Fairfax woes continue as results show 12% drop in ad revenue

The online world, something existing media don’t understand, is killing mainstream media as sure as low dose strychnine kills a granny.

NBR reports on the slow demise of Fairfax:

Fairfax Media’s New Zealand division posted a 12% drop in first-half earnings as the publisher of and the Dominion Post, Press and Sunday-Star Times newspapers said gains in its online revenue didn’t offset the ongoing advertising decline in its traditional print publications.

Earnings before interest, tax, and depreciation fell to $30.3 million in the six months ended December 27, from $34.4 million a year earlier, the Sydney-based company said in a statement. Sales from its New Zealand business were down 7.4% to $181.4 million, with the dominant advertising revenue falling 9.2% to $119.8 million.

Advertising revenue was impacted by weak market conditions in New Zealand, Fairfax said in slides accompanying its earnings presentation. Supermarket, retail and employment advertising declines were offset by strong performance in real estate and health, it said.

The New Zealand division increased digital revenue 43% without disclosing any detail. It also said its flagship website retained its top spot among domestic websites, lifting its unique audience 4.6% to 1.8 million in January from the same month a year earlier, ahead of online auction site Trade Me, a former Fairfax subsidiary, which posted a 9.4% decline to 1.7 million. Rival news service, owned by APN News & Media, increased its audience 22% to 1.5 million.

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Toyota caved to a bunch of whinging prats who wouldn’t buy a ute anyway

The outrage brigade are at it again, this time it is Toyota who have caved to the whingers on Facebook and Twitter.

A new Toyota Hilux commercial which attracted backlash on social media will no longer be screened, effective immediately.

Toyota New Zealand made the announcement on Sunday saying the decision reflected feedback from members of the public who had been offended.

In the ad, animals are shown to look forward to death at the hands of hunters if it means they get to ride on the back of a Hilux.

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Social Media message for Muslim women

A reader sent me this video. He says…

Social marketing that has been widely circulated in the middle east in the last week

Possibly over-scripted by western standards and not really as brave as it looks, as it really only reflects change that is already happening

But perhaps a surprise for those who don’t live in the region



The video looks like a positive step in the right direction for Muslim women from the Middle East but will it drive change? Personally I don’t believe that hash tags or feel good social media campaigns have any real power.They make people feel good and create an illusion that change is happening.

I was curious as to the origin of the #GirlsCan campaign so I googled it. Which Middle Eastern country do you think it originated from?

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Sponsored Post – Glowing jelly experiment

Apparently “Little Kitchens” is a thing…since my kids are 17 and 19 I have no idea what it is on about.

I’m sure some of you readers are being pestered by your demanding little kids to get this thing or that thing…learn to say No.

How long has Snakk Media got?

I have been closely following Derek Handley and his latest imminent failure Snakk Media.

This guy is a shameless self-promotor who usually starts conversations like Pearl Going does, by mentioning that he once worked with Richard Branson, or held his dick while he took a leak on an island or some other inane story.

But it looks like Snakk Media has had a gutsful of poor performance.

Snakk Media [NZX: SNK] founder Derek Handley will step down as chairman of the mobile advertising technology company by the end of the year in a wider boardroom shuffle.

Mr Handley, whose interests own about 15% of Snakk, will leave the board of the firm he co-founded in 2010, and Michelle Kong will retire after the September 16 annual meeting, the company said in a statement.

Their exit is part of a boardroom rejuvenation, which will install Australian cloud hosting business Macquarie Telecom’s chairman, Peter James, as executive chairman. He will be based in Sydney along with chief executive Mark Ryan. Broadfield Advisory principal Martin Riegel was appointed to Snakk’s board in June.   Read more »

How the PPTA should have spun it *UPDATED

Living with a Master of the so called ‘ Dark Arts ‘ or ‘Spin Doctor,’ I have learned a lot about how to frame a situation. This skill is in great demand in advertising and in politics because it is the difference between a product or situation looking positive or negative. In its dishonest form it is called Propaganda because the spin contains lies, cherry picked statistics and omissions of pertinent facts. At its best it simply highlights the truthful positives of the product or situation.

