The steep learning curve begins

Nicola Riches
By Nicola Riches | 10 April 2018
AdNews Associate Publisher Nicola Riches (left) & AdNews Editor Pippa Chambers

I feel like I should open this with an introduction, as I have been flying slightly under the radar at AdNews for the last four years.

I was initially hired as a freelance journo by the brand’s now retired publisher Jeremy Light, then latterly appointed curator for AdNews events – something I have absolutely loved doing for the past 18 months. This led to the offer of a newly-created associate publisher role, working alongside AdNews’ well-known publisher James Yaffa.

Now, three weeks into the job – overseeing the entire stable of events, sales, marketing, branded content and editorial – I’ve given some thought as to how I to help raise the profile of the 90-year-old AdNews brand. I feel I have a duty of care to our reputable and independent title, so I didn’t want to race out the traps with something ill-conceived, or something that could be misconstrued as an attempt at self-serving PR – there’s probably one too many egos indulging in that across the industry anyway.  

I had considered using my status as a working mum of two boys as inspiration for a weekly column, and if I had, you would have heard ‘the one’ about coping with the demands of our potty-training two-year-old, while mopping up a flooded laundry (my fault for not plumbing in the new washing machine properly), while burning dinner AND taking a call from an important event sponsor. It wasn’t funny at the time…

And, yes, I know, I shouldn’t have picked up the phone.

Thing is, I know that this is the daily reality for most of us – juggling a thousand million tasks regardless of whether there are kids in tow or not - and reading about my domestic vs career tribulations will hardly inspire or inform anyone.

After some careful consideration – and because I have a longing to write that simply won’t leave me – I thought a note about what I have learned this week, every week might go some way to raising AdNews’ profile, inspiring something in the people we serve, and raising the profiles of people and companies we engage with.

So, now the formalities are over, these are some of the interesting things I learned this week:

TV’s evolution continues apace. This is fascinating, and if brands and agencies support it, our TV experience will most certainly improve:

Revenue and sales chiefs at Seven, Nine and Ten support the notion of reducing the ad load on free to air TV, hoping advertisers (and media buyers) would be willing to pay a premium for advertising in less cluttered environments.

UK government’s power trumps Facebook? I couldn’t help but wonder if this strategy wasn’t drawn up between the two parties in a bid to help FB shed that tag of being in bed with our political masters….too cynical? Maybe:

That before Facebook can carry out an audit of Cambridge Analytica systems, the UK government’s Information Commissioner's Office gets first dibs

Trading on time – could it be that 2018 is finally the year?

 It’s been a long, long time coming. But can it be, as IAS MD James Diamond said this week, that “there are a number of advertisers in this market that…this year, will start trading on time.”

A must-read from elsewhere:

A conversation with KAI-FU LEE, the founder of the Beijing-based Sinovation Ventures, who warns that the apocalyptic discussion surrounding AI and robots is distracting us from the real story: “Another issue,” he says, “is the haves and have nots. The people who are inventing these AI algorithms, building AI companies, they will become the haves,” he warns. “The people whose jobs are replaced will be the have nots. And the gap between them, whether it’s in wealth or power, will be dramatic, and will be perhaps the largest that mankind has ever experienced.”

On a personal note, I learned that I should be mindful not to pigeon hole my colleagues. Our best idea this week came from one of the quieter people on our team. You’ll hear more about that soon!

Finally – Media + Marketing Summit Sydney takes place May 4th. Cricket Australia (WE KNOW!), DDB, Maccas, Google, ThinkTV, ARN, Amobee, Tribe, KPMG, RXP, Deloitte and more still to be confirmed. One day – one strand of editorially-curated content. Come to Darlinghurst Theatre and say hi. Be part of the AdNews community, and help us deliver independent journalism. Email me for a VIP code.

Until next week. Remember to feed the hose into the sink. And don’t take the call.

Nicola

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