Digest: Nielsen’s new challenger; ACP hotseats warm up; Suicide ethics; AFL vs the snappers; covering le Tour; Eddie’s new agency; TiVo shifts only 40,000

So that’s what she’s up to.

There’s no doubting the story of the day – it’s the next move by Jane Schulze, until recently editor of The Australian’s media section.  

She’s off to do something pretty interesting – and she’s given her former colleagues on The Oz the scoop.

The paper reports that she is a partner in a new company called Standard Media Index. The company has done a deal with every one of Australia’s 12  largest media buying agencies to supply live buying information.

As journo Lara Sinclair points out, this is goign to be a big deal, as large media owners may not welcome the transparency. And that’s not all – this will be yet another challenge for the virtual monopoly enjoyed by Nielsen when it comes to advertising data. Late last year it was revealed that Xtreme Info was nibbling at the edges with pay TV data.

No doubt for agencies, the launch will be welcome news when it comes time to renegotiate their Nielsen subs.

Lee Stephens, local boss of buying agency Carat’s parent company Aegis isn’t wrong when he describes the enormity of the achievement in getting all the agencies to sign up.

Indeed, there are a couple of decent reads in this week’s media pullout. The paper digs some more on the appointment of Helen McCabe to the editor’s chair at ACP’s Australian Women’s Weekly – or more to the point, the rapid departure of Robyn Foyster. And head honcho Lynette Phillips is pretty blunt, telling the paper:

“Robyn had 12 months. She had the opportunity to run the magazine. She had the opportunity to develop the magazine on her own.”

And Phillips has similar things to say about what went on at Woman’s Day before the arrival of Fiona Connolly: “We had a lot of just waiting for the story to come in (whereas) Fiona is breaking the stories.”

ACP’s parent company PBL is a rich vein for The Oz this week – in another decent yarn, it claims that PBL is set to dispose of its interests in website carsales.com and ticketing agency Ticketek.

The paper also tackles a trio of issues of journalistic practice, of one sort or another. There’s a thought-provoking round-up of the ethical issues of reporting teen suicides. And a report on how the AFL is set to ban agency photographers in growing row over image rights. For those interested in life on the road – literally – there’s also a good piece form SBS’s Mike Tomalaris on what it’s like covering the Tour de France.

There’s also one goody on the back page. Mark Day offers some interesting perspectives on the parallels between the financial troubles of the TV networks now and in the early 90s.

The Australian Financial Review’s marketing section has its own news too, with the tie up of ex-Starcom boss Paul Leeds, Nine’s Eddie McGuire and concert promoter Paul Dainty to launch a new sports and entertainment marketing agency called Twenty3. It should be an interesting move in what is becoming quite an exciting sector.

Next, the AFR tackles a subject I’m still puzzled by – Seven’s big investment in TiVo. According to the paper, only about 40,000 of the $700 PVRs were bought in the first year on sale. Contrast that with the 2000 new subscribers that Foxtel signed up in one day recently.

According to the local boss, the company is shifting 90-160 units per day. Even being generous, that’s less than 60,000 units a year. But the company claims in the article it will move a “conservative” 500,000 by July 2013.

I’m still struggling to see that there’s a big enough market of Australians who love telly enough to buy the box but not enough, presumably, to get Foxtel and the iQ. But there are new benefits, argues the article – soon users will be able to download online content on educational and medical services. Which will be handy for those people who love TiVo enough to get an internet connection for their box, but not enough to then buy a computer to connect it to. Still, there must be something I’m missing.

Meanwhile, the AFR’s marketing editor Neil Shoebrdge turns his attention to brands on Twitter. However, one slightly suspects that he’s not used the service much himself, discussing as he does various brands “running ad campaigns” on Twitter. There’s also an intriguing assertion that access via mobile phones “is the main way many people use Twitter”.

But that’s not to doubt his digital credentials of course. The same page reveals that afr.com is launching an online only marketing and media update on Thursdays.

Tim Burrowes


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