ABC INTERNATIONAL’s multi-platform international media service Australia Plus (A+) has announced new partnerships to boost Australia’s regional multi-media presence and extend ABC content to neighbouring countries.

The foundation partnerships are with Monash University, the Victorian State Government and Swisse Wellness, in what is ABC’s hybrid development of collaborative commercial relationships. 

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THE Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has released a Media Code of Conduct which aims to clarify the way media and the public can comment on the commission’s enforcement activities.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims said the ACCC would implement the code as recommended by the Harper Review. Rod Sims.

“The code strikes a balance between fairness to the individuals and businesses under investigation or involved in enforcement actions, and transparency in informing the media and the public about matters of interest,” Mr Sims said.

“It is also important that the ACCC seeks to raise awareness among both consumers and businesses about their rights and obligations under the Competition and Consumer Act.”

“At the same time, we recognise it is important that businesses and individuals subject to ACCC investigations are afforded appropriate confidentiality and procedural fairness,” Mr Sims said.

Mr Sims said the Code spelled out the considerations the ACCC takes into account when commenting on investigations and court cases, and the limitations it observes in making public comments.

“Informing the public about our enforcement work in a balanced and objective manner is an important part of our role but there are situations where, with good reason, we refrain from comment,” he said.

Mr Sims said media communication was one of the most effective ways of educating consumers and businesses about their rights and obligations.

“By explaining our enforcement activities through the media, we hope to see a multiplier effect in terms of deterrence and compliance with the law. “It is also important that consumers have confidence in the market economy and see our laws working for them.”

The ACCC held a public consultation in developing the code. This included input from business and consumer groups, the legal community and journalists.



ICONIC luxury market experiential magazine and online catalogue, the Robb Report, is launching its inaugural Australian edition.

It is no surprise that the local version, a quarterly at this stage, aims to showcase the latest in luxury living in Australia and around the world. 

Robb Report Australia, which will go from quarterly to monthly publication in April 2017, is the 17th international edition of the popular US title, currently celebrating its 40th anniversary.

The first upper-luxury print and online publication of its kind in Australia has curated a collection of finely crafted products and experiences that distinguish true luxury – from watches, jewellery and fashion, to boats, travel, wine, dining and property. 

Michael Stahl – a journalist of more than 30 years’ experience in automotive, design and luxury – is editor-in-chief of Robb Report Australia.

“The launch of our first issue is the culmination of months of work in gathering the most interesting, authentic and unique of products and experiences from Australia and internationally,” Mr Stahl said.

Robb Report Australia will celebrate the best of the best, and brings out the stories of the artisanal skills and the dedication to excellence that give these things the emotional value that is, I believe, one of the definitions of luxury. I’m sure that our readers will relish the unfolding of these stories as much as we do.”

The Australian launch issue also includes a comprehensive look back over Robb Report’s 40 amazing and influential years, celebrating the moments and milestones that have shaped the connoisseur’s world.

Brett Anderson, Editor-in-Chief of the New York-based Robb Report group, said, “Robb Report has rapidly evolved from the undisputed US-based authority on connoisseurship since its launch in 2004. The Australian partnership serves as a fitting tribute to the brand’s founding premise - that the ultimate luxury experience is a shared passion for greatness.”




Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has released a Statement of Issues on the proposed acquisition of Australian Regional Media (ARM) from APN News and Media (ASX: APN) by News Corporation (ASX:NWS).

The proposed acquisition would combine the two main newspaper publishers in Queensland, adding ARM’s community and regional publications in Queensland and northern New South Wales to News’ extensive portfolio of community, regional, state, and national publications. The ACCC is investigating the effect that this would have on competition for both readers and advertisers. 

“One area of focus is the loss of competition between ARM’s paid regional newspapers and News’The Courier Mail. If the proposed acquisition proceeds, News will own both The Courier Mail and the local paid newspaper in nearly every city or town in Queensland. This may result in a reduction of quality and diversity of content available to readers. Reinforcing that concern is that both News and ARM have a strong presence in online news through their websites associated with the Queensland newspapers,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

“The ACCC is seeking to understand whether the competitive tension between News and ARM is an important factor in maintaining quality and range of content, or whether the threat of readers shifting to alternatives, particularly alternative online news sites, will competitively constrain News after the acquisition.”

ARM publishes paid daily regional papers in Mackay, Rockhampton, Gladstone, Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, Gympie, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, Ipswich and Warwick. The ACCC will be looking closely at these areas.

“In particular the ACCC will test how important diversity of content and opinion is to readers when assessing the extent of competition between papers,” Mr Sims said.

ARM and News both also publish overlapping community papers in Caboolture/Bribie Island, south west Brisbane, Brisbane northern bayside, Logan, and Tweed Heads/southern Gold Coast. These are mostly free papers with a strong local focus. The ACCC is seeking to assess the effect on readers and local advertisers in those areas, and to assess whether the reduction in competition is significant. 

“The ACCC will be assessing the importance of diversity of local content in these competing community publications.  The ACCC is also seeking to understand whether advertising opportunities on other media platforms, such as local radio, pamphlets, and online, will constrain prices for advertising in the ARM and News community newspapers,” Mr Sims said.

The ACCC invites further submissions from industry participants in response to the Statement of Issues by 27 October 2016. The ACCC expects to announce its final decision on 1 December 2016.

Further information and the ACCC’s Statement of Issues is available on the public register:

News Corporation - proposed acquisition of APN News & Media Limited's Australian Regional Media division - ARM

Background by the ACCC:

News is a global media company with subscription television, magazines, newspapers and publishing operations and interests. In Australia, News publishes a number of state, regional and community newspapers as well as its national publication The Australian. It also publishes websites associated with many of its newspapers as well as

APN is an ASX-listed Australian company with media, radio, publishing and digital assets in Australia, and outdoor advertising assets in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong. The ARM division of APN, which is proposed to be sold to News, includes a large number of mostly regional publications in Queensland and northern NSW, including 12 paid daily, 14 paid non-daily and 32 free non-daily community newspapers.

APN's radio and outdoor assets are not part of the proposed acquisition and will be retained by APN.


A SURVEY across the Australian journalism spectrum by reputation and public relations company BBS Communications is becoming something of a sentinel for business leaders seeking to understand how they might communicate better, utilising their industry expertise.

BBS Communications director Matthew Hart said as CEOs and company executives strive to be seen as industry leaders, Australian journalists say they are seeking knowledgeable, qualified, and articulate experts for their stories.

The annual BBS Media Survey found journalists used expert sources in about 54 percent of their stories on average, however for some the figure was much higher, with 46 percent of journalists using expert commentary in 70 percent or more of their stories.

Mr Hart said when asked what types of stories they were most likely to need expert commentary for, journalists’ top picks were health (64.4%), business and finance (60%) and science (53.3%).

More than 84 percent of journalists said they often used their own contacts to find an expert source – including their colleagues, industry and PR contacts, or experts they had worked with in the past. Journalists said they also used university directories, Google searches and organisation websites to find suitable experts, but rarely social media.

The two factors that had the highest impact on journalists’ perception of an individual as an expert were their academic qualifications and having conducted research in the field. Holding a CEO or senior manager position, and having worked in the field for more than a decade also held sway.

When asked for the number one reason they used experts in their stories, almost 45 percent of journalists said it was to add established facts and figures, particularly in a matter that made them digestible for their audience. Significantly, another 35 percent said their primary motive was to add a third-party perspective to their stories.

“It’s important to understand that journalists, more than ever, are time poor,” Mr Hart said. “Newsrooms have been restructured and many journalists are now required to produce content for numerous channels. They need experts who are not only responsive and available, but who can also translate complex matters into simple grabs.”

Mr Hart said for industry professionals wanting to be seen as leaders, the message was clear: act quickly and speak simply.

“Once you’ve proven yourself to be an expert source to one journalist, you’re likely to be called upon by others,” Mr Hart said. “More than two-thirds of journalists said they were more likely to use an expert they had seen other media use.”

The 2016 BBS Media Survey collated the responses from more than 50 journalists from across Australia working across print, online, radio and television media.



THE Australian conceptualised and built catch-up news aggregation platform, Hash, has used its most recent $1 million in seed funding to boost functionality and introduce personalised daily news video.

Hash took in a new round of $1 million in seed funding from private Australian investors earlier this year and put it to good use to develop fresh functionality what it describes as “a stunningly simple new look and feel”.

“Our goal with Hash is to allow our users to consume the most important stories, from all angles, in as little time as possible,” Josephmark CEO Jessica Huddart said. “The simple, yet highly visual design we’ve incorporated is beautifully distilled, allowing the user to quickly decide what to explore further and what to skim past. 

“We hope Hash 2.0 will build on the success of Hash’s initial launch and we intend to use the funding to refine the product, test and add functionality, grow the team and scale the business.”

Available on iOS, Android and web, Hash aggregates tweets about the day’s most topical headlines in a simple, visual way. Founded and created by Australian digital ventures studio Josephmark, Hash 2.0’s standout feature is a personalised daily news video.

Stitching together a number of short audio and visual clips from news publishers around the world, Hash’s daily round-up video gives users a quick and easy way to see what stories people are talking about in under a minute.

Aggregating Twitter, Google News, Wikipedia and YouTube, Hash aims to offer users a simple, agenda-free feed that surfaces running commentary as well as multiple, global perspectives. 

Unlike Facebook, Hash does not favour viewpoints. Using a unique algorithm that pulls in trending stories people are currently talking about as well as human curation to maintain a high level of quality, Hash aims to establish itself as “the most visually compelling, agenda-free way to consume the world’s top stories”

New Hash 2.0 features include the personalised video round-up of the world’s biggest stories every morning, greeting users wherever they are in the world, before showing the most important stories of the day. Users can also follow stories and be notified when there is a new development on an event they care about.

A new feature is the ‘Weekend chat text message’. Hash sends users an SMS every Friday afternoon, which lists a handful of timely talking points – giving users interesting things to discuss at that Saturday night dinner party.




A COLLABORATION between credit record group Veda and polling company Nielsen could bring a new paradigm to advertising effectiveness measurement.

The organisations are set to combine their research capabilities in Australia to extend the measurement of advertising impact and total spend beyond the ‘target’ market and into the entire market.

“In this new digital age, advertisers are demanding more specific targeting and going down to a postcode level isn’t good enough anymore,” Nielsen Media Industry Group leader Monique Perry said.  

“Advertisers want to know what media the household consumes and what message to present. This relationship is a crucial advancement in building profitable consumer relationships.” 

Ms Perry said the alliance would assist clients’ strategies by integrating insights derived from their customer data.

“Meaning they are able to communicate specifically to the right segment, with the right message on the most effective media,” she said.

“For example, if an auto company wants to reach Australians that have a low-risk loan capacity and no defaults, Nielsen and Veda together allow a marketer to segment those people and then identify what media they consume – using actual data from Veda’s finance currency information alongside media currency information within Nielsen Consumer and Media View.

“Brands and marketers need more predictable, high quality outcomes from media investment and we believe this solution provides better predictability and measurability than any other solution,” Ms Perry said.

“Veda brings hard financial and household data and Nielsen’s Consumer and Media View solution provides the colour and definition to provide a vivid image of consumers; knowing what makes them tick, what they like and loathe, and how to reach them. When you integrate this with a brand’s customer data, the solution is incredibly powerful.”



In the past, advertisers could only identify and track marketing strategies against their own targets and not the market. These metrics didn’t take into account the real size of spend and were hard to customise.

This new alliance aims to provide a step-change for advertisers. For the first time, marketers may be able to understand and segment Australian households based on validated actual financial characteristics, overlaid with consumer behaviours and attitudes alongside actual media consumption.

The Veda-Nielsen relationship utilises Veda’s rich demographic, behavioural and lifestyle profiles drawn from 16 million Australian consumers. The information has been specifically developed for business to consumer marketing and analytics. It comprises over 40 descriptive and predictive attributes, such as propensity to be in the market for home loans, credit cards or personal loans.

This financial information has been combined with existing consumer attitudes and real media currency data, potentially providing big benefits for advertisers. The combined data sets are integrated straight away,  meaning it iss fast and actionable.

Veda’s customers usually utilise data intelligence provided by Veda to make decisions on credit risk, verify identity and employee background, reduce identity theft and fraud, and undertake digital marketing strategies.

The goal of the alliance is for a advertisers to be able to plan and act with speed; identify what motivates consumers and how they interact with different brands and media. It shows which websites target consumers are visiting, the television programs they are watching and what they are reading or listening to. Early studies have also shown that the solution has immense predictive capabilities - a holy grail for sales and marketing executives.

In parallel to planning, advertisers can develop and activate segmentation; connecting with customers and prospects through Veda’s consumer data assets. This allows them to better reach consumers through digital and direct marketing channels, aligning with internal customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities. 

Veda chief data officer Lionel Lopez said, “The combined data mapping that the partnership between Nielsen and Veda creates will unleash new discoveries to improve customer experience.

“In the short term the relationship will enhance campaign management selection and create more rounded client segmentation. The next wave will offer enhanced measurement of RoI and personalised channel performance through Veda’s marketing services.

“Finally, Nielsen and Veda will provide a data source that can be used in collaboration with our customers and partners to deliver innovative solutions,” Mr Lopez said.



Nielsen’s Consumer & Media View claims to offer ‘a treasure chest of insights about consumers and what makes them tick’. Its comprehensive coverage offers a 360 degree view of the consumer across all areas of daily life. This information can be used to address business issues to help understand what motivates consumers or how they interact with different media.

It can tell users exactly which websites target consumers are visiting, the television programs they are watching, what they are reading or listening to, and this can be built into communications strategies and plans.

Nielsen N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global performance management company that provides a comprehensive understanding of ‘what consumers watch and buy’. Nielsen’s Watch segment provides media and advertising clients with total audience measurement services across all devices where content — video, audio and text — is consumed.

The Buy segment offers consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers the industry’s only global view of retail performance measurement. By integrating information from its Watch and Buy segments and other data sources, Nielsen provides its clients with both world-class measurement as well as analytics that help improve performance.

Nielsen, an S&P 500 company, has operations in over 100 countries that cover more than 90 percent of the world’s population.


Veda (ASX:VED) is a data analytics company and a leading provider of credit information and analysis in Australia and New Zealand. From its core credit bureau business established in 1967, Veda, formerly Veda Advantage, has expanded to deliver a suite of credit and other analytical products targeted to consumers and specific industry segments.

Veda is built on the largest, most comprehensive and current data source in Australia and New Zealand with information on around 20 million credit active people and 5.7 million commercial entities. The breadth and depth of Veda’s data, and the knowledge it delivers, can help customers take a proactive and informed approach in making decisions.


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