News Limited is no more, with Rupert Murdoch’s Australian empire to adopt a new name and extensive marketing strategy to counter an “arrogant” public perception, according to confidential company documents leaked exclusively to Crikey today.
Crikey understands the briefing document has been given to several people in at least three advertising agencies, who have been asked to pitch for the creative work to re-position News Limited as News Australia.
Ordinarily, a briefing such as that would make for some juicy reading for media nerds, and that’d be about the sum of it.
But throw a document such as this into the current environment: a looming media inquiry; the current Convergence Review; a company aiming to distance itself from its parent News Corp’s reputational damage following The News of the World scandals; government beginning to call out certain mastheads on their coverage; a media market anticipating the introduction of paywalls and all the implications that come with that; a political party with control of the Senate which has labelled News Ltd the “hate media”; staff cuts across the board; a searing piece of analysis from Robert Manne in his Quarterly Essay “Bad News” …
In that colourful context, read on for our breakdown and analysis of the new branding of the nation’s predominant media provider. The document contains the rehabilitation strategy set to be deployed across all mastheads and divisions, detail on internal market research, the wholesale changes demanded in “culture and values” and the secret business strategies on paywalls and realigned brands.
It’s a humbling read.