As the Xenophon-backed independent against Kevin Andrews in the seat of Menzies, I had an interesting experience last week with News Corp’s The Manningham Leader.

I negotiated hard with the Leader sales representative and agreed to pay $20,000 for package of four full-page ads in June — provided they all appeared on page 4 of the widely read weekly paper.

On Tuesday last week, Leader Newspapers editor-in-chief John Trevorrow, an old colleague of mine at the Herald Sun, signed off on this ad for page 4 of today’s edition, after some minor changes such as adding the question mark after “Fake Liberal” and labelling it “advertisement”.

Stephen Mayne ad

Alas, this decision was reversed on Thursday and the ad was bumped to page 20 due to the provocative nature of the content.

Rather than bleat about political interference on what is an aggressive attack ad, I have copped it sweet and my campaign team is putting the finishing touches to a more positive full-page ad that will run on page 4 of next week’s edition of The Manningham Leader.

Discussions are continuing about what sort of discount News Corp will give for agreeing to charge $5000 for a page 4 advertisement which appeared on page 20.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey