Monday February 5, 2024

VOZ Total TV logo
Media agencies will continue to trade TV using TAM until 2025 or VOZ Streaming launch

By Danielle Long

Agencies will not switch to VOZ as a trading currency until it achieves gold standard certification.

Media agencies are “at least” 12 months from adopting VOZ Total TV audience reach metrics and will continue to trade and report TV ratings using total audience measurement (TAM).

Senior media agency executives told Mediaweek that agencies would not switch to VOZ as a trading currency until it achieves gold standard certification, with Q4 2024 cited by agencies as the earliest this could happen.

Last week, OzTAM launched the new measurement system for all public reporting of TV ratings. While the media and networks will now exclusively report using VOZ Total TV audience reach, media agencies will continue to trade and report in TAM while also using VOZ and other metrics.

“It’s business as usual,” said Lucy Formosa Morgan, managing director of Magna. “None of the third-party systems providers are gold standard certified yet. So, it’s not a trading currency and we’re still very much trading on TAM data. I would say for the next 12 months, it will still be business as usual, with the same methodology.”

The launch of VOZ streaming, which will use advanced measurement methodologies to assign a universal ID to every viewer behind a device, optimise frequency on BVOD, and measure deduplicated reach and frequency (R&F) with linear TV, will be the catalyst for adoption, according to Formosa Morgan.

“Once VOZ streaming comes into effect, and we’re actually looking at the data internally, then it will change or evolve. But certainly, for the short term, it’s business as usual,” said Formosa Morgan.

See also: New year, new ratings data from OzTAM: Big changes in TV audience measurement

OzTAM has yet to reveal a date for the launch of VOZ Streaming; until then, agencies will use both; however, Paige Wheaton, head of investment at Initiative, believes there will be confusion. 

“Until VOZ streaming comes into effect, it won’t change the dialogue or the conversation; it will just change how people read about it, which means that we have to educate our clients on VOZ. There’s a great opportunity for people to confuse total reach with average audience reach, and they look very different.

VOZ Total TV - Initiative - Paige Wheaton

Paige Wheaton, chief investment officer, Initiative

“It’s easy to see how a marketer could look at MAFS national reach of 2.5 million and think, “Oh my gosh, that’s massive; it used to be 1 million”. But we have to tell them, “No, it’s a different measurement and metric”. There’s an important job for us to educate clients and ensure they have access to the original reporting that we would typically provide to understand the difference because it can be confusing or misleading.”

“I think for as long as we have the ability to do so, we will be talking to both. One of the primary benefits of talking to reach is that it helps us understand the broader viewing and consumption habits of the audience at a very macro level. But what it doesn’t do is take into account the nuance that is important to agencies,” said Wheaton. 

There’s also the relevance of national reach when many marketers and brands are unlikely to buy that way. 

“If you’re a client looking at last night’s MAFS episode, for example,” said Formosa Morgan. “For it to be relevant to them, they would have had to have had a spot in every single one, in terms of metro, regional and BVOD, and chances are they haven’t.”

While media agencies support the shift to VOZ as a positive evolution for the industry, the process will not be without its significant challenges,  said Chris Androulidakis, the operations manager at PHD Australia. 

“As a metric, it is a positive change that will enable cross-media reach comparisons, which is more relevant than audience numbers.  Total National Reach will be used to report against, however figures won’t be comparable to what we are used to seeing and historic evaluations will be difficult. Available ratings reports will be very topline until the tools are fully operational with third-party suppliers.”

“The move to trading under a VOZ currency will be a complex and lengthy one as numerous stakeholders need to be engaged from clients through to auditors.  It will also fundamentally change pricing structure and negotiations and will be a lengthy and complex process.  As an agency, we have always looked at a number of data sources to validate all media channel decisions, audience segment or inventory that we look to buy against, so this isn’t changing that, and due diligence and testing will be rigorous throughout,” said Androulidakis. 

See also: VOZ on track for 2024 launch, entering final adoption phase

BYD electric cars Yango
Electric car giant BYD appoints Yango to drive brand growth through media

By Danielle Long

Yango will be tasked with media strategy, media planning and media buying for the EV giant.

BYD, the Chinese electric car giant, has appointed independent agency Yango to manage its media account to supercharge its growth in the Australian market.

Yango will be tasked with media strategy, media planning and media buying for the EV giant, which squeezed past Tesla last year to secure the largest market share globally.

Yango’s remit is to help the auto brand further bolster its market presence as consumer interest in electric vehicles continues to grow.  Last year, electric vehicle sales accounted for 7.2% of total car sales, led by Tesla and BYD.

The two brands currently dominate EV sales, accounting for two-thirds of the 87,217 electric cars sold in Australia in 2023, according to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries.

BYD is keen to build share and drive sales of its Atto 3, Dolphin and Seal models as part of the company’s goal to be a top-five auto brand in Australia, with aspirations of making it all the way to number one.

Yango will work closely with BYD to build on its core digital strategy and leverage the auto company’s unique online sales model to not only drive sales but also change the perceptions around car purchases.

Luke Povee, managing partner at Yango, told Mediaweek, “The technology is pretty disruptive, and they’ve got some pretty lofty goals for online procurement and website sales.

“Traditionally, the path to purchase in the auto industry was quite a long journey from researching online, visiting car yards and kicking tyres on Parramatta Road. It’s changing across the industry and becoming a much shorter period, however, BYD are creating an even shorter period, where you can jump onto the website, and put down a deposit for a car in only a few clicks,” said Povee.

