‘Chooks come home to roost’: What happened to Australia’s biggest B2B publisher?

Five years ago it was Australia’s leading business publisher milking a digital directories cash cow, but under private equity owners the business has been stripped out and sold-off. In this special report, Steve Jones charts the dramatic transformation at the publisher once known as Reed Business Information.


For some years now, publishing companies large and small have been grappling with one fundamental issue: how to replace dwindling advertising dollars with new revenue streams. No-one has been immune.

And in the B2B space, few have undergone such a dramatic transformation, or epitomised the quest to find digital answers to the publishing conundrum, as Reed Business Information (RBI), the once-dominant force of trade magazine publishing in Australia. Read more »

‘The great geoblock of Wollongong’: Bruce Gordon tells Nine to turn off live streaming, but to what end?

Nic-Christensen-234x151-234x151-234x151Bruce Gordon’s WIN has launched legal action to block Nine’s live streaming service 9Now in regional areas. Nic Christensen looks at the competing agendas that may be behind the move and the odds of the regional TV player being successful. 

I’m willing to bet Bruce Gordon isn’t the first media mogul to dream of switching off the internet.

But he is among the first to demand that major cities and towns, outside of the five main metropolitan areas, have their access to content geoblocked solely to protect his own corporate interests.  Read more »

Molly is lacking as a TV show but millions, including me, are hooked

In today’s ironic and dismissive world, David Nichols explains why the somewhat skewed story of an awkward and rambling host of a corny ‘live’ music show remains warmly regarded in the hearts of Australia in this cross-posting from The Conversation.
Samuel Johnson as Molly Meldrum thumbs up green jumper

One of the more pointed – almost poignant – bits of the 1986 Richard Lowenstein film Dogs in Space is the Sunday night when the whole household comes together in mutual fascination over the Australian music TV show, Countdown.

No matter they’re all countercultural, mainstream-scorning punks: they need their Sunday night fix, connecting them to the wider pop world. Read more »

Everyone has an opinion but some are more important than others: researched vs. social

pete-wilsonInformation is often weighed on the strength and volume of opinions shared on social media but with less than 20% of Australians having a Twitter account, Pete Wilson asks: do we have the weight all wrong?

Opinions are a hot commodity these days. In the multi-platform, social media world facts are often disputed (or ignored) but opinions are always welcome. From everyone.

But too often social media chatter is hailed as a true reflection of what people really think. Read more »

24 Hours With… Hal Crawford, editor in chief, Ninemsn

24_Hours_With_logo_red24 Hours With… spotlights the working day of some of the most interesting people in Mumbrella’s world. Today we speak with Hal Crawford, editor-in-chief of ninemsn.    

Hal Crawford

Everything is the same as itself and different from every other thing. There is no typical day.

EARLY MORNING: Today is my middle daughter’s first day of school. She’s going into kindergarten. I’m sitting downstairs in my suit, among the gardening tools, at the little desk I found on the street years ago. Read more »

Twitter Australia looks to grow up – but can it challenge the might of Facebook and Google?

Twitter has been making headlines globally in the past few months amid a series of executive changes and stock market falls. Mumbrella’s Nic Christensen talked to its Australian boss Karen Stocks about its local performance and future strategy in this market. 


“Twitter is now embedded in everything we do from an Australian cultural perspective,” declares Karen Stocks, as we sit down. “There is no sporting event that doesn’t have a Twitter integration, there are no TV shows that don’t have it – it is just part of the Australian psyche now.” Read more »

Making a Murderer and the ‘evil’ in good design

Sam Court

In this guest post, user experience director Sam Court asks: is intent the only difference between ‘good’ and ‘evil’ design?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you would’ve at least heard of Netflix’s ‘Making a Murderer’ series. If you’re anything like me, you watched as your Facebook feed lit-up with reactions to the show and then, two days later, you began watching it, rabidly, yourself.

Can a legal system that we assume has been well designed, in fact, be exploited by those with evil intentions? Read more »

What does Bauer Media need to do to become a real force again?

bauer mediaWith Bauer Media closing titles and struggling to find relevance in the digital landscape, Mumbrella’s Miranda Ward looks at how things got to this point, and what a new CEO needs to do to fix the company’s fortunes.

Australia’s largest magazine publisher, Bauer Media, will look back at 2015 as something of an annus horribilis. In the past 12 months it lost a CEO, the editor of its most high-profile publication, its sales director, and closed three major masthead magazines, while its digital strategy failed to get off the ground.

The company’s issues boil down to three core problems – bad management, no coherent digital strategy and no real budget for content. Read more »

Emotional marketing, neuroscience and the evolving art of sentiment analysis

Catalina Burge - CaratIn this guest post, strategy consultant for Carat, Catalina Burge, claims that emotional marketing is here and measurable, we’re just waiting for the most effective way to measure it.

