Just as the Australian media is struggling
with a sharp downturn in advertising revenues, along comes the Howard
Government’s industrial relations legislation advertising campaign as a
nice little boost for its media “mates.”

The
TV extravaganza
started Sunday afternoon during the Bathurst 1000 on Ten and in the
cricket on Nine and has continued ever since on the commercial
networks. And today, four full page ads in all morning newspapers
across Australia are helping Fairfax and News Ltd ad revenue numbers.

September saw nearly all media fail to meet budget (although the Seven
Network claims it did) and this month there’s been little change except
that advertisers are being far tougher and booking time and space at
the last minute and driving down rates. Media
buyer Harold Mitchell, on ABC local radio in Sydney on Wednesday,
estimated that today’s full page spreads would have cost the Federal
Government around a million dollars.

There was a Fairfax buy with the Age, SMH and AFR, and a News Limited buy in The Australian and the various local tabloids like TheDaily Telegraph in Sydney.

The
total print and TV campaign has been estimated at $20 million, which
doesn’t seem much in the scheme of things compared to the billions
spent on advertising each year. But with depressed ad revenues in
Sydney in particular, this largesse will be gratefully accepted,
especially by Fairfax which has been looking at a sharp fall in
revenues from classifieds and display advertising for TheSydney Morning Herald.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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