BYD is looking to leverage the work Tesla and its owner, Elon Musk, have done to generate widespread awareness of EVs and target new audiences. BYD’s unique build-and-buy online model, which enables users to select colours, wheels, and interiors, is targeting younger, digitally native consumers who are comfortable making significant purchases online.

Nick Murdoch, managing partner at Yango, said, “They are selling cars online, and it’s a fascinating purchase funnel. The focus is very digital, and the strategy is all about doing things differently and not necessarily doing it the way it’s been done before.”

“BYD is a disruptive brand that is turning one of the world’s biggest industries on its head,” said Murdoch.  

See also: Volvo’s Electric Dreams: Can Australia’s fastest-growing luxury car transform into a sustainable brand?

VA Media
VA Media expanding its suite of YouTube channels as it commissions originals

By James Manning

VA Media’s Hannah Barnes on making My First Time and launching Luxury Living channel.

Former group general manager of Foxtel’s Lifestyle channels, Hannah Barnes, has been at VA Media for two years. The company is home to a global network of genre-based movie, TV and creator channels on YouTube, Facebook, TikTok and other AVOD streaming platforms.

Barnes, VA Media’s director of unscripted and original content, told Mediaweek her current role is very different to what she used to do in television. She spent 15 years in traditional TV with generally flat or declining audiences. “We are in growth at VA Media,” Barnes said.

VA Media has recently branched out into making its own originals. “We started off making shorts and then moved into compilations where we work with production company The Full Box.”

The production house behind Australian Crime Stories has provided content for VA Media’s True Crime Central and Australian Crime channels.

My First Time is the first VA Media original, a new LGBTQI+ 10 x 20′ documentary series produced together with 96 pieces of social content.

“That was developed in-house with two different producers. Faye Welborn was development executive to begin with. Then Carolyn Cage came on board. She worked on Queerstralia for ABC.

“One of the episodes is focused on coming out. The different coming out stories are very interesting.”

More VA Media originals coming

“We are going to double down on LGBTQI+ content because we feel there is still not enough content in that space,” said Barnes. “In Australia, there are no production companies just focusing on that.”

The LGBTQI+ channel is branded We Are Pride. It has close to half a million subscribers and has had around 14m views in the past three months.

Barnes said My First Time has been developed as a format and VA Media will be looking to commercialise the format.

“Alongside that we are also creating Australian crime content. We are also looking at movies.

“At the moment we create original movie compilations, but we are looking at what we could do in the sci-fi and horror genres.”

Growing the team

VA Media is slowly building out its talented team. “We have just hired a new content creator and we have a production coordinator, Olivia O’Brien.” When VA Media needs extra hands beyond the team it works with freelance specialists around Australia.

“One of the key things we want to do is provide another opportunity for the production community beyond what the streaming platforms and the networks are commissioning.

“We are very focused on taking Australian stories to the rest of the world. While we are based in Australia, we really want to grow our profile not just in Australia. But also the rest of the world including the US and the UK.”

“People are watching from Brazil, India, Indonesia. We aim for global rights, but we do geoblock when we can’t get all the rights we want. We focus on the top English-speaking territories.”

Living in luxury

Barnes is a specialist when it comes to lifestyle programming. She said she wanted to clearly understand the platform before expanding into other genres too quickly.

“We have launched a new channel called Luxury Living. It has a focus on high-end lifestyle content. We will be taking audiences behind the closed doors of luxury hotels and high-end interior design.” The channel won’t be delving into the DIY lifestyle space. Not yet anyway.

YouTube goes to the movies

The biggest VA Media channel is Movie Central with 4.6m subscribers. It has three movies with well over 20m views each and a long list around the 10m views mark.

In addition to We Are Pride, other unscripted channels include Documentary Central, True Crime Central, Australian Crime, Luxury Living and an as-yet-to-launch male-skewing channel.

Revenue streams

The revenue comes from YouTube monetisation via ads played during the content.

The privately-owned business has a number of shareholders and they have just enjoyed the most successful year yet in terms of views and revenue. Former music industry executive Mark Ashbridge is the CEO and Ed St John, the well-known journalist-turned-music exec, is the vice chairman.

“The decision to expand originals shows the strength and the ambitions of the business,” explained Barnes.

“We rely very heavily on licensed content and we are probably the biggest independent movie distributor on YouTube. We also license from the biggest unscripted players in the UK and Australia.

“The focus now is very much our owned and operated channels. We do still run channels for clients, like Sony, but we are focused on generating our own revenues.”

The VA Media content deals for licensed programming are revenue share agreements.

See also: Brandcast 2023 – YouTube and Google unveil its insights, new solutions and outlook ahead

Kimberlee Wells - CEO TBWA\Group Melbourne Adelaide and Global Practice Lead at Sustain\by TBWA comments on greenwashing - 5 Feb 2024
TBWA’s Kimberlee Wells warns brands could abandon sustainability in greenwashing crackdown

By Amy Shapiro

“We need the worst offenders to take the biggest measures.”

Impending government measures and industry regulations on greenwashing may cause brands to “turn inward” and reduce their investment in sustainability, according to TBWA\Melbourne chief executive Kimberlee Wells

Wells, who also heads up TBWA\Sustain, the global sustainability consultancy arm, told Mediaweek pitchforking and the core belief that brands and advertisers are “guilty” are problematic. 

“There’s a bunch of organisations that have set up now to name and shame those that are considered to be major culprits. I take a slightly different view,” she said.

“I do genuinely believe that most people don’t go into this thinking [we] want to deceive the public and sell them something that it’s not.”

