Government advertising

If you’re advertising on behalf of the NSW Government you have a responsibility to ensure taxpayer funds are being used efficiently and effectively. 

What is advertising?

An activity is considered government advertising if it:

  1. is funded by or on behalf of a government agency, and
  2. is disseminated under a commercial advertising distribution agreement by means of radio, television, the internet, newspapers, billboards, cinemas or others

The Act generally applies to traditional advertising campaigns bought through a media buying agency. However, it can also apply to other communications activities, depending on how these activities are arranged, funded or distributed.

What rules apply to government advertising? 

There are rules that apply to all government advertising, and some that apply only to campaigns with large campaign budgets.

A ‘campaign budget’ includes: research, evaluation, media, creative and production fees associated with the campaign. 

Select one of the options below to find out what rules apply to your campaign. 

When is advertising prohibited?


Government advertising is not permitted for a period of time during the lead up to a NSW state election.

Under the Government Advertising Act 2011, only the following types of campaigns are allowed to continue after 26 January in an election year:

  • public health or safety matters
  • service announcements, including (but not limited to) service announcements containing electoral information
  • notices required to be published under a law
  • job advertisements
  • tender advertising

Some agencies and events are exempt from this restriction.

Before every election, the NSW Government Caretaker Conventions are also issued and provide up to date protocol on communications and other matters.

Need advice?

The NSW Government Brand and Communications team at DCS can provide support for your campaign. 

Below is a list of the support services we offer and the relevant contact details.

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