Archive for the ‘controversy’ Category

Why UBM would be right to shut InformationWeek

Informations Week's 11th Feb issue is barely thicker than a penny!

Today saw published rumors on suggesting UBM is going to shut down the print editions of InformationWeek and CRN. If true, then this is probably the right decision for what were once marquee brands in the tech media landscape.

Those who know our agency or read this blog will know we remain great believers in print media. However, in this case, I cannot help feeling that, like recognizing the truth when dealing with a favored, yet old and distressed pet, we just accept that this is a mercy killing of a product line that has long been on it’s last legs.

On my desk lies the Feb. 11th issue of InformationWeek. It carries 13 pages of advertising and a folio size of just 26 pages in total. There is no way this reflects well on the brand. If it was not for that iconic signature logo, the magazine would have passed for a low quality printed bulletin or insert. The content is light, flimsy and frankly uninspiring. The one decent article on marketing’s spend on IT infrastructure ironically underlines exactly why publications like InformationWeek are going out of business. The fact is advertising dollars just don’t support print media anymore in the tech B2B space. This industry has moved on into media buys that put technology front and center – tablet editions, mobile, social communities, retargeting, marketing automation – these are recipients of media dollars now.

So sadly UBM we get it, we know the harsh realities of the market and will not shed more than a brief tear if these rumors turn out to be true…just do us the favor of a sharp decision now the market is in speculation mode, so we can advise and adjust our client investments appropriately.

Look out for more comment on the evolution of UBM as market rumors become facts upon which we can really go deep….

Watch this space.

Dick Reed, Just Media. Inc CEO



The Print Media Zombie Apocalypse

In 2007, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer famously declared: “Print is dead.” Perhaps he really meant “Undead”, because I sure do see a lot of print still roaming around in 2012!

I mention this because I recently came across some leading magazines from theB2B Healthcare Vertical and it left a great impression on me. Imagine my surprise when upon examining many of these publications, I saw some with folio sizes ranging from 100-300 pages! The content was terrific. Many of them have thick and glossy paper stock, strong binding, dozens of advertisers, custom inserts and all of the other trappings of great B2B publications. As a media professional with a deep respect for print, seeing all of this nearly brought a manly tear to my eye.

As a marketer you may be tempted to dismiss this as an anomaly. After all, healthcare is a booming industry and it makes sense that advertiser spending in this market would buck many of the trends brought about by the current recession and the digital media revolution. Surely, you ask, the health of these brands can’t be compared to other market sectors?  I think that conclusion is a bit hasty.

In my role at Just Media, Inc., I work in many other vertical media markets, including: Government; manufacturing; education; energy; public safety; and several others.  While these markets may not all be booming in quite the same way as healthcare, we still continue to see strong folio sizes and advertiser support among many of the leading publications in each sector. There may be a slow decline, but nothing terminal and there certainly has not been a wholesale abandonment of print.


Online Data Tracking could use a cleanup, but it’s nothing to be scared of.

Just Media’s Media Planner & Buyer, Kevin Flint, gives some thought to arguments surrounding Online Data Tracking and its wider implications.

There are a lot of scary stories floating around out about advertisers’ use of online “tracking cookies”. These include the announcement of Microsoft’s default “Do Not Track” setting in its latest browser, Internet Explorer 10. As well as recent developments in Europe that are moving to thwart advertiser’s use of cookies.

Marketers and the online advertising industry are up in arms for fear that our industry will be utterly destroyed. Privacy advocates and tech pro’s seem to think it’s a slam dunk of good over evil. (more…)

Clash of the social titans!

Just Media, Inc’s CEO, Dick Reed, offers thoughts on the battle being joined by LinkedIn and Twitter:

This afternoon I received the following announcement from LinkedIn:

LinkedIn and Twitter have worked together since 2009 to enable you to share your professional conversations on both platforms. Twitter recently evolved its strategy and this will result in a change to the way Tweets appear in third-party applications. Starting today Tweets will no longer be displayed on LinkedIn.

Such a simple statement and yet with potentially quite significant ramifications. What it really shows is the unwrapping of existing social media networks as each business struggles to control it’s users, it’s influence and at the heart, it’s revenue stream.

While the impact of such an announcement is hard to quantify – Linkedin had suggestions in it’s communication how users should continue to work through it’s product to get tweets out – the underlying trend here is the real story.

Social media is not one happy sandpit. It’s a complex and churning ecosystem of competing solutions each trying to slice out a share of our increasingly limited time. It’s an eco system of increasingly unsocial companies.

The gloves are off – let battle commence.

Dick Reed, CEO
Just Media, Inc.

Mixing media and politics

This is a subject I could probably write about all day. I have often been told that here in the US it’s high risk to talk about religion or politics – but what’s a good blog without some controversy !!

So here’s the scene. I’m talking campaign tactics with one of our many creative partners who have a target of senior business decision makers and wanted to consider a variety of media formats. As the conversation turned to TV, I naturally named some stations I’d suggest we consider….

“CNN, MSNBC, Fox News “…

“Oh no” countered my creative friend “I don’t want to support them”

“me neither but they do offer up a strong profile”

And so here’s the dilema for media folks. Sometimes we are faced with using media vehicles we ourselves don’t subscribe to or even support. This is true whatever political side this takes. And it’s a tough call. In most cases there are viable alternatives which means we could justify the choices we make even though we know the real reason is our feeling of discomfort with the content rather than the audience. And yes supporting media with advertising dollars does support the message they promote so I don’t subscribe to the “it should only be about the audience” argument.

But who’s call is it and also are we always consistent? In my own case I’m not. Just a few months ago we recemmended a radio buy using right wing talk radio because the target audience was exactly who we needed to reach (concerned older consumers who would look at an online security product to protect their online banking proceedures). In this case the campaign success required me to “suck it up”.

At the same time we planned another campaign targeting consumers who might install solar panels and it was great pleasure that I could place media buys into public radio and liberal radio stations. Even up the score so to speak.

OK so you probably summize that I’m a bit of a lefty (part of that famous left wing media bias eh !). Actually I’m not really, but then in a country with only two parties it’s hard to not fall into one camp or the other…

And that my friends is really my biggest problem with media and politics….where’s the hghly analytical middle ground that I can support ??? Where’s the good old fashioned “unbiased anti political establishment media” that questions all our leaders and really holds them accountable. Don’t see to much of that these days and we are all the worse off for it.