The discussion surrounding trends of greenwashing in advertising intensified towards the end of last year, as industry watchdogs Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) and Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) announced their commitments to take action against the issue in 2024.

The greenwashing debate has been fueled further as advocacy body, the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA), released the exposure draft of its amended Environmental Claims Code for public commentary in January.

See also:
ASIC commits to continue greenwashing crackdown in 2024
AANA targets greenwashing practices in advertising, CEO Josh Faulks declares, “it’s critical.”

“The real issue with that is that point around how that’s likely to impede progress,” said Wells, with reference to the TBWA-coined phenomenon of perfection paralysis.” 

She continued, “I think that if we don’t have the very worst offenders stepping up to the plate and communicating at the very least their transition plan, then the progress will be slowed, because we need the worst offenders to take the biggest measures.

At the same time, Wells also highlights the consequences of brands that excel in their sustainability practices receiving an “unfair share” of attention and applause as a result of the crackdowns.

“The reason I’ve got a problem with that is that none of us are perfect at the moment. It’s been hundreds of decades of impact to the environment to get us to this point.”

“I agree with the government’s intervention; I agree with the ACCC and what the AANA are doing in terms of trying to put some guardrails in and say, if you purposefully step into this, and you arrive with the objective of deceiving, [then] that’s bad. Smack on the hand.”

“But I also believe that consumers are confused,” she added.

“Consumers are looking for somewhere to place their money, but if everyone becomes quite concerned about what it is that they say, then we leave an unmet need out in the consumer world [so] I think we have to keep talking about it.”

Ultimately, Wells is hopeful the greenwashing policies will help distinguish the brands motivated by responsibility, versus those driven solely by profitability.

But in order to achieve this, Wells stated, “some [brands] actually need to be able to communicate on the small things without fear of backlash because they haven’t necessarily got all the big things right.”

“Unfortunately, those that are going first are the ones that are being hung out to dry.”

See also: Josh Faulks: Industry needs to work with government and consumers to overcome greenwashing

Top Image: Kimberlee Wells

AIC jobs page Adam Elliott and Owen Joyce
Advertising Industry Careers partners with Mediaweek to launch jobs page

The Mediaweek Jobs page aims to help candidates connect, learn and apply for career opportunities inside the industry.

Advertising Industry Careers (AIC), the recently launched careers hub for the advertising, media, and creative industries, has partnered with Mediaweek to power a new jobs page to bolster awareness of its site. 

The Mediaweek Jobs page is the first of several initiatives by AIC as part of its mission to “help candidates connect, learn and apply for career opportunities inside our great industry,” Owen Joyce, chief operating officer at AIC said.  

The page will draw from AIC’s career hub, which aims to serve as the go-to destination for careers, training, and job information across the advertising, media, and creative industries to help people make informed decisions about their next career move.  

Joyce said, “We know that candidates research for months when they’re considering where to work, so it makes sense to make this information easy to find. We want to provide an industry career experience where quality candidates will come to find roles and that will help to increase the flow of amazing talent into their businesses in the future.

“We’re hoping a byproduct is a reduction in time to hire, turnover and recruitment costs. We have already started conversations with Uni’s and training providers, and in time, we’ll work with high schools to increase awareness of the industry.” 

Joyce told Mediaweek that despite the economic uncertainty, the industry was still flush with opportunities. 

“Some businesses have 40 or 50 roles on the go, some have one or two. We know that, like any market, it’s cyclical, which is why we strongly believe in an always-on employer brand presence; you don’t need to be invisible to candidates just because you’re not hiring today. We’re seeing strong demand for salespeople and people with programmatic skills,” said Joyce. 

The AIC launched last month with a number of major media and advertising companies on board, including Dentsu, Nine, iProspect, SCA and UM, among a host of others. 

“We’ve had a great first few weeks. We’ve had a number of great brands sign up since launch, including JustEggs, Affinity, Commercial Radio and Audio, Magnite, NP Digital and Cartology. We’ve had a lot of positive feedback, but of course, the more employers, the merrier.”  

“We hope these initiatives demonstrate our commitment to making a positive difference and will encourage more brands to see that our hearts are in the right place and come on board with us.” 

See also: Advertising Industry Careers (AIC) launches go-to site for jobs in the media and advertising industries

Triple M proves that Aussie rock and Taylor Swift go together All Too Well

Triple M has collaborated with some of Australia’s most well known rock artists to cover Swift’s hits

With Taylor Swift’s imminent arrival down under for The Eras Tour, Triple M is proving that Australian rockers are not immune from Swiftie fever. 

In a tribute to Swift, Triple M has collaborated with some of Australia’s most well known rock artists to cover some of her hits for Triple M Versions.

Musicians involved include Paul Kelly, Ian Moss, The Screaming Jets, Sarah McLeod, Diesel and Birds of Tokyo.

Kicking off on Monday 5 February, with a new cover dropping each weekday until Wednesday 14 February, fans can catch the covers by tuning in to the Triple M Breakfast show in their local city or by streaming Triple M live on LiSTNR.

The schedule of covers is: 

Paul Kelly – Anti-Hero – Monday 5 February
The Screaming Jets – We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together – Tuesday 6 February
Sarah McLeod – Wildest Dreams – Wednesday 7 February
Diesel – This Is Me Trying – Thursday 8 February
Ian Moss – Style – Friday 9 February
Birds of Tokyo – Blank Space – Monday 12 February
British India – You’re on Your Own, Kid – Tuesday 13 February
Joe Camilleri with Melbourne Ska Orchestra – I Knew You Were Trouble – Wednesday 14 February

Host of Triple M Nights and lead singer of The Screaming Jets, Dave Gleeson, said: “Taking on the challenge of covering Taylor Swift’s banger We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together and fusing it with the sound of The Screaming Jets was a blast. Reimagining this song for Triple M was an unexpected start to 2024, but the outcome is something that our Triple M listeners can 100% get on board with.”

