Newspaper body and Paul Zahra get behind marriage equality

Sarah Homewood
By Sarah Homewood | 28 July 2015

The industry body for newspapers, The Newspaper Works, has rolled-out its next instalment of its influential by nature campaign, with the focus this time being on how the traditional printed medium helped spur support for marriage equality.

The campaign focuses around an initial ad that ran in The Australian earlier this year, where 50 blue-chip brands including Qantas, PwC, Commonwealth Bank, Optus, Google, Virgin, Westpac, David Jones and ANZ, all put their support behind marriage equality and the Australian Marriage Equality (AME) organisation, ahead of possible vote in federal parliament later this year.

As a result of the full-page ad, more than 442 businesses have now publically expressed their support for marriage equality though AME and their #teamequal campaign.

Australian Marriage Equality deputy director Ivan Hinton-Teoh said the newspaper advertising “supercharged” AME’s campaign: “The paper was selected as the ‘perfect medium’ to reach business and political audiences,” he said.

Other newspapers have since followed suit, encouraging local business to show their support for marriage equality. The Bendigo Advertiser, the Goulburn Post and the South Western Times have all undertaken independent campaigns inspired by the original AME advertisement.

Former David Jones boss and current global retail advisor and PwC diversity and inclusion adviser and board member Paul Zahra, fronts the campaign for The Newspaper Works, with other execs set to show their support.

The Newspaper Works CEO, Mark Hollands, said: “Newspapers have clearly made a positive contribution to AME’s campaign. It shows newspaper brands in print and digital continue to have a significant and positive influence on society.”

Hinton-Teoh believes the newspaper advertisements received such favourable responses because it demonstrated the support of the community.

“I think the print ad has resonated because it shows the vast support of marriage equality that exists in the community that had previously been unheard,” he said.

“So its significance continues to reverberate because it’s provided other organisations and small businesses an opportunity of participating in something that is obviously significant to them in a way that no other platform has provided.”

The “Influential by Nature” campaign series first launched in April, with The Newspaper Works Chairman and CEO of APN News and Media, Michael Miller telling AdNews the aim of the campaign was to encourage advertisers to divert ad spend back to the medium after a continued period of declining ad revenue

“There’s definitely a lot of competition out there and that makes it tough for marketers. In 2015 you can’t choose one media and get the result. It’s all about how that media works together and what role newspapers have. We need to educate about that, to help others make the right decisions,” Miller said.

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