Oz Media jumps the gun with Nielsen data

Sealed section – 28 March

The Australian Media section’s newest recruit (how many people do they
need down there for a few pages every Thursday?) is former B&T
editor Lara Sinclair. She caused one hell of a stink last week by
running some Nielsen Media Research data the day before it’s official
release via contracts Nielsen has with BRW, Ad News and, surprise
surprise, B&T.

While it’s not exactly a lively read, the trade mags and Nielsen see it
as one of the high points of their year as senior people in the ad
industry like to see what other major advertisers are spending and into
what mediums they are investing their funds. Nielsen carefully handle
the release of this data to the trade and see it as a way of kindling
interest from people who will go and subscribe to their data.

Although it seems unlikely the matter could lead to legal action
between Nielsen and News Limited, the rift looks like it could head
that way. Because of the years Sinclair spent at B&T, it seems hard
to believe she didn’t understand the gravity of what the paper did.

Lara Sinclair, B&T, Nielsen and The Oz

Sealed section – 29 March

Following yesterday’s item about Lara Sinclair and those Nielsen
figures, the editor of The Australian’s Media section Martin Beesley

“Dear Crikey,

‘Oz Media jumps the gun with Nielsen data’ is what most journalists
would call a good scoop – one of many The Australian’s Media and
Marketing section has had since its change of format. Are you
suggesting that Crikey, if it fell in his lap, would have said: No,
we’d better not publish that because in 24 hours it will be
conveniently released by dubious arrangement to a couple of trade mags
and we don’t want to upset them?


Martin Beesley
Editor, Media
The Australian”

Meanwhile, another party familiar with the bunfight writes:

“When Lara Sinclair was hired by The Australian to strengthen its
marketing coverage she had a month left to serve as B&T’s editor,
so was going to file a weekly column for The Oz until clear to move.

The News boys decided to splash her head on the page one blurb and
again inside on Media’s cover heralding her first column. Simon
Canning, the other new recruit from the newsletter, adbrief, was said
to be unhappy, jokingly telling people that the only reason he wasn’t
up there was because she was prettier. The only problem was that she
filed the same column that ran in Thursday’s Oz for the next day’s
issue of B&T.

B&T responded by pulling the plug on her moonlighting and she had
to sit tight in the Yaffa offices until her time was up. The Australian
was not happy because after the huge run she got there was nothing to
be had from Sinclair for another three weeks.

And now we have the Nielsen blunder reported in the Sunday sealed
section where The Oz broke an embargo in last Thursday’s Media section.
Maybe it was her way of making it up to The Australian. Or maybe she
has found it difficult making the big leap from the trade press to a
national newspaper. Perhaps someone should have managed it better, or
just managed it.”

Another subscriber writes:

Hi Crikey,

Please note that B&T is published by Reed, not Yaffa, which
publishes Australia’s LEADING advertising trade magazine, AdNews.