Heroes & Zeros: MTN & Nedbank — best & worst ads of the week

Andy Rice (@ricecommaandy) talks about his best ad of the week — MTN’s “Duck Egg” TVC — and Jenny Crwys-Williams (@jcwLIFE) discusses her worst ad of the week — Nedbank’s cover-wrap advertorial for Business Day — during The Ad Feature on Talk Radio 702.

MojoMotherRussia denies “dubious tender” allegation

by Herman Manson (@marklives) MojoMotherRussia MD Thando Dingaan says his agency followed normal tender processes and did nothing wrong after allegations in Business Day of 17 November 2013 named one of the agencies that merged to form MojoMotherRussia as having received a “dubious advertising tender awarded by Africa’s largest pension fund, the Government Employees Pension Fund”.

Times Media buys out Pearson stake in BDFM

by Herman Manson (@marklives) Times Media Group (TMG) has announced that Avusa Publishing, a subsidiary of TMG, has reached an agreement with Pearson to acquire Pearson’s 50% shareholding in BDFM Publishers.

BDFM publishes Business Day and the Financial Mail and owns African Broadcasting Channel which broadcasts Summit, the Home Channel, Ignition and Saffron on DSTV in Southern Africa.

“The full acquisition of BDFM by TMG will allow for economies of scale, an integrated operations platform and operational synergies, and will permit BDFM, under unified ownership, to accelerate its digital transformation,” TMG said in an announcement on the JSE news service SENS.

Tim du Plessis on how the JSE rule change is hitting Sake24 hard

We’re only just more than two months into the year and we are already seeing the effects of the change to the JSE rule governing the publishing of financial notices.

BDFM’s Business Day completed a round of voluntary retrenchments in January in which 32 people took packages from editorial, sales and marketing while Tim du Plessis, head of Media24’s Afrikaans newspapers, told Grubstreet recently that Sake24 has reduced its editorial positions from 33 budgeted jobs to 24, effective from April 1, through a combination of retrenchment and scrapping of vacancies and transferrals.

“We’re adjusting as it’s a small team but, you know, business news in Afrikaans is important to quite a lot of our readers,” Du Plessis said. “Readers in Jo’burg and Cape Town don’t pick up Beeld and Die Burger to read business news in the same way that people don’t pick up Business Day to read sports news. But it’s important. They want it there and it’s got to be well presented.”

With BDLive Business Day hopes to save its bacon

by Herman Manson (@marklives) Business Day recently shifted gear to relaunch as a ‘digital first’ news product rather than just the printed newspaper it’s been bargaining on to keep the brand afloat. It’s a strategy that’s long overdue and hopes to mimic some of the digital success achieved by the Financial Times (Pearson, owner of FT, also has a stake in BDFM which publishes Business Day).

The print product really had no choice but to reinvent itself as it and other business publications face the loss of revenue from financial notices by JSE listed companies – these notices, described by critics as a forced ‘subsidy’ for print business media, is set to fall away after changes to regulations by the JSE. The industry is expected to lose a significant percentage of the estimated R200m currently spent on these notices annually.

Advertising revenue has also started shifting towards digital environments in line with developments in other economies.

Bronwen Auret, GM: BDFM Digital, agrees that those in the business of business news face challenges but she is also excited about the opportunities the new digital centric model will afford the company.

Newspapers are the least sexy media right now, say Aurent, and where to from (for now still) profitable print have been a predicament for most newspaper proprietors given the high cost of bandwidth and slower Internet uptake by the South African market.

With the uptick in usage of online and mobile thanks to more competitive pricing and competition by mobile data providers the market is shifting and the introduction of apps has made South Africans more familiar and comfortable with ecommerce.

ABC Analysis Q2 2012: Daily newspapers — Isolezwe breathing down The Star’s neck

The ABC has released circulation statistics for the period April 2012 to June 2012. Total daily newspaper sales in South Africa fell from the 1,386,504 in Q2 2011 to 1,373,377 in Q2 2012.

Finweek’s gospel according to Marc

The recent repositioning of business magazine Finweek has upped the stakes in what many consider a rather stale magazine segment. Not that a lot isn’t happening in the business press, or that it isn’t already highly competitive – take the recent entry of Forbes Africa into the fray, or how the tablet market has opened up access to publications such as Bloomberg Businessweek to South African consumers.

It’s just that, for a while now, business media has seemed stale in a time when interest in the economy and business management news has skyrocketed, courtesy of the Great Recession, the sovereign debt crisis, and the ‘double dip’ bogeyman that keeps entrepreneurs awake at night.

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