Optimistic APN wins big, bumps up rates, claims a few awards it didn’t win

On a high after its big Qantas Media Award wins, APN New Zealand’s advertising rates are heading in the upwards direction as well.

Perhaps as justification for rate increases, a recent email sent out by APN to clients also points to increased readership figures:

“Since we last adjusted our rates, readership of The New Zealand Herald has increased by four percent on a typical day, which equates to an additional 23,000 readers. The Herald on Sunday is also increasing its leadership in New Zealand’s largest market, Auckland, and right across the Taupo North region. In fact, over the two-year period since the last ratecard adjustment, Herald on Sunday is the only Sunday newspaper to have grown its audience,” the email states.

The rate increases will come into effect from 5 July and you can expect a two percent increase on current rates for display and classified advertising in the Herald; a five percent increase on current rates for display advertising and a two percent increase on current rates for classified advertising in the Herald on Sunday

It’s nice to be so confident, but others are more cautious about the move. Matt O’Sullivan, co-director of Naked Communications, says you need to proceed with caution if you’re going to put your rates up, and he questions APN’s decision to do so.

As a general tactic for media, O’Sullivan says there is not enough confidence in the market place to justify an increase in rates yet.

“We’re not clear of the recession so it’s an interesting move. “They [APN] have a history of putting their rates up as part of a general process rather than having a real reason to do so,” he says. “They have to remember they’re in a competitive situation not just with other newspapers, but other media.”

In other interesting ‘APN questioning news’, the email notifying clients of the rates increase also states that: “Rates for The Aucklander, New Zealand’s best community newspaper, also remain unchanged.”

What’s so interesting about this? Well for starters, it was Fairfax’s The Wellingtonian that won the prestige of being named ‘best community newspaper’ at last week’s Qantas Media Awards.

And the confusion goes on. According to nzherald.co.nz, the award for Best News Website was shared between itself and stuff.co.nz, as “the judges were unable to decide” between the two. But APN didn’t share the Best News award after all. That honour went to stuff.co.nz. The award that was actually shared between the two was the “highly commended” for Best Website, not for Best News Website, which is, apparently, a big distinction.

Staying with claiming honours that aren’t really yours, yesterday we mentioned Fairfax’s blunder in claiming that Rural News was a Fairfax publication, when it in fact belongs to the Rural News group. It seems the only explanation is that everyone’s still drunk after the awards ceremony.

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