Head of Triple M metro content, Matthew OReilly​, said: “The Triple M Versions are an outstanding collaboration of some of Australia’s best rock artists with some of the world’s most popular songs, resulting in something completely unique to Triple M and Australia. We are pumped to present these never-before-heard covers and join the celebrations of the Australian leg of Taylor Swift’s iconic tour.”

The Triple M Versions can be heard across the entire Triple M network and by streaming Triple M live on LiSTNR.

See Also: Ratings champ: Is Triple M’s Roo, Ditts & Loz Australia’s best FM breakfast show?

New Pacific MD for NielsenIQ (NIQ) and increased focus on consumer panel

New roles at NIQ for Megan Treston and Pete Sheridan.

NielsenIQ (NIQ) has announced two key leadership changes in the Asia Pacific region.

NIQ’s Pacific managing director Megan Treston will transition to a regional role as APAC Consumer Panel Service (CPS) product lead.

Treston will assume this role in the Consumer Panel space, after a 25-year history at NIQ and within the industry.

Commenting on the appointment, Treston said: “2024 is a huge year for NIQ’s Consumer Panel product and our clients. This new role will allow me to focus investments and innovations into the areas which clients need the most – such as omnishopper – and develop unmatched capabilities via product developments that will significantly benefit our clients.”

Taking over from Treston, Pete Sheridan has been confirmed as the company’s new managing director, Pacific. Sheridan will oversee NIQ’s combined FMCG, tech and durables businesses across the Pacific.

Sheridan is co-founder of a consumer measurement business where he played a crucial role in building a competitive data and analytics business across APAC, UK, South Africa, and Canada.

In the last three years, Sheridan ventured into the technology startup landscape within the agriculture sector. He then joined NIQ at the close of 2023, bringing his experience, strategic leadership skills and passion for emerging technologies and data.

Sheridan added, “I’m excited to lead the Pacific business as we bring together the incredible strength of our people and our products across FMCG, technology, and durable sectors. It’s an exciting time to be at NIQ as we continue to bring new insights and capabilities to our clients, and I look forward to working closely with our Pacific clients.”


About NIQ

NIQ brands itself as the world’s leading consumer intelligence company, delivering the most complete understanding of consumer buying behaviour and revealing new pathways to growth. In 2023, NIQ combined with GfK, bringing together the two industry leaders.

Initiative Melbourne - Steph O'Donnell
Initiative Melbourne welcomes Steph O'Donnell as head of investment

O’Donnell has ten years of experience in media investment, having held senior roles at Carat, Spark Foundry, Match Media and Starcom.

Initiative Melbourne has appointed Steph O’Donnell as head of investment, joining Melbourne’s Senior Leadership Team and reporting directly to chief Partnerships & Investment officer Paige Wheaton.

O’Donnell will be tasked with crafting and leading the investment product across the entire investment ecosystem, leveraging the agency’s strengths and products to create value for clients.

Wheaton welcomed O’Donnell’s appointment and said that as the agency’s investment products continue to evolve to meet market demand, it was imperative that Initiative sought talent with a unique balance of technical investment capability coupled with a strategic mindset.
Wheaton said: “We have found that in Steph, her market reputation reflects our desire to hire the best talent in market.  Steph is already an established leader; the depth and breadth of her media partnerships are legendary, and her passion and genuine desire to produce unique and best-in-class work sets us up for success in driving Initiative’s investment product into the future.
“Steph will be a critical partner to me, and her strategic acumen and counsel will undoubtedly play a pivotal role on our senior leadership team.”
O’Donnell, who was previously VIC group investment director at Carat, has ten years of experience in media investment, having held senior roles at Spark Foundry across both Sydney and Melbourne, and before that, Match Media and Starcom.
O’Donnell said she was looking forward to joining the agency at a transformative time and working alongside Wheaton and MD Sarah James.

She said of the Initiative Melbourne team: “They are an ambitious team with a hunger to lead the market in product and processes and are poised to take advantage of Melbourne’s burgeoning market.
“I’m excited to develop Melbourne’s investment team and our product and at the same time elevating our media partnerships and producing outstanding client campaigns. It’s an exciting time to join the agency,” O’Donnell added.

Top image: Steph O’Donnell

Stan - Windcatcher starring Jessica Mauboy
First look: Jessica Mauboy stars in the new Stan Original Film, Windcatcher

The heartwarming family film premieres on March 28 only on Stan.

Stan and the Australian Children’s Television Foundation (ACTF) have released the trailer for the upcoming Stan Original Film Windcatcher, starring Australian singer, songwriter and actress Jessica Mauboy.

The heartwarming family film, premiering March 28 only on Stan, also introduces Lennox Monaghan.

Set in a small country town, the film follows the unlikely friendship between Percy Boy, newcomer Keithy Cobb and the spirited Daisy Hawkins as they band together to take the local school sports day title from a group of grade-five bullies. 

Stan - Windbreaker

Lisa Maza as Aunty Prue and Jessica Mauboy as Aunty Cressida

But as Percy Boy trains with the help of his mates, he then discovers his supernatural ability to see Lost Souls – a gift passed down from his grandfather. Percy Boy must overcome his fears, prove his resilience and become a force to be reckoned with.

