How to get your advertising on the ABC. Woolworths in South Australia thought it was a great idea to project an ad for $1 Doritos onto the wall of the ABC’s Adelaide headquarters, prompting the ABC to send in the lawyers. Speaking to the Adelaide Advertiser, Woolworths said the guerrilla marketing campaign was intended to highlight its “show-stopper” specials, and that the owners and tenants of the buildings on which the specials were projected would not have been aware of the campaign.
An ABC spokesman told Crikey no legal action has been threatened. But he confirmed the ABC had sent a legal letter to Woolworths asking it not to use its buildings for advertising, “noting the ABC’s statutory requirements of independence and integrity”. — Myriam Robin
Clooney to direct Hack Attack. Here’s a movie that we can guarantee won’t be screened anywhere in the world where Rupert Murdoch and his family control a TV network or pay TV business. The recently published book Hack Attack, by Guardian journalist Nick Davies, is to be made into a movie directed by George Clooney. Sony Pictures will provide the finance. Clooney and his partner in Smoke House Pictures, Grant Heslov, will produce. “This has all the elements — lying, corruption, blackmail — at the highest levels of government by the biggest newspaper in London,” Clooney said in a statement, according to Deadline.com. “And the fact that it’s true is the best part. Nick is a brave and stubborn reporter, and we consider it an honour to put his book to film.” Production starts next year. — Glenn Dyer
Eric J’s shakeup continues. On Tuesday we ran through a few of the recent changes to The Australian’s business section following the poaching of new business editor Eric Johnston from Fairfax. But it seems we missed a few big ones. The Oz is losing senior business writer Blair Speedy, who resigned (before Johnston came on board) to do PR for Coles. Speedy is an expert on wine and retail, so presumably Fairfax’s Eli Greenblat, who’s been poached by the Oz, has been brought in to replace him. Meanwhile The Age’s Ben Butler is going to The Australian, marking a return to News Corp, where he started his career. His last day at Fairfax is next Friday.
Butler writes the biz gossip CBD column in The Age, which led a source to say his hire was a sign the Oz was going to try to compete with CBD and Rear Window (in the Smage and AFR respectively). “The Oz hasn’t had a decent column [of that variety] since Michael West’s Margin Call, which finished the better part of a decade ago I reckon,” our source said.
Clarification: Blair Speedy’s resignation cannot be read as having been part of Eric J’s shake-up, as it occurred well before Johnston came aboard. The brief above has been amended to make this clear. — Myriam Robin
Star Observer hits target. Three cheers for Australia’s oldest surviving gay newspaper the Star Observer, which has hit its crowd-funding goal with hours to spare. Donations had slowed in recent days, but a spate of last-minute fundraising tipped the counter over the $75,000 mark. “The support my team at Star Observer received to help us pass our crowdfunding target has been humbling & extraordinary. Thank you,” editor Elias Jahshan tweeted last night.
This should mean the Star Observer has the funds to meet the cost of several legal threats arrayed against it, one of which includes a pay dispute with one of its journalists. — Myriam Robin
MEAA supports injunctions on ISPs. The Media Arts and Entertainment Alliance has thrown its weight behind a proposal to allow film studios to injunct ISPs to filter out file-sharing websites.
“MEAA welcomes the government’s recognition that rights holders are unable to take enforcement action against overseas-based websites and that action needs to be directed at intermediaries. MEAA strongly supports the proposal to allow for no-fault injunctive relief,” the MEAA said in its submission to the copyright infringement discussion paper released by the government in July.
“We note reports that in the UK, where site blocking has been implemented, the use of Pirate Bay declined by 60 percent after it was blocked.” — Myriam Robin
(More) US journos dumped. The ink on the paperwork for the reshuffle of Gannett Co’s newspaper interests into a separate company barely had time to dry before the beancounters moved in and started hacking. Overnight, 70 staffers at USA Today, America’s biggest selling newspaper, were eliminated in a restructure. The 35 journalists sacked are around 10% of the paper’s newsroom, according to US reports.
In a statement, Gannett claimed the job cuts were to help the paper make a quick transition to a more internet-centric paper. “USA Today is working to align its staffing levels to meet current market conditions. The actions taken today will allow USA Today to reinvest in the business to ensure the continued success of its digital transformation,” Jeremy Gaines, a spokesman for Gannett, said in the statement. That’s a message journalists and others have heard at a host of other papers, including those at Fairfax Media in Australia, but oddly not at those owned by the Murdoch clan.
USA Today claims it’s America’s biggest-selling paper based on its print editions (which are losing sales), the inserts of parts of USA Today in many of Gannett’s 81 daily papers across the US and its free digital editions. In 2012, Gannett forced most of the people working on the paper and in its publishing arm to take a week’s unpaid holiday because of a sharp fall in revenue in the June quarter. — Glenn Dyer
Not an actual cloud. The Daily Mail had a useful clarification for its readers on this story about celebrity photos being hacked…
Front page of the day. The New York Post regrets nothing from its James Foley cover; now rival tabloid the New York Daily News has joined it …