CANBERRA--Australia has brought in agency support for a new brief designed to reinvent its global reputation.

Ogilvy PR and Statecraft/Bell Pottinger have been appointed for the assignment, the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) confirmed. The government body is behind a four-year $20m Brand Australia programme - called ‘Australia Unlimited’ - which launched last year.

The decision follows the release of an “international promotions” tender, as revealed by the Holmes Report earlier this year. The two-year A$2m brief is aimed at addressing the concern that the country is seen primarily as a tourist destination, rather than a “world business partner and global citizen.”

It is understood that several international agencies took part in the resulting pitch. Austrade senior adviser Samantha Mattila pointed out that both of the winning firms already sit on a government roster.

“We can confirm that Ogilvy Public Relations and Statecraft/Bell Pottinger have been appointed from an existing government panel to provide international public relations services promoting Australian capabilities. said Mattila. “Markets include the US and the UK.”

Statecraft, which links up with UK giant Bell Pottinger for the assignment, is a domestic Australian firm that focuses on financial and public affairs consulting. Ogilvy PR, meanwhile, has a strong government practice in the country, centred on PA firm Parker & Partners.

According to a copy of the brief, and a reputation study carried out by the Reputation Institute, “Australia is seen as decorative but not useful.” Accordingly, the country is hoping to build awareness of Australia’s contributions to global issues such as science, technology and culture, and raise its profile as a “premium destination for investment or education.”