising approval has been confirmed and the media plan finalised, NSW Government departments can proceed with media bookings.

Planning your recruitment or public notice advertisement

For recruitment and public notices, Blaze can provide information to NSW Government departments about the range of media options available, costs, geographical coverage of various newspaper titles, dates of publications, booking deadlines, circulation and readership information.

Departments should place their public notices in the NSW Government Noticeboard where they are trying to target a metropolitan audience. The NSW Government Noticeboard is a composite made up of individual government notices, and is published in The Sydney Morning Herald and The Daily Telegraph each Wednesday.

NSW Government tender notices including Requests for Tenders, Requests for Quotes, Requests for Information, Expressions of Interest and all other NSW Government procurement opportunities are advertised on the NSW Government e-Tendering website The use of press or other media is not permitted. For more details on advertising on the e-Tendering website, contact the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation’s Client Support Centre on 1800 679 289 or email [email protected]

Contacting media agencies on the MAS Contract

Each NSW Government department has been allocated an account service team. A Media Booking Authority Form must be completed by each NSW Government department and sent to the Communication Agency, authorising them to book the planned activity.

Wavemaker (part of WPP AUNZ)

Wavemaker logo

Key contact:

Jamie Connolly – Group Business Director
M: 0414 218 296 | E: [email protected]


Address: 65 Berry Street, North Sydney 2060

Wavemaker's Campaign Briefing Form

Blaze (part of WPP AUNZ) 

Blaze logo

Key contact:

Liz Pride - Account Manager
M: 0439 424 131 | E: [email protected]

Address: 65 Berry Street, North Sydney 2060

Atomic 212º  

Atomic logo

Key contacts:

James Dixon – Chief Digital Officer  
 M: 0410 497 229 | E: [email protected]


Address: Level 1 Pier 8/9, 23 Hickson Road,Walsh Bay, NSW, 2000

Atomic 212 Campaign Briefing Form

Havas Media 

Havas logo

Key contacts:

Damien Terakes, Client Services Director 
P: 8248 5000 | M: 0411 865 920 | E: [email protected]


Address: 121 Harrington Street, Sydney NSW 2000 

Havas Campaign Briefing Form

Optimum Media Direction (OMD)

OMD logo for website

Key Contacts:

Rosie Plunton - Business Director
P: 9692 2348 | 0448 184 759 | E: [email protected]


Address: 32 Pyrmont Bridge Road, Pyrmont Sydney 2009

OMD Campaign Briefing Form

Universal McCann (UM) 

UM logo

Key contacts:

Steven Burt - Senior Client Director 
P: 9994 4317 | M: 0419 225 325  | E: [email protected] 


Address: 100 Chalmers Street, Surry Hills Sydney 2010

UM Campaign Briefing Form


For further information please contact [email protected]