‘Agencies failing clients in their attitude to digital’

mark hollands

Hollands: Frustration

The outgoing boss of the industry body for newspaper publishers has accused agencies of failing to understand the digital publishing market.

The criticism came from Mark Hollands, chief executive of PANPA (the Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers Association), which is currently being merged into marketing body Newspaper Works, as he unveiled the shortlist for the organisation’s advertising awards.

Speaking about digital, Hollands said: “I would have hoped for greater progress in this area, especially among the metro and national titles.

“There is pent up frustration – in newspapers here and overseas – about the general attitude of agencies towards news publishers and their digital properties.

“Some newspapers have gone so far as to set up their own digital agency for their clients, believing that clients were not being well-served by agencies that do not understand the digital market.”

The announcement also revealed “Regrettably, no publisher put forward entries for the mobile or tablet platforms, indicating there is still work to be done in terms of creating effective advertising solutions in-house for these areas.”

Overall, the competition saw an increase in entires to 320 from Singapore, Fiji, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Australia including an increase from publications with circulations of less than 10,000 this year.

More entries were received for the digital and integrated categories, especially from regional and metropolitan papers.

Hollands said: “The quality of the work is increasing every year. It is important to remember that these awards are for in-house work only – and any entry that has had input from a creative agency is disqualified. The awards attract many titles that do not rely on agency bookings for their revenue. For those newspapers and web teams, you have to work extra-hard to win a dollar in a competitive market.”

Link to the shortlist. Winner are announced on May 10.


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