Initiative promotes niche audience publishers in the Forgotten Upfronts

Upfronts season is about to kick off, and IPG media agency Initiative will be getting involved this year by shining a spotlight on less visible publishers which cater to niche audiences.

The Forgotten Upfronts are open for the whole industry to attend and have been created to show off the opportunities that brands miss out on by ignoring Australian media outlets that don’t get the same fanfare as the major players.

The Forgotten Upfronts have been launched to help the industry better understand the opportunities that exist to reach new audiences, Initiative chief strategy officer, Chris Colter, said.

“I can’t tell you how many articles I’ve read over the years that cry for more inclusive planning, but the numbers show this isn’t translating into action.

“As an industry we can be so blinded by our biases, albeit unconscious, that we neglect to properly understand the opportunities that exist to reach new audiences, many with significant spending power and influence.”

Colter revealed that the event will take place twice a year. “It will be a bi-annual event that gives publishers who target neglected audiences a similar spotlight as major broadcasters to showcase the unique benefits, opportunities and solutions they provide.”

The Forgotten Upfronts will launch on 28 September, featuring publishers catering to a wide range of overlooked audiences; from NITV (First Nations), Boomtown (regional/rural), S&J (culturally and linguistically diverse), and Starts at 60 (+50’s).

The publishers will have the opportunity to share the commercial and brand gains that can be achieved by investing in the respective channels and communities.

Speaking with Mumbrella recently, Initiative national managing director, Sam Geer, said: “We know our industry loves an upfront. We love to put some shiny glitter on some things and talk about them, and talk about ourselves.

“We’re taking a different approach this year and we’re trying to highlight some of the people in the publishing community, platforms and brands that don’t get as much attention… in the indigenous community or the culturally and linguistically diverse community.

“We’ll be looking at different publications and giving them a stage and inviting the entire industry to come along and have an opinion and hear some of those stories.”

Initiative will also launch the Diversity Directory, an open-source website for the industry to search for and contact any publishers catering to smaller or niche communities. Publishers wanting to get listed should contact

Catch up on Mumbrella’s full chat with Initiative’s Sam Geer and Mel Fein, below (24:00):


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