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Publicis Groupe has clinched a significant win in Asia Pacific after winning the whole of government (WOG) tender and being appointed as the Singapore government’s master media agency (MMA).

Beating out 26 other agencies and other holding companies, the French holding company will now handle the media buying through a consortium, for all of Singapore government’s ministries, statutory boards, departments, organs of state, worth SGD $80 million.

The consortium, called ‘Gov@Publicis Media’, will consist of Starcom Worldwide, Zenith, Performics and Publicis Media Practices.

This is the first time the Singapore government has awarded a WOG tender and it says the aim of appointing a MMA is to generate savings through economies of scale and extract greater value for use of public funds.

“Aggregating advertising buys is a common practice adopted by governments elsewhere, including UK and Australia, and by some private companies too,” Dr Claire Tan, director of national marketing office at the Ministry of Communications and Information tells The Drum.

“After a rigorous process that looked into the price competitiveness, media buying capabilities, and the proven track records of six tenderers for the MMA, we have appointed the Gov@Publicis Media consortium led by Starcom Media Worldwide.”

Another MCI spokesperson declined to respond to The Drum’s question on how the Singapore government is currently buying media programmatically or out-of-home and if the deal with Publicis changes any processes.

Instead, the spokesperson said it is still too early for the government to comment as it is still at the initial stage of learning and assessing how various government ministries, agencies and organs of state are fulfilling their current media planning and buying approaches.

“Any change proposed would be for the purpose of driving savings or creating value for the Singapore government,” the spokesperson added.

For Publicis, the agency believes it is a "rare honour" to work with the Singapore Government at such scale, in service to the public, Ian Loon, managing director at Starcom Singapore tells The Drum.

“We are extremely excited to be part of this inaugural effort by MCI, working closely with multiple government agencies and bodies in realising greater synergy, cost-efficiency, and impact on media buying for public communications in Singapore,” says Loon.

“Starcom is ready to embrace the challenge to collectively succeed with the right talent and scale from our Gov@Publicis Media consortium.”

While it is unclear if the Singapore government was attracted by Publicis’ ‘Power of One’ model, Loon says: “We believe our consortium setup as Gov@Publicis Media well positioned the strengths of our various agencies.”

The government has also appointed a panel of 15 agencies to be part of the WOG media buys framework to cater to the differing media buying needs and budgets of government agencies.

“We look forward to working closely with the appointed MMA and various media industry partners. We hope to achieve better coordinated media buys so as to save taxpayers’ funds,” says Dr Tan.

The UK government has a similar WOG deal with Omnicom, having appointed Manning Gottlieb OMD in May after cutting ties with Dentsu Aegis Network.