Anyone wanna buy a failed mall marketing company? ‘Cause the
ASX-listed Creatable Media needs a white knight, and badly. And the advertisement in today’s
Financial Review, which calls for interested parties to come forward after the
company was put into voluntary administration at the start of February,
was the first news we’d heard of Creatable’s collapse.

It was a spectacular fall from grace for an advertising company once
hailed as the next biggest thing in shopping centre spruiking. Just two
years ago
Creatable Media was riding atop one of the biggest new marketing trends
going around – selling advertising space on laminated dining tables in
shopping centre food courts across the country – and today, poor thing, nobody wants to know it.

Creatable Media, which spawned an offshoot US company of the
same name, got more hype from the Aussie papers and marketing rags
(including Crikey’s The Reader)
than it could handle after it started back in 2002.

“Diners in those ubiquitous food courts will soon be eating off
advertisements. The latest advertising medium, it seems, is the food
court tabletop,” reported the Sydney Morning Herald back in July 2002, with B&TWeeklyand the New Zealand Herald also jumping on and reporting the latest advertising bandwagon.

Started by former Virgin Mobile Marketer Craig Lazarus and partner Craig Wunsh, Creatable had some big backers. By mid 2003
the company
had signed some of Australia’s largest retail owners – Coles Myer, AMP
and Westfield Holdings – and some of the country’s biggest advertisers
– ACP, Nokia and Buena Vista – to advertise in centres around Australia
and New Zealand.

And in September 2004 the company (now listed as McKinley Company
Limited) listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. But in over a year its
share price plummeted 96%; it fell from 0.30c in
August last year to just 0.05c when the company ceased trading on Feb 1.

So, what went so wrong? There were reports of a fight between
Creatable and HBP Media – another advertising company involved in LCD
screen marketing in shopping centres – over the patent rights to table
top television advertising, but surely a little competition couldn’t have sent them to the wall.

Newly appointed administrator
Manfred Holzman of Holzman Associates told Crikey that he was just
about to duck into a meeting with creditors and would have a more
accurate idea of how much the company owed later today.

We put in a call to Creatable’s former Australian sales director, Adam
Peruch, but we hadn’t heard back by the time Crikey went to press.
We’ll keep you informed.