Campaign Principles

Principle 1: Campaigns should be relevant to government responsibilities

The subject matter of the campaign directly relates to policies or programs underpinned by:

  • legislative authority; or
  • appropriation of the Parliament; or
  • a Cabinet Decision which is intended to be implemented during the current Parliament should be the subject of a campaign.


The campaign falls under suitable uses for government campaigns, including to:

  • inform the public of new, existing or proposed government policies, or policy revisions;
  • provide information on government programs or services or revisions to programs or services to which the public are entitled;
  • inform consideration of issues;
  • disseminate scientific, medical or health and safety information; or
  • provide information on the performance of government to facilitate accountability to the public.


Principle 2: Campaign materials should be presented in an objective, fair and accessible manner and be designed to meet the objectives of the campaign

  • Campaign materials should enable the recipients of the information to distinguish between facts, comment, opinion and analysis.
  • Where information is presented as a fact, it should be accurate and verifiable. When making a factual comparison, the material should not attempt to mislead the recipient about the situation with which the comparison is made and it should state explicitly the basis for the comparison.
  • Pre-existing policies, products, services and activities should not be presented as new.
  • Special attention should be paid to communicating with any disadvantaged individuals or groups identified as being within the target audience. Particular attention should be paid to the communication needs of young people, the rural community and those for whom English is not a convenient language in which to receive information.
  • Imagery used in campaign materials should reflect the diverse range of Australians. There should be recognition of the full participation of women, Indigenous and culturally and linguistically diverse communities by realistically portraying their interests, lifestyles and contributions to Australian society.
  • Campaign materials should be tested with target audiences to indicate they are engaging and perform well against the objectives of the campaign.

Principle 3: Campaign materials should be objective and not directed at promoting party political interests

  • Campaign materials must be presented in objective language and be free of political argument.
  • Campaign materials must not try to foster a positive impression of a particular political party or promote party political interests.
  • Campaign materials must not:
    • mention the party in Government by name;
    • directly attack or scorn the views, policies or actions of others such as the policies and opinions of opposition parties or groups;
    • include party-political slogans or images;
    • be designed to influence public support for a political party, a candidate for election, a Minister or a Member of Parliament; or
    • refer or link to the websites of politicians or political parties.

Principle 4: Campaigns should be justified and undertaken in an efficient, effective and relevant manner

  • Campaigns should only be instigated where a need is demonstrated, target recipients are clearly identified and the campaign is informed by appropriate research or evidence.
  • Campaign information should clearly and directly affect the interests of recipients.
  • The medium and volume of the advertising activities should be cost effective and justifiable within the budget allocated to the campaign.
  • Distribution of unsolicited material should be carefully controlled.
  • Campaigns should be evaluated to determine effectiveness.

Principle 5: Campaigns must comply with legal requirements and procurement policies and procedures

  • The manner of presentation and the delivery of campaigns must comply with all relevant laws including:
    • laws with respect to broadcasting and media;
    • privacy laws;
    • intellectual property laws;
    • electoral laws;
    • trade practices and consumer protection laws; and
    • workplace relations laws.


Procurement policies and procedures for the tendering and commissioning of services and the employment of consultants should be followed and there should be a clear audit trail regarding decision making. 


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