The Herald and their Whaling Crusade

An email from a reader.

I’ve been following your ongoing stoushes with the Herald with interest. What’s been puzzling me for some time is why the Powers That Be at the Herald would allow their employees to keep putting the paper’s reputation at risk by publishing what can only be described as tabloid journalism.

Part of the reason, I concluded, is that the paper’s owners, APN, are safely offshore, across the Tasman, and happy to allow business as usual as long as the money keeps flowing.

So is it? I compared the oldest earnings report I could find, pre-APN-ownership (1999), when Tony O’Reilly’s Independent Media Ireland reported earnings from NZ operations of 28 million Euros EBITDA (approx. NZ$56 million at the exchange rate at the time).

Last fiscal, APN reported NZ EBITDA of A$53 million (call it NZ$59 million).

So – earnings up 5% in 15 years. Not great, but no doubt it looks pretty good in the context of a disintegrating newspaper industry.

So how is the Herald (the largest single item in the APN NZ portfolio) managing to sustain this revenue stream?

I’ll let you into a little secret: it’s not from circulation revenues. I’ve compiled a year-by-year chart¬†of the Herald’s circulation over the last 15 years (the numbers aren’t perfect because the newspaper industry is quick to sweep its past under the rug, preferring that you focus only on the last couple of years of numbers, not see them in historical context — but Google is my friend, enabling me to find at least one number for each year).

herald-circulation Read more »

Couldn’t Labour find a NZ classroom for their photos?

The NZEI are staunch supporters of the Labour party, even helping them write their education policy.

You would think that Labour would have been easily able to source a Kiwi classroom image for their election messaging wouldn’t you?

Here is David Cunliffe pushing his lie about removing school fees.

The background photo isn‚Äôt from a Kiwi classroom. ¬† Read more »

Increasing business by kicking the RSA in the shins? I don’t think so

Mohamed Hassan reports on a business running derogatory radio ads about the RSA

A “tongue-in-cheek” radio advertisement about RSA food has prompted anger at an Auckland bar.

The Ponsonby Social Club was accused of making “untrue and defamatory statements”, following an ad campaign claiming the food provided at Returned Serviceman’s Associations was less than desirable.

The ad, which ended its run six weeks ago, said food at the venue was “kinda like the RSA, but without the chewy meat and overboiled veges”.

A listener filed a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) defending the quality of the food served at RSA establishments, and saying the advertisement was offensive.

Ponsonby Social Club said it was “surprised” by the complaint, because it intended the ad to be “tongue-in-cheek”and did not expect anyone to be offended.

It had moved on to a different campaign, and would not be running the ad again, it said.

What next? ¬†Picking on kindergartens and Age Concern socials? ¬†What’s wrong with these people? ¬† Read more »

This is the post that Travis dreads every month

First of the month means we get to look at our “ratings” for the previous month and do a bit of self promotion. ¬†And like any decent Kiwi bloke, Travis hates it. ¬†Just score the try and walk humbly back to the 22 and wait for the conversion looking stoic and staunch.

So to help Travis and all the other Pinetree Meads types out, let’s not go on about how we’re first, and how Whaleoil does more visits and pageviews by itself than the next 200 odd blogs added up. ¬†(oops – there I go again).


That’s a familiar picture. ¬†However, let’s look up, instead of down. ¬† Read more »

Creative advertising can still break down barriers

So much for supporting Kiwis, Labour falls for stock image trap again

David Cunliffe is a disgrace…for a start Labour passed a law that abolished youth wages, then we had a global financial crisis where those on the margins in employment, like youth get caned.

But while he is professing to support Kiwis he, or more precisely the fools in his office, has grabbed a stock image that is nothing whatsoever to do with Kiwis, youth or otherwise.

A search on TinEye reveals lots of versions of the same image.¬† Read more »

Press releases masquerading as news

Having been in charge of a newspaper, I can recognise the modus operandi of a press release based “news” article a mile away. ¬†First you receive the press release, and then they phone you trying to get you to run a story about it.

Never worked on us, but it seems Sarah Harvey was happy enough to become a shill for the rapacious insurance industry and compromise her paper along with it so she could appear as if she has done some really cool investigative work.

Here’s some of her Pulitzer prize winning stuff

A sharp drop in the number of people taking out health insurance has prompted warnings public hospital waiting lists will spiral as baby boomers hit retirement age.

The drop-off in private health insurance comes as premiums rise, despite aggressive campaigning from New Zealand health insurance market newcomers NIB and a push to keep older people on health insurance.

Roger Styles, chief executive of the Health Funds Association, which represents insurers, said the number of people with health insurance sat just under 30 per cent of the population or 1.3 million – a decline of about 13,000 since 2012 and the lowest number in at least the past decade.

This compares with about 55 per cent of the population in Australia, where insurance is compulsory for high-income earners, but only about 11 per cent in the UK, which operates a free national health system.

The number of people waiting for surgery sat at about 33,000 in June last year, a similar number to 2009. It has spiked as high as 38,000 in 2011.

Styles said health insurance numbers generally followed economic cycles but an ageing population was also having a marked effect – fewer people over 65 have health insurance and that was increasingly the case because of high premiums past retirement age.

Blah Blah Blah…

So here is the press release that makes it look like Sarah Harvey took the time to investigate the Health Insurance industry and tracked down people to interview. ¬† Read more »

Five great things to do on a sunny Auckland weekend – Whaleoil edition

In ¬†line with this post a few hours ago, I thought I’d give it a spin.

Five Great things to do in Auckland.  On a weekend, if you like.  Weather really not relevant.  Or not in Auckland.  Just five great things to do.


1.  Read Whaleoil

That was easy, obvious and also shameless. ¬†Which is everything Whaleoil stands for. ¬†It’s a guilty pleasure for some, an Instruction Manual for Life for others.

2. Trap, optionally kill, feral cats.

Or any cat. ¬†Just make sure you take the collars off first. ¬†Wouldn’t want to be able to link the bodies to owners after the fact.

3. Yell at PD workers. ¬† Read more »

Five great things to do on a sunny Auckland weekend

That’s the article headline in the NZ Herald.

Do you want to know what these 5 things are?

I bet you want to know…

5 things to do in Auckland, not anywhere else presumably, specifically Auckland, and it appears good weather is part of the deal.

Ready? ¬† Read more »

Whaddaya mean racist bro?

Apparently an ad for vacuum cleaners is racist.

The NZ Herald reports:

Vacuum cleaner retailer Godfreys has withdrawn a television advertisement after multiple complaints of racism.

The television advertisement promoting a 50 per cent off weekend sale featured a white man wearing a wig.

The ad stated, in part: “aww hey Bro, this one’s bigger than Kim Dotcom’s chilly bin aye … Godfreys heaps big sale … Aww bro this one’s bigger than Gerry Brownlee’s undies aye … Aww it’s heaps big, choice.”¬† Read more »