TODAY’S PAPERS: Sport & Style – nothing to scare the advertisers; Banks steer round the ATM PR trap; Silence from the Bonds spruikers

Sydney Morning Herald

Australia’s banks may actually be on the right side of a PR issue for once, reports Maria Nguyen. She flags up the changes to ATM regulations which potentially mean more charges for customers. But Commonwealth Bank and the ANZ have already signalled their intentions not to impose charges that could risk being labelled as gouging.  

A corporate behemoth that’s been less sure-footed in its PR though is Bonds, writes Julian Lee. He highlights  the silence of the brand’s ambassadors Sarah Murdoch, Pat Rafter and Michael Clarke since the furore broke over its plans to move all of its manufacturing offshore. Pragmatically, he points out:

“All they will have to do is sit and wait for the short-term collective memory of Australians to take hold, as it inevitably will. After all, if  that has served Vegemite, Holden and Arnott’s – all of which are in the hands of foreign owners – then why not Bonds?”

Sydney is going to market itself as a racing destination to rival the Melbourne spring racing season, reports the SMH. The major clubs will invest in a unified carnival brand.

Marketing group Photon is the subject of speculation in the paper’s CBD column that’s been  quietly bubbling for the last few weeks. With the group’s share price down the pan despite reasonable results and a good portfolio, could boss Tim Hughes take it private?

paper-reviewBut the big event in today’s SMH is the launch of new glossy supplement Sport & Style, which is licenced from the French newspaper L’Equipe. And despite the downturn, the glossy advertisers have come out to play.

The first, 92-page issue includes 33 pages of ads, a mixture of luxury brands and cars. Many, many cars. It’s enough to make ACP weep.

Nik Howe – last spotted as an exec on the launch team of Time Out – pops up as the mag’s editor. And it looks as if he opened up his contacts book from his previous gig at Time Out in the UAE.

There’s a four page feature on the UAE as an international sporting venue. No doubt airlines Emirates and Etihad (owned by Dubai and Abu Dhabi) who both took out ads will be delighted that the article couldn’t find room to mention the recent controversy over the country’s refusal to allow an Israeli tennis player a visa to compete. That’s despite the article being intro’d around the tennis.

Indeed, this is certainly an advertiser-friendly environment. Another image from the same set as the cover shot of racing driver Lewis Hamilton is used in the Tag Hauer ad opposite the contents page.

Still there is an attractive reader offer – for only 50 bucks they can meet Nik Howe in person at the launch of an exhibtion of “Fairfax Media’s most iconic sporting images”.

Australian Financial Review

Austereo’s Michael Anderson warns in the AFR that the price of online advertising is plummeting . He said that consumer sites are being forced into a “commodity pricing” model because smaller sites have to automatically aggregate audiences, removing salesmanship from the process.

The Australian

The newspaper merry-go-round comes under the spotlight, with ex-SMH editor Alan Oakley slotting in as features editor on the Oz, while Michael West becomes business editor of the SMH with a brief to intergrate online and print business coverage. Meanwhile The Age’s business editor Michael Short has been moved sideways to make room for his deputy Kirsty Simpson, says The Oz.

Ten Network’s staff are being asked to shorten their working weeks and take a pro-rata pay cut, reports Nick Tabakoff. Like publisher ACP, staff are also being pressured to take easter week off.

BBC Worldwide’s $200m purchase of the Melbourne-based Lonely Planet travel guides has triggered the BBC trust to order a halt to further expansion. Critics had complained that the purchase was too far from the BBC’s core purpose.


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