It Would Be A “Poor Outcome” If Australian Indies Are Missing From The Federal Government’s Master Media Account Tender

Sam Buchanan, CEO of the IMAA, has said that it would be a “poor outcome” if Australian-owned businesses were found to be missing from the Federal Government’s Master Media Account tender outcome. 

The Federal Government’s Master Media Account is one of the largest and most complex media contracts in Australia and opened for tender last night. Thought to be worth at least $150 million, the account has been held by UM since 2018 and is up for review as part of the regular procurement process. 

“We welcomed the Federal Government’s decision last year to source 20 percent of its annual procurement from small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Now, we want to see them walk the walk. The government must consider a move to a media roster, rather than a single agency model, to ensure Australian-owned businesses have a seat at the table,” said Buchanan. 

“As an organisation, we understand that no one deserves a free kick, but we have so much talent in the independent media sector ready to go. In 2023, we saw the indies taking out major accounts across the country—a clear indication of the indie sector’s dominance in Australia. This should be reflected in the outcome of the tender process,” he continued. 

“With the election coming up, the IMAA recently had a positive conversation with Katie Gallagher’s office and also met with Michelle Rowland, Minister for Communications. The Federal Government clearly wants to support Australian-owned businesses and we hope that we see that play out in the tender process for the Master Media Account,” said Buchanan. 

After B&T broke the story of UM’s win six years ago, then-CEO Fiona Johnson said it was a “humbling task”. 

“We are in a world that needs our careful counsel and balance between human intelligence and automated capability. Working with the Australian government is not only an opportunity but also a responsibility,” she added. 

“I am immensely proud of my whole team for the passion, work and professionalism they have put into proving that for government we are as great as before – and better than ever. 

“In our relentless pursuit to be better, and to help lead an ever-changing world of communications, this is a very important moment for us.” 

A spokesperson for UM declined to comment on this new tender. 


About Independent Media Agencies Australia

The IMAA was established in February 2020 as a new, national industry body that represents Australia’s independent media agencies. The IMAA promotes the benefits of working with independent media agencies, build awareness and respect for the sector, create a knowledge sharing forum and help build the Australian economy through supporting 100% Australian owned businesses.