Written by Boyd Quakawoot (Stan Original Series Black Snow, Black Comedy) and directed by Tanith Glynn-Maloney (AACTA award-winning Finding Jedda, She Who Must Be Loved), Lennox Monaghan is joined by Max Turner (F.A.N.G (From A Nearby Galaxy)), Coco Greenstone (I Am Woman), Kelton Pell (Mystery Road: Origin), Pia Miranda (Looking for Alibrandi), Ngali Shaw (The Twelve), Jessica McNamee (Mortal Kombat) and Lisa Maza (Wentworth). 

The Stan Original Film Windcatcher is Stan’s first co-commission with ACTF since their landmark partnership, with major production investment from Screen Australia, ACTF and in association with VicScreen.

Stan - Windbreaker

Lennox Monaghan as Percy Boy and Max Turner as Keithy Cobb

The first partnership between ACTF and a streaming service in Australia, the Stan and ACTF initiative brings exciting, feature-length live action projects to the screen for families and young audiences across Australia. 

See also: Stan announces partnership with the Australian Children’s Television Foundation

From Unless Pictures and Every Cloud Productions (Eternus Group Company), the Stan Original Film Windcatcher is produced by Meg O’Connell (Upright S2, Retrograde) and Drew Grove (Stan Original Films A Sunburnt Christmas and Christmas Ransom).

Executive produced by Bernadette O’Mahony for ACTF, and Cailah Scobie, Donna Chang, and Rachel Okine for Stan. Major production investment from Screen Australia and ACTF in association with VicScreen, the Post Lounge, and Stan. Developed with the support of the Queensland Government through Screen Queensland. ACTF will handle worldwide distribution. 

Top image: Jessica Mauboy, Lennox Monaghan and the cast of Windcatcher

IMAA and ThinkNewsBrand
IMAA and ThinkNewsBrands unveil Publishing & News101 education module

The module marks the first in the IMAA Academy’s education program to be delivered in 2024.

IMAA and ThinkNewsBrands will launch its Publishing & News101 learning module at an in-person training and certification event, the first in the IMAA Academy’s education program to be delivered in 2024.

The e-learning module will explore the nation’s dynamic publishing and news media landscape, particularly the rise of multifaceted offerings across various platforms, including printed news, news websites, news apps, and category content publications.

The module offers participants insights into the advantages of leveraging the nation’s diverse news and publishing channels alongside essential measurement tools and strategies for planning, buying, and booking news media.

Publishing & News101 is the latest course in the IMAA Academy’s eight-part education program, which launched last year. It is a collaboration between the association and ThinkNewsBrands, the industry body for Australia’s premium news publishing producers.

The event, which launches on February 8 at News Corp Australia headquarters in Sydney, promises engaging discussions with experts such as Kerry Warren, editor, Blackburn, director commercial data video and product at News Corp Australia, Aimie Rigas, director of audience development – Publishing at Nine, and Jakeb Waddell, sports editor, Seven West Media (WA).

Attendees will undergo group learning sessions and receive certification on completion of the Publishing & News101 module, along with other benefits, including professional portrait photos.

Moreover, the module features insightful case studies from leading brands, including Tourism NT, CommBank, and Blackmores, highlighting their successful strategies and outcomes using news publishing media.
IMAA CEO, Sam Buchanan, cited Roy Morgan research that found 20.8 million people read general news. “That’s a whopping 96% of the population. Additionally, at least 75% of Australians read category specific sections like property, sport, lifestyle and entertainment, so it represents a huge potential advertising market,” he said.

“News and publishing sites continue to be a source of truth among Australians, with many investing deep trust in the nation’s leading publications.”

“For brands, news and publishers offer unmatched reach and reliability to drive awareness, and an ability to engage audiences with long dwell times and higher mental availability. Plus, their omnichannel offering offers a depth and breadth of advertising across multiple platforms and audiences. We anticipate that the Publishing & News101 module reaffirms the importance of this sector in 2024,” Buchanan added.

Vanessa Lyons, CEO of ThinkNewsBrands, emphasised the significance of education and professional development within the industry and said: “The Publishing & News101 module underscores the importance of fostering knowledge and expertise within the media industry, empowering professionals to navigate the evolving landscape of publishing and news.”

Lou Barrett, managing director National Sales, News Corp Australia, said embracing education is crucial and the module will empower young industry professionals with valuable insights into the dynamic world of publishing and news.

“At News Corp Australia, we believe in the importance of fostering knowledge and expertise, and this initiative aligns perfectly with our commitment to continuous learning.”

Brent Stewart, chief sales pfficer, Seven West Media, added: “It’s incredibly important to us to support education and development within the industry, and to have one of our key editorial talent and sport editor, Jakeb Waddell speak on the panel at the upcoming event. We look forward to bringing this opportunity to Western Australia in 2024.”

Jo Clasby, Nine’s director of Sales – Publishing, said: “Nine has a proud history of fostering talent and helping to grow the industry, and we are honoured to support the IMAA Academy, in partnership with ThinkNewsBrands. The power of news publishing platforms, and its impact and influence through content – whether that be groundbreaking public interest journalism or lifestyle stories that resonate with a younger audience – is an important tool that can be fully harnessed through the education modules. “

Participants can access the Publishing & News101 learning module via the IMAA Academy’s all-inclusive training package, which includes access to all media course modules and Business in a Box – a training subscription offering 21 additional courses – or via individual module sign-up.

