Kangaroo PR gift for Pac Brands. We’re a suspicious lot at Crikey, so when a plethora of news stories broke out about a kangaroo home invasion in Canberra, many of which prominently mentioned that the hero home defender was wearing nothing but Bonds underpants, we suspected a PR stunt. If so, it was successful. Media Monitors tells us the story has had six radio and 80 television mentions, as well as appearing in print and online. It wouldn’t be the first time the media has been taken in by too-cute-for-words stories that turned out to be attempts at viral advertising. Our suspicions escalated when we noted that Pacific Brands, makers of Bonds undies and in the news because of their move offshore, had just hired a new PR firm, Cato Counsel. So we rang Cato and asked the question, and were given an absolute, blanket denial. Not a PR stunt. Nothing to do with PacBrands. Just a gift. At the ABC note this classic comment from 702 Sydney’s Adam Spencer yesterday: “Finally some good news for the Pacific Brands corporation”. Right. PR anyone? — Margaret Simons

Home and Away trawling for viewers? “GAY TV FOR KIDS” screamed this morning’s Herald Sun front page. It’s claimed Channel Seven’s evening soapie Home and Away is set to shock viewers with a lesbian love story. And conservative groups are angry about a storyline that hasn’t even aired yet. Wonder how the likes of Pro-Family Perspectives director Angela Conway managed to get a sneak preview? Nice publicity for Home and Away in any event. Just watch those ratings soar.

Even rival Channel Nine — no stranger to such controversies — is happy to spruik Seven’s wares, helpfully advising “Policewoman Charlie Buckton will fall for fishing trawler deck hand Joey Collins” and “will steam up the screens”. But why didn’t anyone make a fuss about a same-sx kiss between two Summer Bay High schoolgirls on Home and Away last month? It’s all rather fishy. — Neil Walker

The Loop. The Thick Of It‘s Malcolm Tucker is (allegedly) based on Alastair Campbell. And now Campbell has seen the spin-off movie In The Loop … but isn’t allowed to talk about it. The BBC tell Campbell to f-cking shut it. How times change….

And here’s a gloriously sweary preview of In The Loop . — Neil Walker

Welcome to the Philippines, the “most murderous country in the world” for journalists. 99 journalists have been murdered in the Philippines since 1986, the year the dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who was notorious for human rights abuses and for jailing journalists, was deposed. Most of the victims are in the provinces where journalists, although relatively free to air or publish whatever they want, have to contend with warlords, politicians and criminal syndicates. In these communities, particularly where governance is weak, people turn to journalists, oftentimes radio commentators, who can be shrill and rambunctious in their commentary and reports. — Global Post

Rupert Murdoch buys The Brooklyn Paper. 31-year-old independent newspaper, The Brooklyn Paper, has been purchased by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. The Brooklyn Paper ‘s editor Gersh Kuntzman and its publisher Celia Weintrob confirmed the news. “We’re very excited,” said Mr. Kuntzman in an interview. He said that he has not yet spoken to Mr Murdoch, but he has had conversations with people from News Corp. “They don’t want the product to change,” said Mr Kuntzman. “And they love the product. And the product is fantastic.” — The Observer

FremantleMedia claims Swiss firm copied The Farmer Wants a Wife. London-based production and distribution firm FremantleMedia has started legal action against a Swiss broadcaster it claims illegally copied its reality format The Farmer Wants a Wife. FremantleMedia, which is owned by German media giant RTL, said it had commenced legal action against broadcaster 3+ Group and the 3+ TV network for violation of Swiss unfair competition laws over its series Bauer, Ledig, Sucht — a translation of Farmer, Single, Looking — which is produced by a third party. — Guardian

“No more free content”. I think that if I hear another newspaper person utter this phrase — no more free content — I will scream. The implication in the “no more free content” meme — that all would be right in the newspapering world if online readers would just ante up — rests on a false assumption. News and information consumers, in the main, do not “pay” for news content! In my lifetime, all mass media have “given away” their content. There are exceptions (Consumer Reports comes to mind) but the “no more free content” folks are not talking about niche magazines: they’re talking about local daily newspapers. — WiredPen

Google ads are 768% more effective than print ads … uh oh. Jeff Jarvis shared a bit of wisdom from the Wall Street Journal yesterday that paints an ugly picture for the future of print advertising. From the Wall Street Journal:

In the first six months of the program, Ms. Bouthillet says, the search-engine ads delivered 5,250 applicants, at an average cost of $4. By contrast, Baylor paid an average of $30 for each of the 3,125 applicants who came via job boards, and $750 each for the 215 applicants who replied to a newspaper or magazine ad.

If you wrangle that into a spreadsheet we find that the Google/Search ad campaign is 768% more effective than the print ad campaign. — eat sleep publish

Forget the Prime Minister, what about us? Journalists have a very verbose vocabulary. They can seamlessly weave words like probabilistic, denizen and epistemology into everyday conversation. But off camera and off record, journalists have very, very big potty mouths. If a journalist is ever observed in his natural element, the most common words to come from his mouth will be the four-letter variety kind — the ones that would never make it in his family friendly publication. — Stuff Journalists Like

Peter Fray

72 hours only. 50% off a year of Crikey and The Atlantic.

Our two-for-one offer with The Atlantic was so popular we decided to bring it back.

But only for 72 hours.

Use the promo code ATLANTIC2020 and you’ll get 50% off a year of Crikey (usually $199) and a year of digital access to The Atlantic (usually $70). That’s BOTH for just $129.

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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