I read with great interest Alex Vishney’s recent piece on the increasing emphasis on emotional marketing and the subsequent demotion of rationality as a driver of consumer behaviour.

Read more »

24 Hours With… Amanda Galmes, managing director at Fuel Communications

24_Hours_With_logo_PR24 Hours With… features the working day of some of the most interesting people in Mumbrella’s world. This week: Amanda Galmes, managing director at Fuel Communications.

Amanda Galmes

MORNINGS: The alarm goes off early, so I hit Snooze and enjoy an extra nine minutes’ sleep before getting up and taking the dog for a run or going for a swim. I’ve learned over the years that I need to make time for exercise; it is the closest I’m ever likely to get to meditation.

Post dog run, I consume as much news as I can across as many formats as possible before I leave the house: ABC News Breakfast; Instagram; SMH.com.au; and news.com.au, are my go-to sources.

Read more »

Tale of the ticker tape: How Woolworths’ recent performance follows its revolving agency issues

woolworths cheap cheapAs Woolworths beds in its third new creative agency in five years Simon Canning looks at the correlation between the marketing flux and underperformance of the supermarket chain.

Woolworths’ decision to sack its third agency in five years signals a crisis point in the future of the retailer which, while it remains dominant by virtue of its scale, is struggling to maintain brand equity and public support.

There is a curious correlation between Woolworths’ market performance and its revolving door of agencies over the past five years. Read more »

What if you created a more productive employee base by giving them time off?

In this guest post, Rachael Lonergan, head of strategy at Foundation, discusses why introducing flex time for staff to undertake exercise and mental health is an investment in her company’s future.Rachael Lonergan

Work/life balance.

Some people don’t believe in it and others think it’s unrealistic in an ‘always connected’ world. Yet there are literally millions of articles online about how to achieve this elusive concept. We really want it, but we’re not necessarily sure how to get it. Read more »

Making a media mountain from a social molehill – in defence of Aldi’s social media intern

Read more »

An Aussie Thinkbox? Nothing to think about – just do it. But who should helm it?

Tim BurrowesAustralian TV may finally be ready to market itself with one voice. It’s about time, argues Mumbrella’s Tim Burrowes.

Yesterday saw the news that the free TV industry and rivals in the subscription world look set to finally come together to promote the power of the medium.

In the bitter world of the media, it’s a bit like Collingwood and Carlton supporters getting together in the pub for a friendly drink before the game. Read more »

Clarence Mitchell: ‘I approached Madeleine McCann disappearance as a major news story’

Clarence Mitchell to open CommsCon Former BBC journalist Clarence Mitchell helped keep the story of the disappearance of three-year-old British child Madeleine McCann in the media for eight years. In this Q&A he discusses the challenges of the case, his career as a journalist and the road to launching his own communications consultancy, Clarence Mitchell Communications.

What was the most challenging part of being the spokesman for the McCann family?

There were constant daily challenges. Hourly, in fact. And at times 24/7 – for the first couple of years. Not least having to correct, rebut or balance very rapidly the initial hostile coverage that the family faced, particularly in Portuguese media. Read more »

Why APN Outdoor’s Olympics sponsorship is a big leap forward for the outdoor industry

After APN Outdoor signed a partnership deal with the Australian Olympic team, Mumbrella’s Alex Hayes sat down with APN boss Richard Herring and AOC COE Fiona De Jong to ask them what is in it for both parties?

While the new four-year deal between APN Outdoor and the Australian Olympic Committee might look, on paper, like a straight-forward media partnership, APN’s boss Richard Herring claims it is “a coming of age” for the company.

fiona de jong and richard herring apn olympics

Read more »

Overcoming the hype: the questions marketers should ask about hyperlocal geo targeting

Tim WhitfieldModern technology allows marketers to know a lot about consumers, right down to their precise location. But how accurate is most of the technology? GroupM’s Timothy Whitfield puts the technology to the test. 

Over the past few months I’ve been approached by many adtech vendors who are selling Hyperlocal Geo Targeting for mobile inventory. I’ve been suspicious of the sales people when they say things like: “We can target users with an ad for McDonald’s whilst they are standing outside of KFC.”

This all sounded a bit too good to be true so I decided to look ‘under the hood’ and put them to the test. Read more »

Data doesn’t kill creativity, it demands it

paul sinkinson

In this guest post Paul Sinkinson, vice president Analytic Partners, argues that good data demands better creativity to make it work.

I’’ve been reading more and more articles and posts about the death of creativity and many writers are naming ‘data’ as the culprit.

In the recent Mumbrella post “’Will 2016 be the year Australian creativity died?’”, marketers were divided into creativity-led marketers or data-led marketers. The data-led marketer is apparently led more by fear of failure, a mindset that translates into safer work. Read more »

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