Glimmers of hope for paywalls or an optical illusion?

tim burrowes landscapeEvery newspaper and magazine in the country records a drop in print sales today. But are there a couple of tiny green shoots in digital – or is it just a trick of the light, asks Mumbrella’s Tim Burrowes

You know those astronomers who patiently watch the same distant star for months on end because every few months the brightness fluctuates fractionally, letting them extrapolate the existence of an orbiting planet?

When the quarterly audited paywall numbers come in, I think I know how those scientists feel.

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Answers for Adam: Should the budget prompt us to be more generous?

Answers For Adam

After the government passed down an belt-tightening budget Adam Ferrier asks if this act should make people more generous in sharing their wealth?

Here’s a question relevant to you the day after budget night.

The government has largely followed convention and is in the process of creating a smaller government, and freeing up corporate Australia to create more money that will then be distributed to the masses. That’s kind of the reasoning – I think. Read more »

As Fairfax cuts photographers, what price for a news picture?

In this cross-posting from The Conversation Andrea Carson of the University of Melbourne asks how far outsourcing can go with quality newspapers.

You know the adage: a picture is worth a thousand words. News photographs can capture a story’s emotion whether it is sport, politics or human tragedy. Think of the 1983 America’s Cup win. Prime Minister Bob Hawke wearing an ear-to-ear grin and that loud Australia jacket more like wrapping paper than clothing. Read more »

The Fairfax strike: what is the core of news?

Screen Shot 2014-05-08 at 12.22.54 PMToday more than 600 Fairfax staff are on strike over job cuts that would have massive impacts on the photographic and sub-editing capabilities of the publisher’s major mastheads. Nic Christensen argues that the structural factors driving print redundancies are unavoidable but the dispute also raises the question of how far a publisher can cut and remain credible.

Let’s be clear, we’ve been here before.

Much of the anger and despair we are seeing from Fairfax staff comes from the fact that it was less than two years since Fairfax management announced its “Fairfax of the Future” project, which saw 1,900 jobs slashed from the publisher with around 400 of them coming from editorial. Read more »

Consumer print may be dying, but don’t write off the trade press

With naysayers continuing to predict the demise of print Nick Green argues the trade press should not be tarred with the same brush as consumer media.

Trade media is a powerful thing, and I bet that you also read your trade media while at work – it’s probably where you are right now reading this, and it’s where I read mine. But why are we having to spend so long explaining the function of the trade press to advertisers?
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Planning in America: Silos, wanky titles and the accent

David Gaines

After taking a new role in the US late last year Brit David Gaines reflects on how agencies in that market struggle with cross-channel planning because of scale, and the rise of the digital natives.

Starting work in the USA has some parallels to when I first arrived in Australia, though for slightly different reasons.

Back then I’d been brought over as a planner at the soon to be defunct Lintas. When they rolled that into what was Merchants, I met for the first time Alan Roberston as we were all required to be re-interviewed. The conversation was particularly short: Read more »

Answers for Adam: Was the passion shown by Packer and Gyngell a good thing?

Answers_For_Adam-11-2After  a dramatic 24-hours with a fight between media execs and protest stopping a live TV show Adam Ferrier asks if this refreshing show of passion is good for society. 

So two things have happened over the last 24 hours that make we think we’re on the right track again. A bit of biffo and a protest. Read more »

Why the first brand to brain wins

While innovation is important, Ashton Bishop argues it needs to be backed up with marketing to be successful.

One of our clients just learnt the hard way about the difference between business and brand. They had a strong business, with a strong technological foundation, yet they resisted advice to invest in the brand because they didn’t see the need. Then a Chinese company reverse engineered their product and now the Chinese have ostensibly the same product only 300 per cent cheaper. It hurt. Read more »

Act your age: why online video buying should not be like TV

With online video becoming an increasingly important channel Tyler Greer argues treating it like TV risks losing its differentiation. 

