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Wednesday, 28 October 1964
Page: 1375

Senator ORMONDE (New South Wales) . - I refer to Division No. 645, subdivision 2, item 05, Advertising. Is the amount of £750,000 to be spent on advertising for recruits? I notice that last year £600,000 was appropriated under this heading. I should like to know the result of that advertising campaign. How many recruits were obtained? I should also like to know the authority responsible for spending this £750,000. Is the money to be spent through the Commonwealth Loans Organisation which is the authority that undertakes advertising in relation to Commonwealth loans? It is an authority which has survived the war period. I notice that that body has been allocated the sum of £19,160. I desire to know whose job it is to draft the advertisements and distribute them and who decides how much space should be used in newspapers and how much time on television or radio. Does the authority responsible decide in what areas the money is to be spent in an effort to obtain recruits? Is expert opinion available on where the money is best spent? If there is full employment in one place and employment is not so plentiful in another place, would the Department decide not to advertise in the place of full employment, where it would not be likely to be very successful? I should like to know whether the amount of £750,000 is distributed amongst commercial advertising agencies who act for the Department.

I shall refer to some of the advertisements for recruits that I have noticed. I do not wish to criticise their contents. These advertisements appeal particularly to boys of 17 and say: "Get your adult wage at 17 ". I suppose that is all right, but it would be interesting to know whether that straight out commercial appeal to boys is successful. Those advertisements have been appearing for about 12 months and it should be possible to say whether they have appealed to boys of 17, of school leaving age, to go straight on to a man's wage. Some people may have doubts about whether that proposition is politically moral and whether, in the long run, it is good for the boys. If such advertisements are not attracting recruits, their appeal is falling on deaf ears. If the sum of £750,000 is cut up amongst advertising agencies, I should like the Minister to tell the Senate whether its expenditure is subject to supervision. Is there a council of agencies?

During the war an expert advertising committee was formed to advise the government of the day. I think a committee could be formed today to advise the Government on how to spend its money on a recruiting campaign. It is possible that there is duplication and waste of which the Minister is unaware. I know of men in the advertising world who would be prepared to assist the Government. At a recent conference in Melbourne one of the speakers - a top advertising man from Sydney - suggested that the Government should co-opt advertising men to discuss with Government officials the extension of trade in Asia. That sort of assistance is available to the Government. A committee of that type functioned effectively during the war and perhaps the Minister could give some thought to such an approach to the subject of recruitment.

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