Fairfax launches new position – Independent. Always.

Screen Shot 2013-08-23 at 10.36.00 AMFairfax has launched a new campaign celebrating the independence of its journalism.

The move comes as rival publisher News Corp steps up its campaign against Labor and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

The full page ad ran across Fairfax Media titles including The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age today.

The organisation has also revealed a new tagline: “Independent. Always.”

In a statement, Fairfax Media CEO Greg Hywood said: “Fairfax’s greatest strength as a news organisation is its independent journalism. Our audiences want it. They value it. Others won’t and can’t deliver it.”

The copy was written in-house, rather than by Fairfax’s usual agency of Whybin\TBWA. At the time of posting, Fairfax had not responded to questions about who wrote it.

The copy from the ad:

fairfax on independence

The move comes the day after the company revealed its annual financial results which showed revenues had dropped again, but there were early signs of digital subscriptions being taken up since its paywall for smh.com.au and theage.com.au launched in July.

fairfax ad


  1. Paul Eveleigh
    23 Aug 13
    12:26 pm

  2. ‘Seek out the truth’: no specifics. Just fluff.
    No copywriter worth their salt punches out an ad full of motherhood statements. Who’ll search for the true author of this ad?

  3. Robbo
    23 Aug 13
    12:54 pm

  4. ‘We might all think the same way, and we might all vote Green, but by God, we’re doing it independently…”

  5. Glenn Mabbott
    23 Aug 13
    2:26 pm

  6. It’s almost 30 since I created ads for Fairfax titles, from the SMH to the Fin Review at indepenndent creative agency MN&C. All of them were based on compelling human insights, told with a creative leap. Even though we often only had an hour or two to get a radio script approved for the lead Saturday feature, we still managed to win a swag of awards.

    Obviously the new improved fast moving digital era Fairfax sees more value in giving an ad brief to an in-house journalist. I assume the briefs for award winning journalism are being outsourced.

  7. not really surprising
    23 Aug 13
    2:37 pm

  8. The last round of work looked like it had the clients hands all over it and now they have just decided it’s easier to make the stuff themselves.

    Like almost everything they turn their hand to recently, utter dribble.

    And the art direction! I nearly fell of my train seat when I turned the page.

  9. TheFacts
    23 Aug 13
    7:29 pm

  10. Much prefer this to the ‘Know no boundaries’ campaign which didn’t even make sense. I think now is a good time to emphasise commitment to independence with the Murdoch press, led by the Tele, more partisan than ever. The art in the ad above looks average but I do like the ‘Independent. Always’ text they have added underneath the print masthead, as of today. Good font too

  11. tom
    23 Aug 13
    8:06 pm

  12. Look at you guys, pouring shit on Fairfax because they had the temerity to not use an ad agency. Get off your high dudgeon will ya, ya poor things.

  13. Glenn Mabbott
    23 Aug 13
    8:40 pm

  14. Gee Tom, are you a journo whose sources are Twitter feeds or a marketing manager who gets their marketing insights from chat rooms and art direction from 99 Designs? I doubt you’re a copywriter, advertising is the art of communication and juxtaposing shit with high dudgeon isn’t going to resonate with your target audience here.

    I simply speculate, if Fairfax wants to fill an ad space (assuming the business has a fixed costs/overhead/lost-sales opportunity/inventory and /management head-hour value and the journo/art department head hours are factored in) experience would predict pre-campaign benchmarking and post research would show a low ROI for this effort.

    In the absence of access to such independent results tracking, I look forward to seeing a huge lift in circulation and ad sales as an alternative way to make a final judgement, I suspect we will simply see another example of the UNpower of mediocre advertising.

    Smart managers outsource to specialists, perhaps Fairfax thinks they can only maintain independence by keeping everything in-house.

  15. DS
    23 Aug 13
    10:13 pm

  16. I love Fairfax’s independence. Especially their glowing paid advertorial of the NBN recently…

  17. Jabba
    23 Aug 13
    10:26 pm

  18. Makes me think of The Independent.
    Not a bad concept though.

  19. Eh?
    23 Aug 13
    10:58 pm

  20. I don’t object to them not using an ad agency (I don’t work for one) but the art direction is truly woeful (it’s circa 1970) I’m not sure the copy even makes sense.

    When they say “what of media organisations?” do they mean what of other media organisations? Because Fairfax surely is one.

  21. Trevor
    24 Aug 13
    2:27 pm

  22. I like what tom wrote – enough said.

  23. Encyclic!
    24 Aug 13
    5:46 pm

  24. it’s either out of high dudgeon, or off a high horse :p

    I think it looks great! Nice little stab at Murdoch Limited.

  25. Hoin
    25 Aug 13
    11:19 am

  26. Nice to hear about Fairfax’s “independence” when they indulge in endless copy sharing which includes printing in The Canberra Times articles from Herald journalists saying what a hole Canberra is.

  27. Andrew
    25 Aug 13
    11:56 am

  28. This seems an old idea told badly, I fear. I so wish that Fairfax was better than this.