See also: IMAA sets a record as it welcomes 45 media partners in 2024

Special and Pepsi Max 'Tastes OK' campaign - Chicken hero image
Special and Pepsi Max poke fun at Coke in new 'Tastes OK' campaign

“This latest campaign helps us reinforce our position as a challenger brand.”

Pepsi Max has unveiled its latest, playfully provocative campaign via global independent creative group Special.

The ‘Tastes OK’ campaign builds upon Pepsi Max’s established ‘Tastes Better’ brand platform, drawing attention to what it perceives as a subtle design flaw in the name of its main competitor.

Launching today, 5 February, The OOH-led campaign is supported by a media strategy that also spans print, display, publisher partnerships, an influencer program, and social signs.

Vandita Pandey, chief marketing officer Australia and New Zealand for snacks and beverages at PepsiCo, said, “We have long known that Pepsi Max tastes better than our main competitor and this latest campaign helps us reinforce our position as a challenger brand.

“Australia’s meals are not being done justice, palates across the nation are being deprived, whilst consumers settle for OK.” 

Simon Gibson and Nils Eberhardt, creative directors at Special, added: “Getting briefed to work on the ‘Tastes Better’ campaign is exciting and intimidating in equal measure. It’s such a bold and direct line and it’s led to great work in the past, so we all knew we needed to do something that lived up to it.

“Then, our competitor did it for us. We saw an image they put out into the world and noticed something we couldn’t unsee.”


Client: PepsiCo
Chief marketing officer, Snacks & Beverages: Vandita Pandey
Head of marketing beverages: Susan Press
Marketing manager: Tiana Handel
Brand manager: Candy Wong 

Creative agency: Special
Partners/CEO: Lindsey Evans & Cade Heyde
Partners/CCO: Julian Schreiber & Tom Martin
Partner/CSO: Dave Hartmann
Client services director: Richard Sweetman
Creative directors: Simon Gibson & Nils Eberhardt
Team lead: Michelle Braslin
Business director: Maddie Armstrong
Head of stills: Nick Lilley
Integrated producer: Danielle Senecky
Integrated producer: Emily Willis

PR managing director: Alex Bryant
PR account director: Sarah Halpin
Creative strategist: Kate Wilkinson

Media Agency: Trio (PHD Australia)
Group business director: Jen Jones
Planning director: Gilbert Lee
Senior investment manager: Mikeah Irving

Production Company: Pool Collective
Photographer: Danny Eastwood
Production company producer: Zoe Izzard
Retoucher: Mark Sterne

See also: Andre Agassi trades iconic mullet for savings in Special’s latest Uber campaign

Snapchat - Less Social Media. More Snapchat
Snapchat launches new brand campaign, "Less Social Media. More Snapchat"

The campaign features a TV spot premiering during the 66th Annual Grammy Awards in the US.

Snapchat is launching its new brand campaign – “Less Social Media. More Snapchat” – with a TV spot premiering during the 66th Annual Grammy Awards in the US.

The campaign was led by Snap’s chief creative officer, Colleen DeCourcy and explores what makes Snapchat different from traditional social media and includes out-of-home, print and digital ads, which will go live across the US and UK.

In the US, out-of-home placements along popular roadways and high-foot-traffic locales in key US cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Denver, Dallas, Philadelphia, Nashville, St. Louis, and Chicago.

Snapchat - Less Social Media. More Snapchat

A full-page ad in The New York Times’ Sunday Times, as well as takeovers on their digital properties, as well as amplification across digital platforms.
In the UK, the social media platform is also wrapping iconic taxi cabs with bright and bold “Less Social Media. More Snapchat.” creative, as well as running digital ads.

Colleen DeCourcy, chief creative officer of Snapchat, said the platform was built differently from the beginning as a place where people can be their real selves with their real friends.

“With this campaign, we want to show the world exactly what Snapchat is not and what it really is. We are shining a light on the unfiltered, bright yellow world of Snapchat, where people can easily share what matters to them in the moment, with the people that matter to them most.”

In the TV spot, the platform emphasises that its number one use case is messaging with friends, not scrolling through a public feed.
“We’ve never had social validation metrics when you share your Story with your friends. We made deliberate design choices to help prevent the spread of misinformation or harmful content – including moderating content before it can reach a large audience and we don’t have live streaming,” according to the Snapchat.

“We’re the place where more than 75% of 13 to 34 year-olds in over 20 countries (including Australia) go every day to communicate directly with their close friends. We’re not social media, we’re Snapchat.”

Forbes Australia 2024 Women's Summit - L to R - Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, Yael Stone, Robyn Denholm, Nicole Liu, Steph Claire Smith
Power Rising: Second annual Forbes Forbes Australia Women’s Summit coming in March

The summit will take place on Tuesday March 26 in Sydney.

Forbes Australia has lifted the lid on its second annual Forbes Australia Women’s Summit, themed “Power Rising”, building on the inaugural 2023 event which was attended by 1,600 people.

The summit will take place on Tuesday March 26 at the Roslyn Packer Theatre, Walsh Bay, Sydney. NAB Private Wealth returns as the presenting sponsor, with Kyndryl as platinum sponsor.

The “Power Rising” Summit will feature more than 20 speakers, including chair of Elon Musk’s Tesla and chair of the Tech Council of Australia, Robyn Denholm; CEO of Xero, Sukhinder Singh Cassidy; actor and climate communicator Yael Stone; and former Matilda and head of women’s football at Football Australia, Sarah Walsh.

