TV3 and Stuff remove paid search listings

As a trade publication, there’s not much more we can add to the comprehensive media coverage of the earthquake being offered by New Zealand’s television, radio and print/online media outfits (Vicki Anderson’s take on events is particularly vivid). Obviously, industry issues are the least of everybody’s concerns when there have been so many fatalities in Christchurch and our families, friends and colleagues are going through utter hell, so first and foremost the thoughts of everyone here—and the thoughts of the industry as a whole—are with our embattled countryfolk. But the fact that TV3 and Stuff bid for Google search terms around the earthquake does raise some interesting ethical issues, particularly when the practice is frowned upon overseas. Judging by the comments on the story, some felt it was reprehensible, some felt it was kosher because the information was relevant and some even felt we were giving favourable treatment to TVNZ and nzherald.co.nz. But as of this morning, Tower was the only remaining advertiser on Google search and Stuff and TV3 had removed their paid listings, which seems to be an acknowledgment from the companies or their media agencies that doing so in the first place was bad form.

  • If you want to give a $5, 10 or $20 donation to the Red Cross, head to GrabOne. The company has pledged $25,000 and had sold over $65,000 worth of donations. Vodafone users can also text ‘quake’ to 333 to make an automatic $3 donation. ASB has also opened an account to accept donations (12-3205-0146808-00), as has BNZ (02-0500-0982004-000) and Westpac (03-0207-0617331-00. ANZ is taking international donations (SWIFT CODE: ANZBNZ22, account no: 011839018893900 Ref: Canterbury Earthquake Appeal). And here are some other ways you can help.

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