Advertising requirements

The Peer Review Process

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This graphic outlines the different stages of peer review process including indicative timeframes and requirements for agencies to include in their planning.

Peer review

The Submission

A written submission is required for the Peer Review process. This submission outlines the evidence based justification for the paid media advertising and the evaluation plan to measure the effectiveness of the advertising against its objectives. A media plan and final creative concepts should also be submitted in support of the submission.

Key areas that require in-depth consideration for the advertising submission are:

  • Evidence-based  or data driven decision-making
  • Clear and measureable objectives
  • Evaluation plan to measures effectiveness
  • Evidence that past performance and key learnings have been incorporated to improve  strategy/plan

We encourage NSW Government Agencies to liaise directly with the Government Communications team during the planning phase to ensure the written submission provide sufficient information in preparation for the Peer Review meeting.

To initiate the Peer Review process, Campaign Managers are required to complete and submit a notification form.

Early submission of this notification will secure a meeting time suitable to meet the paid media timeframes.  At the latest, notification should be submitted at least four weeks prior to secure a preferred date.

For Advertising Submission Templates, please write to

The panel

Peer Review must be undertaken for all campaigns above $50,000 (excluding GST).  This total cost is inclusive of research, creative and production associated with delivering the paid media advertising.

Campaign Managers should set time in their planning for the Peer Review process to be completed and ensure approval is given prior to the media start date (with adequate time to book media efficiently).

The Peer Review panel consists of a Chair (DPC), Facilitator (Government Communications team) and two Reviewers (marketing and communications practitioners from different NSW Government agencies). The Campaign Manager and relevant team present the submission to the Panel for review.

Peer reviewers provide an independent and knowledgeable assessment of the proposed activity, as well as ensure effective use of media and efficient use of public funds.

The aim is to bring together experts that can provide constructive feedback to enhance the effectiveness of the paid media advertising, harnessing the wealth of experience from the network and building on lessons learnt.

The Peer Review Report and Response period

The Facilitator prepares a Peer Review report based on findings that were noted during the meeting by the panel, in response to the Peer Review Workbook. The findings include recommendations that can improve the success of the campaign. 

Once completed the report is emailed to the Campaign Manager for information and response.

Campaign Managers are expected to formally respond to all items noted in the Peer Review report, in tabular format (Response table). Updates should be made in the Submission and/or attachments. The revised Submission must explicitly show that the specific review items have been acknowledged and addressed (highlighted within the Submission). If aspects of the report have been considered, yet not added to the revised submission, a response explaining the decision should be included in the Response table.

Letter of Completion

Close liaison will continue until the Facilitator is satisfied that reasonable steps have been made by the Campaign Manager to address all aspect of the Peer Review report.  When deemed satisfactory, the Facilitator will recommend to the Director – Government and Corporate Communications a Letter of Completion be issued and sent to the Agency Head.

Cost benefit analysis

Where the cost of a NSW Government advertising campaign is likely to exceed $1,000,000, Section 7 (1) of the Government Advertising Act 2011 requires a cost benefit analysis to be carried out before the campaign commences. The agency proposing the campaign is responsible for preparing it.
Agencies should refer to the following guidance:

  1. Cost Benefit Analysis for Government Advertising – Framework
  2. Cost Benefit Analysis for Government Advertising – User Guide

Agencies can also contact Treasury on

Compliance Certificate

For advertising submissions that are under $1 million, a letter will be sent to the Campaign Manager along with the request for the Compliance Certificate to be signed by Agency Head and returned to the Government Communications team. 

For advertising submissions which exceed $1 million, the request for a Compliance Certificate will be sought following completion of review by the Cabinet Standing Committee on Communication and Government AdvertisingA letter will be issued to the campaign manager to confirm the peer review process has been completed.

 Download Compliance Certificate Template

Cabinet Standing Committee on Communication and Government Advertising.

All advertising programs with a cost likely to exceed $1,000,000 require approval of the Cabinet Standing Committee on Communication and Government Advertising.

NSW Government Agencies should be mindful to include sufficient time to seek approval from the Committee.

Prior to submission to the Committee, the following requirements of the Government Advertising Act 2011 must be completed: 

1.    Peer review

2.    Cost Benefit Analysis.

3.    Signed Compliance Certificate

Advertising Campaign Evaluation

Government Communications is tasked to report, on behalf of NSW Government agencies, the effectiveness of paid media advertising to the Cabinet Standing Sub-Committee on Communication and Government Advertising.

Upon campaign completion, the Government Communications team will require NSW Government Agencies to report back on the evaluation plan outlined in the Peer Review submission.

Download  Effectiveness Form