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Sep 21, 2011

Leaked: News Ltd bites the dust

News Limited will change its name in an attempt to cure its perception as an "arrogant newspaper company" that is "difficult to deal with". Crikey has exclusively obtained the leaked documents.

Andrew Crook ā€” Former <em>Crikey</em> Senior Journalist

Andrew Crook

Former Crikey Senior Journalist

News Limited will change its name in an attempt to cure its perception as an "arrogant newspaper company" that is "difficult to deal with". In a secret 86-page advertising pitch brief obtained by Crikey, the Australian arm of Rupert Murdoch's global empire -- to be rebranded "News Australia" -- reveals its plans for a local resurrection under the code name "Project Darwin". Crikey understands the PowerPoint presentation by News marketing director Michael Nearhos, dated September 15, was sent to several people in at least three advertising agencies. It states News' public image needs rehabilitation because its "culture and values" have never been properly aired. The News Limited brand was "largely invisible" to consumers and customers.

News Australia will publicly launch the new name in February, with artwork required by November 28. A mock-up is presented for "illustrative purposes".

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52 comments

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52 thoughts on “Leaked: News Ltd bites the dust

  1. Bellistner

    If News thinks it represents ‘Middle Australia’ and is popular with such, I’ve got a piece of land in Manhattan to sell them.

  2. paddy

    Damn it Crikey.
    Just sprayed coffee everywhere.
    For one glorious moment there, I thought you’d written…..
    “News Ltd wins Darwin award”. šŸ˜€

    Never mind….. The year’s not over yet. šŸ˜Ž

  3. Edward James

    Would Crikey.com please consider running a competion seeking varations on their new masthead News Australia?
    Who else will miss being able to write Limited News knowing it identifes the same corporation? Edward James

  4. rhwombat

    Man(ne)kind 1: Murdoch 0

  5. anthony tan

    Meanwhile, in other News……

    “Dear Leader James Murdoch announced to an ecstatic staff briefing that News International, advised by Guiding Light of the Fatherland Chris Mitchell, had underaken a searching self-appraisal and would relocate its values.
    Henceforth News International would be Nuovo Patagonia. Staff will dress in stylish black. (No suede.)
    An inaugural cruise for all staff will leave Southahmpton tomorrow at 8am. All staff are invited and should join the General Belgrano by 7am. Drinks will be served immediately.
    It is understood that Lord Rupert will accompany the cruise (from a discreet distance) aboard Rosehearty.”

  6. Fred The Oyster

    Good catch, Andrew! The brand archetypes on pg. 33 adds some accidental humour – why is the “ego” side of the spectrum circled? And I’m pretty sure that Foxtel is not one of News Ltd.’s competitors (p. 43). The fascination with grocery buyers (if only female ones) across the target demographics is odd as well – a tacit admission that the newspaper has become a “Oh yeah, why not?” purchase rather than a necessity? Also note the “Bundle TV offer with Foxtel & Channel 10” on p. 47 – Lachlan strikes again?

    I would pose a discussion point on the thrust of the presentation – I have trouble believing that someone refuses to buy a paper because the branding is muddied; isn’t it more like that the audience has been lied to by said media outset so often that we can’t trust it anymore, as Mr. Denmore said far better than I could, and until that trust is rebuilt there’s no reason to go back to the well? Nor am I convinced that associating GQ, Vogue or getprice.com.au with the newspapers via the same branding is any good for those “modules”.

  7. drmick

    ? News Australia News? Australia ? News? Australia?

  8. cicero

    How did Crikey obtain this document? I hope it was somehow hacked.

  9. SBH

    Operation Darwin? Classy. Still they shied away from (or perhaps just didn’t think of) calling it operation Hiroshima

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