M&C, Carat win Tourism Australia biz

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[Sydney, Australia] The long, controversial pitch for Tourism Australia's $45 million account ended with victory for M&C Saatchi and Carat, which will handle global media. "The decision to move to a single agency structure reflects Tourism Australia's need to deliver a more consistent global brand, an arrangement which will deliver us greater efficiencies across more than a dozen markets around the world," said Scott Morrison, managing director, Tourism Australia.

M&C competed against Saatchi & Saatchi and BBDO Worldwide in a six-month review, while the media pitch narrowed to ZenithOptimedia and local shop Mitchell & Partners. The decision caused a stir in neighboring New Zealand because M&C was the creative force behind that country's highly effective tourism-boosting 100% Pure New Zealand campaign. Tourism officials in New Zealand dumped their agency of six years after M&C won the Australian account and are now holding a review for their $19 million business including Whybin TBWA, Saatchi & Saatchi, JWT and Colenso BBDO. Critics questioned the neutrality of the Australian pitch because both Mr. Morrison and Tourism Australia's director of marketing, Ian Macfarlane, were poached last year from Tourism New Zealand, where they developed close ties to M&C.

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