The PPTA in their stance on Charter schools have gone for a very negative and adversarial approach. They have deliberately used statistics that don’t compare apples with apples when talking about funding of Charter Schools for example.They have told all sorts of lies, spun all sorts of stories and tried to destroy the people involved in the new schools. However the worm is starting to turn and the public are starting to see through the negative spin. Labour Party MPs are even defying Andrew Little on the issue by giving their personal support to Maori Education regardless of who provides it.

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Let’s see the commitment of the DomPost editor to no ads on Sunday

To prove how commercially stupid the DomPost editor is and demonstrate the contempt they hold their shareholders’ interest in this organisation that survives on advertising, he thinks it’s a great idea having a Sunday ad ban.

The Government is widening its attack on commerce-free Sundays and public holidays. It moved to allow Easter Sunday trading, and now it wonders whether to scrap the ban on broadcasting advertisements on Sunday mornings and at Christmas and Easter.

The arguments are the same – why persist with these odd exceptions to the all-pervasive rule? – but the politics are different. Plenty of voters want to be able to shop on Easter Sunday. Very few want more ads on TV. Making advertisements truly wall-to-wall throughout the year might make for “consistency”. The viewer’s irritation would also increase.

In this case the tiny religious lobby is backed by a great secular majority. All can unite against the final victory of commercial yawp.

The DomPost editor could make a start by committing to remove all ads from Fairfax sites on Sundays as well as from the Sunday Star Times. This would be a strong move against “commercial yawp”.    Read more »

Open letter to New Zealand news website publishers


Good morning.

Why do your videos auto-play?   Or essentially autoplay because it occupies most of  my small screen and simply moving the mouse over it starts it playing?

Yes, I know I can stop them from doing so if I’m quick enough, but it is damn unfriendly to have to do so.  And sometimes, when the page on your web site is launched from a link in email, or social media, or an RSS reader, the page may get launched but it isn’t the one I’m on.

Apart from the fact I have to manually stop it from playing, and apart from the fact that I’m sometimes not aware I have to do so, and sounds starts blaring out of my gear unexpectedly, and apart from that being inappropriate in certain settings, there is still one more problem with this.

In this country our mobile data plans are far from generous.  And we do a lot ‘while on the go’.  What bugs me even more than all the issues mentioned so far, is that your video starts buffering and eating my mobile data plan without me being aware of it.   By the time I’ve caught it, half and sometimes all of the video has downloaded and I’ve lost valuable data, that incidentally I pay for, to your bad manners.   Read more »


The noose is tightening for women in Morocco and America

In Morocco women’s rights are under attack. How long will it be before they share the same fate as the women of Iran and Afghanistan?


Hundreds of lawyers have mobilised to defend two women in Morocco who are being prosecuted for indecency after wearing “tight” summer dresses in a souk.

The two young women, hairdressers aged 19 and 23 who worked in the nearby city of Agadir, were harassed by a group of traders as they walked through the market in the town of Inezgane.

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The Whaleoil Supreme Sugar Award goes to…

The sugar debate is an interesting one. It’s now full of troughers so high on their own sense of importance that they lose their rag when people take them on.


They call it #DirtyPolitics.

But this new Whaleoil Award doesn’t actually go to a trougher sitting in Otago University’s Department of Troughers in Wellington – tempting as it may be.

No, this award goes to a successful businessman. A man so rat-shit cunning he uses the obesity troughers’ conferences to run hits against the fizzy drink industry.

The strategy is simple. Wind up as much noise as possible against a competitor so that they end up buying your business just to shut you up.

To help with this #DirtyPolitics strategy, this man also ran print ads in the Herald on behalf of Australian class-action lawyers calling for a class action against Coca Cola and Frucor – and then claimed he had never heard of them.

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