“When we set the 2021-22 budget, it’s my opinion we fix some of the issues before we start spruiking new marketing campaigns,” he said.
“Council needs to apply a magnifying glass to every spend in this area because it’s not tangible. It’s not bricks and mortar.
“It’s spending money on advertising we’re not too sure is cutting through and translating.
“I think its very clear, given the foot traffic in the core, it’s not working.”
The city is committed to two major advertising initiatives; its $1.15 million Always On campaign, and $1.225 million focused around retail, small business and Perth as a visitor destination.
It was revealed at the November council meeting about $513,215 has been spent on Always On to date.
Mr Fleeton’s motion says social media ‘likes’ are not enough to warrant the dollars being spent.
“We need time and money to get things right before going back to agencies to sell the city again in a big and expensive way,” he wrote.
“From what we have all seen in seven weeks is an obvious disconnect between council’s expectation of what we should be projecting and what is being drafted by the city with its current consultants.”
Staff at the City of Perth would take over marketing through social media during the period external agencies were disengaged, according to the councillor’s motion.
Foot traffic in the CBD has been slowly rising after the city became a ghost town due to COVID-19 restrictions.
One silver lining, in terms of attracting West Australians back to the CBD, has been the city’s weekend free-parking initiative, which started on Saturday.
The three-hours-free initiative, a policy from Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas passed by council last month, resulted in 1624 more motorists using the local government’s parking lots over the weekend compared to the same two days last year.
Peter de Kruijff is a journalist with WAtoday.