The speaker line-up also features Pro Vice-Chancellor Society (PVCS) at UNSW Sydney Professor Megan Davis, Rebecca Vallance Creative Director and CEO Rebecca Vallance, Keep It Cleaner (KIC) podcaster and CEO Steph Claire Smith, and Aware Super chair Sam Mostyn AO.

Speakers also include:

Chanel Contos, founder, Teach Us Consent
Kris Lovejoy, global security and resiliency leader, Kyndryl
Kristy Chong OAM, investor, philanthropist, founder, Modi Bodi
Megan Dalla-Camina, founder and CEO, Women Rising
Nicole Liu, founder, Kin Fertility
Olympia Yarger, founder and CEO, Goterra
Sally Auld, Chief Investment Officer, JBWere
Siobhan Savage, workforce futurist, AI expert, CEO and co-founder, Rejiig

More speakers will be announced in the coming weeks.

The panels at the Summit will include The Power of Leadership, The Power of Responsibility, The Power of Innovation, The Power of Creativity and The Power of Product.

Forbes Australia editor-in-chief, Sarah O’Carroll, said “Last year’s exceptional Summit laid the foundation for a growing community of Forbes Australia women. From the insightful and raw stories shared on stage to the incredible energy in the audience and many new connections made, the Women’s Summit brings to life Forbes’ editorial pillar of ‘ideas that change the world’.

“I’m excited by the excellent calibre of this year’s line-up – including the fireside chats with Robyn Denholm and Sukhinder Singh Cassidy – the conversations that will unfold during the day and the ideas that will be ignited.”

The 2024 Women’s Summit will be the second event presented by Forbes Australia this year, with the Leadership Forum to be held on February 27.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the website. First release pricing for Summit tickets ends next week.

See Also: Why Felicity McVay “jumped at the chance” to host The Forbes Australia Forums

Top Image: L to R – Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, Yael Stone, Robyn Denholm, Nicole Liu, Steph Claire Smith

isaac australian idol 2024
TV Report February 4, 2024: Australian Idol unveils unexpected "rough diamond"

By Anita Anabel

MAFS’ oldest couple get hitched.

• Tobias eliminated during Australian Survivor
• Isaac McCallum earns Golden Ticket on Australian Idol


Nine’s Married at First Sight saw the final two weddings of the 2024 experiment kick off with “hot mess” bride-to-be Lauren who was matched with the disciplined and health-focused groom, Jonathan

After they exchanged their vows, Jonathan’s stepsister, Steph, held some reservations and after chatting with his new bride, felt like she was not the right fit for her brother — and she was right. The morning after their nuptials, Lauren said it felt like “waking up from a one-night stand” before accusing him of being “too nice”.

Meanwhile, Andrea, 51 — who discovered her previous partner was gaslighting her after seeing what it was on  MAFS — and Richard, 62, the experiment’s oldest couple, met at the altar, immediately feeling a strong connection. 


Over on Seven, we are now halfway through the auditions on Australian Idol.

NSW trolley-pusher Isaac McCallum earned a Golden Ticket after his take on Bruises by Lewis Capaldi left its mark on the judges.

“I think you’re one of the best vocalists I’ve heard for a long time,” judge Marcia Hines told him.

Meanwhile, Brisbane high school student Jet Cameron,16, received a shock when Sam Fischer walked on stage during his performance of the artist’s hit This City. Conquering two dreams at once, the teen sang with his hero and progressed to the Aus Idol Top 30.


On 10The Project welcomed icon Henry Winkler to the desk who taught a generation of kids how to be cool as The Fonz in Happy Days. But, it turns out he has never actually ridden a motorbike! Plus, it’s official, Take That is coming to Australia! and Gary Barlow stopped by to talk about it.

Then, it was time for Australian Survivor where the Samoan beaches continue to see the toughest mind games and challenges yet.

Feras unlocked a secret box hidden in the jungle to reveal an Idol and a key to a box at Titan’s beach, but when a fellow Rebel catches him red-handed, he’s forced to tell the whole tribe.

The discovery of the mysterious box raises suspicions, leading to a shock Tribal Council no one saw coming, especially Tobias who was the fourth person eliminated from Titans v Rebels.


On ABC’s Muster Dogs, at 10 months, the dogs have hit puberty and are starting to show some teenage rebelliousness. The assessment has mixed levels of success and one of our pups falls gravely ill.

Then, it was another instalment of Total Control where Alex made an unsavoury deal with a political rival on a nation-changing piece of legislation and Charlie reached a breaking point.

During Best Interests, the two sides went to battle in court. There was growing hope for Nicci’s case and her chances of a surprising victory; however, she was also forced to confront the damage this legal fight was doing to her family.


Over on SBS, the world is fascinated by the Pyramids of Giza! Even today, Egyptologists are still working hard to reveal the mysteries behind these stone giants built over 4,500 years ago.  Documentary The Giza Pyramid: Reaching for the Stars explored various theories and recent global advances in Archaeology and Egyptology, Astronomy and Astrophysics, deciphering the clues left behind.

Then on Secrets of Modern Archaeology, with global warming and conflicts, archaeological sites are increasingly in danger. Fortunately, cutting-edge technology might help us try to save these sites which hold the archaeological memoirs of our civilization.

Business of Media

As billionaires vie for Paramount, a Network 10 sale looks more likely

It is the perennial question – and it’s back again. What is going on over at Network 10, now Paramount? And this time it comes with the added intrigue that this year the home of MasterChef, Gladiators and Robert Irwin may soon be up for sale, reports Nine Publishing’s Sam Buckingham-Jones.

