CANBERRA: Marketing initiatives by Australian government departments are delivering large sums, as new figures have revealed official adspend reached a near-record A$174.7m in the past year.

That was well above the A$107.1m spent in the 2014-15 budget, although it was marginally lower than the A$185.3m spent in 2007-08, AdNews reported.

This year's figures were undoubtedly boosted by the federal election, and although they did not include spending on advertising by political parties themselves, election year adspend did include politically-neutral marketing campaigns.

The biggest government campaign of the year was the Australian Electoral Commission's campaign to inform voters about changes to the Senate voting system, which cost A$43.3m in media placement.

Other notable spenders included the Australian Defence Force for its recruitment initiatives, which cost A$31.4m. In addition, A$18.8m was spent promoting the government's science and innovation agenda.

According to AdNews, Dentsu Mitchell places most of the government's advertising while Havas' work on Defence Force recruitment was the largest contract for creative.

Havas received A$17m for its work on advertising creative, the largest sum paid to an ad agency for a single campaign.

The data came as further research by Magna Australia – IPG Mediabrands' media investment and intelligence division – projected that overall Australian adspend will push A$16bn in 2017, B&T reported.

Magna also predicted that digital investment is likely to make up 52% of total advertising spend in 2017, and nearly two-thirds (65%) of total spend by 2021.

In 2017, Magna said it believes mobile investment will near 50% of digital adspend, and account for 66% of all digital adspend by 2021.

And while social media investment is set to slow in coming years as strategy matures, it is still likely to record impressive growth of 28.6% next year.

Data sourced from AdNews, B&T; additional content by Warc staff