The recent arrival of Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings (OCR) tracking across digital video is steering digital video down a path that more strongly reflects TV buying models. How publishers and networks respond will be interesting. Sure, taking traditional gross rating point (GRP) thinking into the online realm demonstrates how digital is finally straddling the offline buying world. But it may come at a cost. Read more »

Alcohol advertising debates need to move beyond content

Ahead of the launch of a report on alcohol marketing on Facebook tonight Sven Brodmerkel and Nicholas Carah urge the ad industry to embrace a more open conversation about the effects targeting will have on this form of advertising. 

A few weeks ago The Australian National Preventive Health Agency (ANPHA) recommended in a draft report that the Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code (ABAC) should include all forms of marketing within its self-regulatory scope.

This position has been met with opposition not only by the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) some creative industries and the alcohol industry. Mike O’Rourke from Bloke argues that culture in general, and parents’ behaviour at home in particular is much more important in shaping children’s attitude towards alcohol than advertising. He also makes the point that tighter regulation will only lead to agencies finding even more creative ways to advertise alcohol. Read more »

Stop the pirates? Behind Brandis’ copyright crusade

In this cross-posting from the Conversation Angela Daly, of Swinburne University of Technology, asks whether proposed legislation changes are really the best way to stop pirates. See more on piracy here.

Copyright has been firmly back on the agenda in recent months. We’ve seen the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) release its report on copyright which recommended that Australia adopt a “fair use” exception to copyright infringement.

Yet we’ve also seen the Attorney General, George Brandis, get more exercised about copyright piracy this month, and pledge to do something to address it: Read more »

Answers for Adam: Should marketers ignore what consumers want?

Answers For Adam This week Adam Ferrier asks whether marketers should take the success of Ikea as an example and be less focused on understanding the consumer in their quest to build great brands. 

Ikea is a worldwide success story, enjoyed my most, including myself. I have numerous Ikea items in my house – I’m guessing I always will. Read more »

Wicked Campers is showing up the Ad Standards Board

Following more rulings against Wicked Campers by the Ad Standards Board last week Alex Hayes asks whether the company will give up their shock tactic advertising any time soon.

Wicked Campers journalists and politiciansI’m thinking of writing a complaint to the Ad Standards Board about Wicked Campers.

I’ve just been on a week’s holiday in a camper van in North Queensland, and I saw one of their vans there which had the slogan “How wars start: Politicians lie to journalists, then believe what’s read in newspapers” on the back.

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Journalism’s future needs entrepreneurial ‘hackers’

MerjaThe future of the media, and in particular journalism, requires entrepreneurial ‘hacker’ journalists argues Merja Myllylahti in this cross posting from The Conversation.

The Guardian and The Washington Post have been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for their work in bringing to light documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Read more »

The Encore Score: The Logie Awards

Encore ScoreAhead of Sunday night’s Logie Awards, Amanda Meade looks at the numbers to see which celebrities might take out Australian television’s top awards. 

The TV Week Logie Awards, a celebration of Australian television, is a wild and colourful beast. Read more »

Behind the screens of the ABC’s China deal

Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 2.54.08 PM

ABC International has reasons to be proud of its recent deal to provide ABC content in a long-term partnership with China’s second biggest broadcaster Shanghai Media Group writes Wanning Sun, in this cross posting from The Conversation.

ABC International has reasons to be proud of its recent “landmark” deal to provide ABC content in China. Read more »

Should agencies return to a full service model?

Nick CleaverOur current method of separating creative and media is more expensive and less effective, leaving us with the worst of both worlds, argues 303Lowe CEO Nick Cleaver. Is it time to bring media and creative back together?

Who ever actually proved that separating media and creative services was a good idea; that it represented a better more effective model; one that could deliver better value outcomes?

The simple truth is no one. Read more »

Answers for Adam: Why do agencies struggle to build their own agency brands?

adam-ferrier-2-copyYou’ve heard the story about the cobbler whose kids got around in old shoes, it reminds me of the current state of agency brands. Grab hold of any creative agency brand, and barring two or three notable exceptions very little pulls them apart.  Read more »

 
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