Over the past two months, a series of events has made it all but certain that Paramount Global, the $15 billion media company that owns Paramount Pictures, the Paramount+ streaming platform, free-to-air network CBS, Nickelodeon, MTV, and a smattering of far-flung international assets, will change hands.

[Read More]

Lachlan Murdoch touches base with News, Fox reporters at work in war zone

Media executive Lachlan Murdoch travelled to Israel last week to meet journalists from Fox Corp and News Corp who have been covering the conflict, reports The Australian’s James Madden.

Murdoch, the chairman of News Corp and the executive chair and chief executive officer of Fox Corporation, also visited Kibbutz Kfar Aza in southern Israel where more than 60 people were murdered by Hamas militants on October 7.

“I appreciated the opportunity to meet with our journalists in Israel to see first-hand the amazing job they are doing covering the war from the front lines. It was also incredibly moving to tour some of the areas that suffered such devastation from the October 7 attacks,” Murdoch told The Australian.

[Read More]

Hoyts sale up in the air after Chinese businessman snaps up parent

Hoyts’ long-running sales process is on hold after a controlling stake in the Australian cinema giant’s parent company was acquired by Chinese streaming and production investment group China Ruyi, reports Nine Publishing’s Sam Buckingham-Jones.

The company had been controlled by billionaire businessman Wang Jianlin, who in December sold his Beijing Wanda Investment group to China Ruyi.

Wang had been trying to build a Chinese rival to Disney, and once told Hoyts boss Damian Keogh he would be its last owner. But he has suffered since China’s sharemarket bubble burst in 2015 and its government cracked down on excessive debt-fuelled expansion. His personal wealth has fallen from $US46 billion ($71 billion) at its peak to $US6.2 billion.

[Read More]


Joe Rogan renews at Spotify, but will no longer be exclusive

Spotify is staying in the Joe Rogan business. The music streamer and audio platform on Friday announced a new multiyear agreement with Rogan renewing its partnership with the polarizing host of its most popular podcast. In a sign of the changing economics of the industry, the new deal will allow Rogan’s show, The Joe Rogan Experience, to be distributed on multiple platforms, including YouTube and Apple Podcasts. Under the previous deal, it was exclusive to Spotify, reports The New York Times’ Reggie Ugwu.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but The Wall Street Journal reported that it could be worth as much as $250 million over the life of the deal. Spotify will handle ad sales and distribution. A representative of Spotify declined to comment on the deal terms. A company blog post announcing the news said the show has consistently ranked as its most listened to podcast globally.

[Read More]

Record labels accuse radio networks of ‘smear campaign’ in fees row

The Australian music industry has threatened to take “all actions available” against the commercial radio networks in a dramatic escalation to of a long-running stoush over how much artists are paid for their music, reports Nine Publishing’s Sam Buckingham-Jones.

Annabelle Herd, the chief executive of the non-profit Phonographic Performance Company of Australia, which represents the record labels and recording artists, accused the peak body for Australia’s 260 commercial radio stations of “resort[ing] to a misinformation and smear campaign to push its agenda”.

The war of words comes as part of an ongoing effort by the music industry to extract millions more in revenue from radio stations. Music and radio executives are expected to front a Senate inquiry in Canberra on March 7.

[Read More]

Craig Reucassel’s listeners earn $100k windfall in class assignment on Tolls

Listeners to ABC Radio Sydney‘s new breakfast show were challenged to complete a group assignment this week that resulted in them netting over $100,000 in toll cashback, reports RadioInfo. 

That is only the amount reported by listeners, the full total is believed to be much higher. At one stage during the week the NSW Government’s toll rebate website crashed under the weight of claims, but was quickly restored so that listeners could continue to get their information processed.

[Read More]

Taylor Swift chases album of year record at female-focused Grammys

Luminaries of the music business gather to hand out the annual Grammy awards on Sunday at a red-carpet ceremony that may culminate with another record for Taylor Swift, reports Reuters’ Lisa Richwine.

The 34-year-old pop superstar in the middle of the world’s highest-grossing tour is competing for an unprecedented fourth album of the year trophy with Midnights.

No other artist in the 66-year Grammys history has claimed the coveted honor four times. Music legends Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon and Stevie Wonder won three each.

[Read More]


‘There is no quick fix. It’s the long game’: Ben Cousins

Former footy wild man Ben Cousins is winning his battle to rebuild his life. “I can’t change what has happened in the past. All I can do is make the most of today,” Cousins, the one-time pin-up of the AFL, said, reports News Corp’s Fiona Byrne.

The road has been rocky, to say the least, with the ravages of substance abuse and stints behind bars dominating his story. In 2020 he was found guilty of stalking and intimidating his former partner. But a new chapter is being written.

Cousins is an emerging media star in Perth and has now signed on as a contestant on Channel 7’s celebrity-studded reality show Dancing With The Stars.

[Read More]

Charlie Pickering’s favourite moments as The Weekly begins 10th season

When Charlie Pickering quit The Project a decade ago he had no immediate TV gig lined up. There were conversations with most other networks (some offering lucrative deals) but it was ABC’s then-Head of Entertainment Jon Casimir who won him over with a plan for 20 episodes of an untried show in the prized Wednesday 8:30 slot, reports TV Tonight.

“Jon had made some of my favourite shows over the years with people I really respected… Enough Rope with Andrew DentonGruen with Wil. I felt that he clearly had an understanding of how to make good TV shows that would work at the ABC. He also was very encouraging as far as giving me and my team control over what we did, and really giving us a chance to come up with the show that we wanted to do,” he tells TV Tonight.

[Read More]

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