Posts Tagged: media

Murdoch, I-Level and… Claudine dominate media in 2010

Vince Cable pictured in The Independent

In terms of
commercial media, 2010 was always going to be dominated by one man and one
company: Rupert Murdoch, News Corporation.

From the
outset we expected paywalls and bundled content offerings (Alesia) to be the
order of the day, but no one could have foreseen just where we find ourselves

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Does Rupert Heseltine have the look of success?

interviewing Haymarket’s chairman Rupert Heseltine this week, which touched
upon life after the recession, The Times paywall and the future of publishing,
no less, there’s one comment I’m hearing more than any other: ‘doesn’t he look
like his dad?’

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News Int paywall creates around 200,000 digital sales

months of speculation, News International has finally unveiled figures for its
paywall experiment at The Times and the Sunday Times websites;
it has generated
105,000 digital-only sales and a further 100,000 print subscribers have activated
their digital accounts, since July.

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Why News Corp really pulled the plug on Project Alesia

News Corporation has been
forced to abandon plans for its eagerly anticipated digital news platform, part
of the company’s so called ‘Project Alesia’ initiative, citing runaway costs.

As we revealed this morning, bean-counters at Rupert Murdoch’s media conglomerate
have decided to pull the plug on the year-long activity when it was
expected to be finalised.

The decision is said to be
absolute: this is not a delay, or grand standing or being placed on hold; this
an entire, dedicated News Corp UK
operation being dismantled just days before a product was due to go to market.

So what’s going on at
the media conglomerate?

Read more on Why News Corp really pulled the plug on Project Alesia…

Publishing failures unite at AOP 2010

the 9th annual AOP Digital Publishing Summit in Westminster
today proved to be something of a milestone for the UK’s media industry.

Unlike many
in the room, I remember the association’s first outing back in 2002. The dotcom
bubble had just bust and its messy entrails were still being discovered. The
room of mostly traditional newspaper and magazine publishers were still
understandably nervous about the implications of the web on their businesses.

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Newspapers benefit from the death of God

Saturday is fast becoming the new Sunday as far as newspapers are concerned, as talk of Christ is swapped for the lure of the high street.

I was reminded about the
strength of the Saturday newspaper during an enlightening interview with the
Guardian’s Tim Brooks earlier this month

GNM’s affable managing
director admitted that while consumers are losing the habit of buying
newspapers in the week, many Saturday editions are more than holding their
own, both in terms of advertising and circulation.

Over the last 10 years, the once awkward Saturday editions have
filled out to now rival the long-time bloated Sunday stalwarts.

Brooks explained the key
driver has been the rise of Sunday as the big shopping day on the high street, second now only to Saturday.

And while Church attendence continues to fall (5 years of decline charted by CofE alone), marketers have switched on to the fact that they can advertise in a paper
on a Saturday and capture people before they hit the high streets on both
Saturday and Sunday.

“You have to keep your eye
firmly on what the consumer is doing,” says Brooks. “And what the consumer is
doing increasingly Monday to Friday, is losing the habit of buying a newspaper.
The reasons for that are many, and they are not reversible, certainly not by an
individual publisher.

“Weekends are different.
People view newspaper reading at the weekend, partly at least as a reward to
themselves at the end of a busy week, and they enjoy the amplitude of print at
the weekend.”

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Martin Sorrell scores own goal with bad football metaphors

The World
Cup is over; Spain
and their total football were the worthy winners, hurrah! Now can we all drop
the bad football analogies and get back in the game?

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If Parliament hangs, so will the ad men

The next 6-8 weeks could provide the closest run election in more than a decade. If that wasn’t tantalising enough, yesterday’s announcement that the Tories had turned to their old sparring partner M&C Saatchi and pitched them against Labour’s incumbent Saatchi & Saatchi brings adland’s interest sharply into focus, adding an intriguing sideshow to the fun and games ahead.

Not that we needed an extra reason to be interested. From TV and radio, to outdoor, digital and DM, the unending stream of sloganeering, positioning, repositioning and, with a bit luck, attack-dog marketing is the kind of thing that can’t help but get the blood flowing, red, blue or otherwise.

It would be nice to think policy and ideology will ultimately decide the result, but whether it’s a ‘will the last person to leave Britain please turn out the lights’ Sun front page, a ‘Labour isn’t working’ billboard or a misplaced aside caught on camera and immortalised on YouTube, rightly or wrongly, advertising, marketing, media and PR will help shape whether we ‘vote for change’, have ‘a future fair for all’, or, choose, deep breath, ‘change that works for you – building a fairer Britain’.

Which is where this blog comes in. We’ve lined up contributors from all the main parties to help explain the strategies and creative work they hope will deliver the votes required alongside industry experts and our own correspondents to pass comment on whether the job they’re doing is hitting the mark.

We’ll be featuring the campaigns as they happen and debating the effectiveness of key moments – please add your comments and ignite the conversation.

If you have an article you’d like to post that you feel is relevant to the Red, yellow and blue blog, email me at

Rich Sutcliffe

Editor, Brand Republic

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Goodbye Media Week, it was a comic anyway

Media Week front cover

media owners and agency leaders would be forgiven for greeting news of Media
Week’s closure with initial relief on Tuesday.

It’s never
easy being watched, let alone reported on and critiqued as well. And in the current
climate, where every major launch or account win is offset by a deluge of loses and people moves, it
must’ve at times been plain annoying.

Read more on Goodbye Media Week, it was a comic anyway…

September’s here, it’s time to quit

‘The summer’s over, I’ve had time to think about it, I

want to quit,’ appears to be the mantra being followed by many high-profile media execs this month.

Recession or not, September has lived up to its billing as the month which gets headhunters hearts racing.

Today’s news that Andy Brent, group brand marketing director at BSkyB, has parted company with the pay-TV broadcaster just one year into the job, has taken many by surprise.

His departure, confirmed in an email by Jeremy Darroch, BSkyB’s chief executive, leaves a gapping hole in the management of the media and broadcasting group’s £100m plus marketing operations.

You can bet on Brent resurfacing somewhere soon.

But as unexpected as his exit is, it’s far from unusual this month. Also on the move is News International’s chief marketing officer Jeremy Schwartz, who walked out less than nine months into the top marketing role.

Let’s remember it took News Int almost six months to find Schwartz for its first overarching CMO role for The Times, The Sunday Times, The Sun, and News of The World, so it seems safe to assume News Int’s newly promoted chief executive Rebekah Brooks nee Wade was less than convinced.

The newspaper publisher is now expected to move back to its tried and tested model of having individual marketing directors responsible for each title.

Elsewhere, advertising veteran’s Daryl Fielding’s brief foray into newspapers ended abruptly on Monday, and Simon Davies is already primed to take over the role of commercial director of The Independent and The Independent on Sunday.

Despite best intentions, sometimes, things just don’t work out – ask outgoing PPA chief executive Jonathan Shephard, who has attracted widespread criticism for his 18 month spell at the association for consumer and B2B magazines.

His decision to cull the association’s events and marketing activities during what is arguably the most challenging time the magazine industry has ever faced, didn’t go down too well with many publishing members.

And Shephard’s own unique style of management and communication didn’t appear to help his cause, with many vocally against him from the outset.

Read more on September’s here, it’s time to quit…