Finally, a sensible election law change

Party political broadcasts are a thing of the past. We will no longer be able to enjoy ads like that above:

MPs voted last night to get rid of the wildly unpopular compulsory party television broadcasts at election time.

Parliament heard the final reading on the Broadcasting and Electoral Amendment Bills yesterday evening, voting 108-12 to axe the messages which air around four weeks out from the election on state-owned networks TVNZ and Radio New Zealand. ? Read more »

Household names unwittingly pay extremists and pornographers

A campaign was recently started by a twitter account called?Sleeping Giants. When an advert is seen on Breitbart News they encourage people to take a screenshot of the advert and then harass the company by telling them that Breitbart News is racist, xenophobic and misogynistic. They then demand that the advertisers place Breitbart on a blacklist. Sleeping Giants tell companies how to do it and once the company complies with their demands Sleeping Giants brag about their economic terrorism?on twitter.

While campaigns like Sleeping Giants financially attack the ad revenue of New media outlets like Breitbart because they disagree with the political opinions expressed there, advertisers are unwittingly paying Islamic extremists and pornographers advertising revenue when their ads are being placed on their websites and You-Tube videos.

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Gab of the day



Advertising is New Media’s Achilles heel

Kellogg Co. breakfast cereals are arranged for a photograph in Tiskilwa, Illinois, U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015. Kellogg Co. is scheduled to report 2014 fourth quarter earnings on Feb. 12. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Kellogg Co. breakfast cereals Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Make no mistake?New Media is going up against the establishment and it’s success with the?public is tempered by its vulnerability to attacks on its advertising revenue. Breitbart News is the new News sheriff in town and is expanding rapidly but the establishment who preferred the old News sheriff still have a few bullets in their arsenal. If they can’t beat the new News by being better they will instead try to beat it by crippling it economically. It is a bit like the ageing Sheriff with arthritis trying to get rid of his rival not in a gun fight but by talking the local store into refusing to sell him any supplies for his ranch. He might be the better gunslinger but how long can he last without any supplies?


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Do you want an ad-free Whaleoil? Now you can


A few months ago we asked you if some of you would pay to have Whaleoil ad-free.

This is, of course, a dilemma for us because ads are what pays the bills. But, we are realistic too and know that readers don’t like them and so deploy ad blocker software to get around it. That, however, affects our bottom line and makes us vulnerable to Social Justice Bullies who seek to damage our revenue in order to try to shut us down.

The management team at Whaleoil got together and tried to find a way forward that would achieve several goals. The first was to remove ads for those who wanted it. We are launching that today.

Another driver is to continue to build the community we have here but to provide additional, premium commentary and information to loyal subscribers and donors over and above what you can get for free.

No one should have to work for free, and neither should we. But we also need to be protected from social justice bullies who seek to destroy the community we have built here.

From today you can join that community and be the first to see what we have planned in the?future. ? Read more »

NZME admits their business model is failing

Adhub is a business unit of NZME. They run ads across their network and are utterly ineffective from personal experience.

Back in 2014 they approached me to do my ads. They, like everyone in the industry promised me the earth. I certainly had the traffic that advertisers would want.

After 6 months however, I had to give them the flick. They paid me much less than Google ads ever have.

It turned out however that the lack of bookings was politically motivated and they had sneakily removed me from their pitch documents and website, at the same time adding The Standard, The Daily blog and Scoop Media. They tried to explain it away blaming the agencies for the lack of bookings.

So colour me surprised when I received this email via the tipline begging for confidentiality while they try and save the business. Given their lack of honesty towards me in the past, I can’t really see myself honouring their request: ? Read more »


L is for Lego L is for Liberal


Lego has stopped advertising with the newspaper the Daily Mail because of a campaign demanding that companies ?’Stop Funding Hate’

Hate in their world view is synonymous with any newspaper that has a conservative bias. One of the headlines from the Daily Mail being used to justify the Hate label is this one.


The Daily Mail front page prompted widespread outrage (Daily Mail)

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Told you: Calls for plain packaging on beer now

Plain Packaging for beer: Is this our future?

Plain Packaging for beer: Is this our future?

I warned everybody, and have been doing so for years, that if we allow plain packaging for products like tobacco then it wouldn’t be long before calls for plain packing came for other products, most notably alcohol and sugar.

Well, no one listened to me. Commenters on this blog also, rather po-facedly, stated that they didn’t mind on tobacco. Now there are calls for plain packaging of alcohol.

Alcohol watchdogs are concerned beer branding?featuring?cute cartoons or?resembling?softdrinks, may be too?appealing to minors.

The rise of the craft beer market has resulted in a new wave of creative, colourful, and often cartoonish labels as alcohol producers compete for consumers’ attention.

Auckland craft brewery Behemoth Brewing Company, has?”brave bikkie brown ale” featuring a cartoon?monster eating a cookie on its bottles.

A mouse riding a?dog appears on?Scallywag rich amber ale from?Auckland craft brewery?Schipper’s?Beer, while?a?badger wearing a?jetpack stars on its Boffin bitter.

Even the Mac’s beer range, owned by major brewer Lion, features labels with drawings of wolves, a shark fin and an Indian Pale Ale called “birthday suit” with a grizzly beer holding a hop bud.?And two months ago, the darling of the New Zealand craft beer scene, Garage Project,?released a “Lola cheery cola beer” in a can with a striking resemblance to Coca-Cola.

But while this type of?branding can be fun and exciting for adults, it can spell?confusion for youngsters, said Rebecca?Williams, director of the?Alcohol?Healthwatch?group.

She said?cartoons on alcohol?labelling?sent a message to minors that alcohol consumption should not be taken seriously, blurring?the reality that it contained a toxin.

“Look at the colours of them – they’re?cute, they’re quirky,” said Williams.

When children liked a brand or could relate?to it, it?translated into early alcohol consumption, she said.

“I think it’s about time somebody was challenged.”

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Ad in Canada offering protection to threatened Muslim women is banned

Freedom of expression exists in Canada but only for Muslims. This is not the first time that advertisers have refused to run ads that they consider anti-Islamic but have been happy to run ads offensive to non-Muslims. In this latest case, the ad’s purpose was to help Muslim women. Mentioning the reality of honour killing, however, is not allowed because the ad company thinks that the truth is offensive.

In a court hearing scheduled to begin in September, the City of Edmonton will have to justify its silencing of a non-profit group that wants to promote gender equality and protect Canadian women and girls from honour killings.

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APN to divest of NZME; a matter of cashing up before it keels over

This is what happens when the accountant has been put in charge and you’ve lost the trust and confidence of your customers.

NZME chief executive Michael Boggs will spend the next 10 days meeting and greeting current and potential investors after APN News & Media shareholders overwhelmingly backed plans to carve out the New Zealand unit.

The Auckland-based publisher and radio network operator will operate as a standalone listed company after the plan to demerge NZME got 99.98 percent backing at Thursday’s special meeting in Sydney.

The transaction will see a one-for-seven share consolidation in the Australian company, then a distribution of NZME shares to those investors on a one-for-one basis. The deal then frees up APN to focus on Australian radio and outside advertising business, while NZME can pursue its merger with rival Fairfax New Zealand.

Boggs told BusinessDesk he’s about to hit the road to meet current and potential shareholders in Auckland, Wellington, Sydney and Melbourne over the next seven to 10 days to engage and get feedback from shareholders on their views of NZME and where they think the media group should be heading.

“We now can control our own decision making around capital investment and funding,” Boggs said.

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