TODAY’S PAPERS: Myer’s mega spend; is Naked lying again?; Haymarket treads water; Today Tonight offended by bad journalism

papers-feb-1-2009It’s been a mere seven weeks’ holiday for the daily papers’ media and marketing sections, but they’re back today.

The Australian

Simon Canning has the biggest story of the day, with the news that Myer has developed the sort of advertising initiative that anyone in the industry would love to hear – a recession-busting doubling of its marketing budget of the next three months.

“Project Bullseye” is what Canning describes as “one of the most complex and ambitious marketing initiatives ever adopted by the retailer”.

The plan involves a deal with the Seven Network, Austereo, Fairfax and News Ltd for reduced ad rates, while 165 suppliers to the department store are underwriting half of the cost of the campaign.

Meanwhile, Naked Communications has lied again over the girl in the jacket video, reports the paper. Citing Mumbrella’s interview with CEO Mat Baxter last week in which he categorically denied that the agency played any part in the press finding out about the video, the paper says that’s not true. It produces an email tip-off from a woman it says was doing freelance PR work on the campaign.

Haymarket Media’s owner Lord Heseltine, who was in Sydney last week, talked to The Oz. He said the company – which publishes ad journal Campaign and marketing web site Brand Republic – is  “treading water” until the world economy improves. He ruled out pursuing his long-held ambition of buying B&T magazine if the sale of Reed Business Information goes back on the market.

DMG Radio – owner of Nova and Vega – has been annoyed by the early launch of Austereo’s Radar Radio, the Oz reports. It quotes program director Dean Buchanan describing it as “an attempt to deflect attention away from what Nova’s been doing”.

Craig McPherson, executive producer of Seven’s Today Tonight show gives the media a lecture in journalistic standards:

“We deliver our national audience 1500 stories each year. Sure, we are not perfect. We get the very odd story wrong, but our viewers give us the tick in terms of relevancy. Not the intelligentsia of the media. They don’t watch us. They just criticise. It’s unfounded … biased … unfair … but, hey, it’s only Today Tonight.”

And M&C Saatchi won the most new business last year, reports Lara Sinclair. Based on figures from Agency Register’s Peter McDonald, M&C Saatchi picked up $157m of new business including the Qantas loyalty scheme. Next came DDB who picked up Tourism Australia and McDonald’s among its $134m of new biz.

The newspaper also returns to the subject of online ad retargeting – where brands run an ad once on an expensive site, use it to tag the high value audience, then serve the ads to them again when they go to cheaper sites. It reports that publishers including Fairfax are changing their terms and conditions to try to prevent the practice, championed by media agencies including OMD, PHD and Universal McCann. Fairfax Digital head of media Pippa Leary says:

“We think it’s incredibly unethical re-selling an audience while not being the publisher. It’s not sustainable. We’re not going to be able to pay to create that content.”

The Australian Financial Review

Things are looking tough for Ten, says Neil Shoebridge. He reports that the Ten Network faces a further decline in its advetising market share, to below 28%.

A survey of marketers by Group M, the buying arm of WPP’s media agencies, returned pessimistic results, reports the paper. It says that 67% of them “were apprehensive or very apprehensive about the Australian economy”.

The Nine Network has commissioned research similar to Q Scores, that measures engagement with programmes. The Farmer Wants a Wife scored most highly, followed by RPA, Domestic Blitz , rugby league and, apparently, Australia’s Funniest Home Videos.

Two big media pitches are nearing completion, says the AFR. It reports that Initiative, Mitchells, PHD and Ikon are waiting to hear if they’ve won Fairfax, while Universal McCann and Mitchells are among those chasing the Federal government’s business.


The new print edition of AdNews reveals that Host is to move into media, with BankWest as a foundation clients (see Mumbrella’s take on this here).

Sydney’s Campaign Palace has a new creative director – Cameron Hoelter, poached from Clemenger BBDO Melbourne, reports the magazine.

And online bank RaboPlus has ditched The Furnace, giving the business to Razor Group ‘s new creative arm Us.

Coca-Cola’s digital account is also up for pitch, reports Adnews, with incumbent The White Agency up against Soap, New Dialogue, Ogilvy Interactive and others.

The Sydney Morning Herald

The painfully familiar subject of the decline of newspapers is the focus of the SMH’s business section front page. It reflects the growing speculation over the depth of cuts being made at News Ltd, but also cites the positive views of media buyer Harold Mitchell that: “This is not the dying days of newspapers”.

And Facebook is planning to make money by turning itself into a vast market research panel, reports the paper.


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