In what is seen as a new era for advertising by the Italian government, agencies have been invited to pitch for a €170,000 ($147,000; £104,000) campaign highlighting a series of employment initiatives.

The billings may look fairly minor and the subject matter far from earth-shattering, but the pitch is deemed important as it is the first under transparency regulations passed last July and recently made effective. Henceforth, assignment of taxpayers’ cash on marketing will be open to public scrutiny.

"In the past, many government contracts were awarded behind close doors, and many critics assumed that meant that the standards used to determine the winning agency may not have always been fair," one anonymous industry insider told AdAge Global. "If the process becomes more transparent, then there will be fewer complaints."

The Italian government's total adspend is not disclosed, but has been estimated at up to $230 million, ranking it among the nation's leading advertisers.

Agencies wishing to participate in the pitch should contact the Ministry of Communications by March 6.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff