A mandatory code between media companies and tech giants has the ability to address existing imbalances of power and help save Australian journalism.
That’s the view of LiveRamp ANZ country manager Natalya Pollard, who spoke to B&T following the government’s announcement of the mandatory code, which will be led by the ACCC and will address revenue sharing for the first time.
“Ultimately, the imbalance of power that exists currently in our industry inhibits a healthy digital ecosystem,” said Pollard. “The government’s aim of this code is to help create a level playing field within the industry.”
The concept of such a code was born out of the ACCC’s Digital Platforms Inquiry, which took a deep dive into how these technology platforms had altered the Australian media landscape.
It was initially hoped involved parties could reach an agreement on their own terms, with the voluntary code given until November to take shape.
But the government surprised many last week – including Google and Facebook, both of which had commenced negotiations with media outlets – when it announced it was moving to enforce the agreement.
A draft code of conduct is expected as soon as July.
“While we cannot speculate as to why the government made the decision now to enforce the mandatory code, a likely symptom will be an accelerated path to restoring balance and collaboration industry-wide,” said Pollard.
“The media industry has experienced a collapse in advertising revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to many newsrooms across Australia, especially in regional areas, closing or scaling back their operations.
“The introduction of this code could support Australian journalism and the independent reporting of news.”
The move to force Google and Facebook to pay for news content is just part of the Australian Government’s continued crackdown on tech giants.
Already this year, the ACCC commenced another inquiry into such businesses, this time with a specific focus on ad-tech.
So is the continued scrutiny justified?
“We believe the scrutiny the industry is facing is, to a degree, fair,” said Pollard. “As it stands, our industry needs to regain consumer trust. We failed to create an infrastructure with the consumer at the centre.”
“As an industry, we need to build a system that is strong enough to become self-regulated. This will only eventuate when we truly bring consumers’ data privacy to the forefront of decision making.
“At LiveRamp, we see this as the beginning of a new era of engagement for brands, publishers, marketers, and customers.”
The issues paper for the upcoming inquiry highlights questions around anti-competitive behaviour in the online advertising industry and businesses serving their own interests ahead of the interests of customers.
Pollard explained that like the mandatory code, asking such questions can help address the “power imbalances between digital platforms and media companies”.
“It can be viewed that there is a perception that marketers are self-serving because they engage in behaviour that is seen to ignore the consumers interests,” she said.
“To make sure this behaviour isn’t misguided, the best way for marketers to move forward is to prioritise trust with consumers.
“Data fragmentation is the reason companies struggle to deliver relevant, consistent and meaningful experiences to their customers. By breaking down silos and making data safe and easy to use, businesses will begin to serve customers interests ahead of their own.”
Aussie coastal lifestyle brand SurfStitch has announced a bold repositioning with a new brand identity and campaign, “Ready for Everywhere”. Reflecting the brand’s commitment to inspiring people to embrace their lifestyle, whatever it may be, the strategic shift reflects a commitment to facilitating style that adapts to the life its customers lead across a broad […]
Man of Many has Announced Key Hires Amidst a Year of Extraordinary Achievement Lead image: Naman Singh & Alex Martinez Man of Many, recently crowned B&T media platform of the year, Australia’s premier men’s lifestyle digital publication. Announces the addition of two crucial members to its team – Naman Singh as SEO Content Specialist and […]
Australian property site realestate.com.au has announced the extension of its partnership with the Sydney Swans for two further seasons. Lead image: Tom Harley, Owen Wilson and Tom McCartin realestate.com.au has partnered with the Swans since 2016 and has called the back of the club’s iconic guernsey home since becoming a major partner in 2020. This […]
Leading independent media agency, Avenue C, is thrilled to announce the appointment of Paula Lopes as Digital Director. Paula, a seasoned professional with over 17 years experience in the media industry, joins Avenue C from her role as Chief Operations Manager of KINESSO (merger of Reprise, Matterkind, and Kinesso specialities).
oOh!media brought together more than 260 of its sales, operations, commercial, marketing, finance and leadership teams last week for its national annual revenue and growth conference. Held over two days at the picturesque Rydges Resort in Hunter Valley, the event ‘Fusing people and performance’ focussed on how to build a high-performance mindset and how it […]
Free TV has welcomed the federal government’s ongoing commitment to ensuring that all Australians can access their local free television services on connected TVs through the introduction of legislation to implement a prominence framework in coming days. Free TV CEO Bridget Fair (lead image) said: “Right now, Australian viewers are being steered in the direction […]
New-generation media agency 27 Degrees Media has been appointed to manage digital media for national tyre retailer Tyreright in one of its first Australian client signings. Lead Image: Loan Morris – 27 Degrees Media CEO Under the partnership, 27 Degrees Media will be responsible for all digital media strategy, planning and buying, along with influencer […]
Brisbane performance agency farsiight has announced the launch of its new market positioning, Growth for Good, in response to a changing business landscape, marking a departure from a “growth at all costs” mentality that has defined the industry in recent years. Agency founders and brother duo, Josh and Ben Somerville, envision Growth for Good as […]
Australia’s largest privately owned transit media supplier, GoTransit Media Group, now offers unprecedented options for transit advertising in Newcastle – on both land and sea following their successful tender to supply interior advertising inside the popular Stockton Ferries. The national transit media company is already well acquainted with the thriving NSW market, having successfully operated […]
Heritage and People’s Choice have launched People First Bank, the new name for positive change in banking Australia’s largest customer-owned bank has unveiled its new brand, announcing that Heritage and People’s Choice will be unified under the new name of People First Bank. Chairman Michael Cameron said the highly anticipated new brand offered a compelling […]
L’Oréal Groupe Australia and New Zealand have announced one of the largest investments to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation to pioneer new coral restoration efforts in the region. L’Oréal Groupe Australia and New Zealand have announced today a new partnership with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation (GBRF), to help coral reefs withstand the devastating impacts […]