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Tuesday, 18 August 2009
Page: 5288


Senator Minchin asked the Minister representing the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, upon notice, on 3 June 2009:

Since 1 January 2008, has the department or any of its agencies expended any funds on advertising or sponsored links on a search engine such as www.google.com for any government websites administered within the Minister’s portfolio (i.e. websites with ‘.gov.au’ domain names); if so:

(a)   which websites have been or are being advertised/sponsored on each search engine;

(b)   what was the cost of establishing the advertisement/sponsorship;

(c)   what was/is the daily cost of sponsorship;

(d)   what was/is the fee that is charged each time an advertised/sponsored site is selected through the search engine;

(e)   which words or phrases have been included in the advertisement/sponsorship (i.e. ‘digital television’);

(f)   which additional, subcategories or combinations of words have also been included in the advertisement/sponsorship;

(g)   how many variables or combinations were entered into the purchase equation;

(h)   for how long has the advertisement/sponsorship been running or is intended to run; and

(i)   what is the total cost to the department (or the costs to date if the expense is ongoing) of each website advertisement and/or sponsored link.


Senator Conroy (Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy) —The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:

(a)   Links to www.greenvehicleguide.gov.au were sponsored on two search engines: Google and google.search.com and Yahoo Search. Banner digital advertisements sponsored by the Department were also placed on Fairfax Digital: http://newsbreak.com.au/?s_rid=WS:drive:top.

(b)   The cost of the sponsored links on Google and Yahoo was $12,760 (including GST). The costs of the digital advertisement were $3,498 for design (including GST) and $21,670 for a discounted placement on Fairfax Digital (including GST).

(c)   The Government’s advertising placement agency, Universal McCann, advises that this information is not available.

(d)   The Government’s advertising placement agency, Universal McCann, reported that the Google search sponsorship generated a Cost per Click (CPC) of $3.47 while Yahoo delivered a CPC of $2.45 over the course of the campaign.

(e)   The sponsored links included the following text:  “Green Vehicle Guide: New car environmental ratings. See how cars rate before you buy! www.greenvehicleguide.gov.au“ The display ads featured the following phrases on a roll-over basis: “How many of these cars are green?” “Find out at www.GreenVehicleGuide.gov.au“ “An Australian Government Initiative: Make a smarter choice”

(f)   This information is not available.

(g)   The digital display advertisements on Fairfax Digital featured the Green Vehicle Guide graphic car logo in two configurations: a rotating banner and a medium sized rectangle.

(h)   The Green Vehicle Guide advertisement ran between 7 and 30 June 2008.

(i)   The cost of the sponsored links was $12,760 (including GST). The cost of the digital display ads was $25,168.