If this is a space race, The Australian Financial Review hasn’t won it.

The newspaper has marked its late entry to the digital publishing rush with a newspaper wrap-around spruiking the “launch pad” of its first app for iPad.

Coming well after some rivals started their iPad apps — The Australian was onto it almost two years ago — today’s PR-blitz included a front page mock-up of an iPad, allowing readers to see Craig Thomson’s anguished face on page one and two. The wrap-around’s inside colour is decked out in canary yellow, clearly the colour of the moment for business types after Clive Palmer selected it for his Lilley billboards.

The AFR has also cold-emailed “bloggers who we think are leaders in the blogosphere”, informing them that “we’re keen watchers of the digital space” and seeking to recruit them to its digital catch-up campaign.

Recipients of Monday’s email get a year’s free subscription to the app, plus a media kit including “an exclusive preview to the official video”. Perhaps, as you read this, the country’s top bloggers are excitedly watching their video of a preview of someone using an iPad.

But unlike you, the selected bloggers can do so from their AFR “luxury iPad case” which has been couriered to their work addresses.

Given the timing of the iPad app, that case could just be hand-knitted …

Peter Fray

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