IN THE PAPERS: Digital pirates and gongs for media

marketing-press-december-15Highlights from today’s media sections

The Australian

Digital theft: Media agencies have hit on a neat scheme for grabbing high value digital eyeballs on the cheap, reports Lara Sinclair. She reveals that agencies take out a small ad on a premium web site – where the cost of targeting 1000 high value users could be around $50 dollars. The ad tags the visitor with a cookie which labels them as a high value visitor. Then when they visit a run-of-the-mill sit, the cookie identifies them and they can be served ads at a fraction of the price.

And media agencies are making no secret of it. Says Leigh Terry of OMD:

“We do it. From an agency perspective it’s deploying clients’ monies in the most efficient and effective fashion. We’re tasked to deliver a result, not to deliver money to publishers.”

Media glory: Meanwhile The Australian today bestows its media awards, with ABC boss Mark Scott named as media person of the year. Modestly, the Australian awards its Publishing gong to… The Australian.

Other winners include the Apple Store in the Marketing category, Dan Fill of the ABC in Digital, David Gyngell of Nine in Broadcast and John Holmes of Seven for Creative Content.

On vacation: The Oz also previews this Thursday’s AGM of the Ten Network, and reveals that CEO Grant Blackley will be skipping it for a holiday.

Sorting The West: Chris Wharton, who was named new CEO of the West Australian last week, gives his first major interview to The Australian. He admits:

“There’s no question that the place has lost its way recently. This is not something that can be fixed in a week, but it can be fixed. And it will be fixed.”

Part timer: ACP’s “Part-time Pat” Ingram also features, little more than a week after she moved into semi-retirement. In the interview, she talks up her move into an entirely editorial role on ACP’s womens mags.

Mayhem makers: And journalists should be making more trouble, says Seven Network’s Peter Meakin:

“I don’t think journalists in this country cause enough mayhem. In the words of Lord Northcliffe: ‘News is what somebody, somewhere wants suppressed. All the rest is advertising.’ I’m sorry to say that very few Australian reporters break stories and even fewer have an appetite for the sometimes unrewarding slog of investigative journalism.”

Old hat: And he’s not the only one putting the boot in. The Australian’s Michael Sainsbury has harsh words for new Fairfax boss Brian McCarthy:

“McCarthy likes to say he has ink in his veins. Wrong century. These days it is far more essential to have byte in your teeth.”

Hack attack: And Fairfax owner John B Fairfax hits back at previous coverage in the Oz with a note pointing out that accusing him of lacking a background in journalism was a tad harsh. He points to his time in the reporters room of the SMH, during the 60s; his adventures on the police rounds; his stints in the canberra Press Gallery and his two years in the Fairfax London bureau.

The Australian Financial Review

Debt deadline: Tonight’s the night for debt-addled PBL Media, reports the AFR. It says that the company , whish owns ACP Magazines, along with the Nine network’s east coast stations, will have to wait until midnight to find if its plans to repackage its $4.2bn debt will be accepted.

Seven heaven: Meanwhile, the Seven Network picked up an Olympics-driven advertising revenue share of about 40% for 2008, reports Neil Shoebridge, compared to Nine with 31% and Ten’s 29%. Among the upfront deals done so far for next year, agencies are predicting up to 35% for Nine, 38-39% for Seven and, worryingly, just 26-27% for Ten.

New look: ANZ bank is to get a new logo and change its brand positioning, the paper reports, with the work to be carried out by M&C Saatchi.

Sydney Morning Herald

Digital boost: The Government may give set top boxes to low income households to drive the takeup of digital TV. The hint comes from digital minsiter Stephen Conroy. Over the weekend he suggested that the ABC and SBS might be given extra money to help them with the digital transition.

Tourism tactics: Australia’s tourism drive wil be decided by far more than the success of an individual ad camapign, argues Julian Lee. The challenge is to development a wider strategy and invest in infrastructure, he argues.

The Age

Fabbo Fairfax?: There’s only one topic that counts at The Age at present – and that’s the travails of its owner Fairfax. The company currently features in eight of the top ten stories in its media and marketing section.


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