What is the role of trusted media in a crisis?

As the world comes to terms with the impact of COVID-19 what does it mean for marketers, agencies and also media owners?

In this Mi3 podcast, listen to the story of how the newsrooms of The Sydney Morning Herald and Nine News have adapted to the new world as they have moved to cover the ongoing situation around COVID-19.

Hear Carat’s CEO Sue Squillace and Nine’s Michael Stephenson talk about the shifts in the ad market, the role of trusted / traditional media channels and how share-of-voice helps define share-of-market.

Finding opportunity in uncertain times

The coronavirus is an unprecedented global health emergency which has caused a level of economic uncertainty that few, if any of us, have ever seen before. As Hugh Marks wrote last week, these are challenging and unprecedented times for all business leaders regardless of their size or scale.

Our Government and our health experts are doing an outstanding job of managing our country through these uncertain times. However, as we begin to chart a course to recovery, it will be the responsibility of our business leaders and the custodians of our brands to steer Australia back to prosperity.

The good news is that we will come through this time of universal upheaval, and at some point in the future we will reflect on it as a period of great change where innovation and entrepreneurialism thrived. We must also recognise that the natural inclination in times of uncertainty is to retreat. For businesses it often feels like the safer decision is to slow down, to consolidate, to downsize, to cut spending and investment, while for consumers the desire to save and avoid spending is equally natural.

History has proven, and it will again, that those businesses and brands that are willing to look at the world through a different lens, to challenge the status quo or to satisfy a new demand, will once again be the businesses that grow, proposer, and become tomorrow’s household names and remain a part of our lives for the next 100 years.

Let me go back in time for a moment. It was the economic struggles of the 1930s that helped to define Kellogg’s as the market leader in the cereal category. At the time of the Depression, two companies – Kellogg’s and Post – dominated what was then a relatively new market.

During the 1930s, Post went with the “safe”, predictable strategy, reining in expenses and cutting back on advertising. Kellogg’s recognised that building their brand was critical. They doubled their advertising budget, moved aggressively into radio advertising, and heavily promoted their new cereal, Rice Krispies. What was the result? Well by 1933, even as the economy continued to struggle, Kellogg’s business was thriving, profit had risen almost 30 per cent, and it had become what it remains today, the market leader globally. Almost 100 years on, children still wake up each morning with the brand’s “ambassadors”: Snap, Crackle and Pop. So it’s not really surprising that these examples are etched throughout history.

Source: ‘Antique & Vintage Art Prints’, 2020 Period Paper Design

This all seems so obvious, but when times are hard most companies behave more like Post than Kellogg’s. During this global health crisis, many companies in Australia, maybe the one that you are the leader of, will reduce their investment in advertising and wait for the good times to return. Those companies will make fewer acquisitions and invest less in new product development or innovation. Those companies are less likely to see the emerging opportunities, and they won’t be in a position to capitalise on the new demands of Australian consumers as we return to the “new normal”.

History will repeat itself. The McKinsey study of the 1990-91 recession found that companies which remained market leaders or became serious challengers during the downturn were the ones that had increased their mergers and acquisitions activity, their research and development, and their advertising investment, while companies that lost market share had reduced them. It’s why twice as many companies went from being the challenger to the leader as did so in the years before and after.

Why, then, are companies so quick to cut back when trouble hits? The obvious answer is that CEOs, CFOs and marketers become more uncertain. Companies become risk-averse, paralysed by the unknown, and are prone to de-prioritise innovative and entrepreneurial thinking. Uncertainty has always been a part of business, but in an economic downturn it seems to dominate everything. Today, no one is sure how long the lockdowns will last, how consumers will react, whether we’ll go back to the way things were before, or see permanent changes in consumer behaviour.

As marketers, we must recognise that we have a responsibility to stimulate consumer demand. It is now more important than ever that during these times of uncertainty we invest in our brands.

Some local brands are already taking the lead. Carlton & United Breweries have pivoted their business to produce hand sanitiser alongside their strong and powerful alcohol brands. They will donate more than 20,000 litres of hand sanitiser to frontline medical staff as they fight COVID-19 in emergency wards around the country and have also launched “For the Love of Your Local” initiative to help raise money to help save struggling local pubs.

Australians are known for our ability to come together as one during difficult times. It’s part of our DNA. Koala’s current “Support Your Local” campaign, which recognises the exceptional times we are living in and gives us an important message about the importance to “buy local, support local, spend local”, is a fascinating brand campaign. This is not Koala’s core business – in fact the message and the creative is not even remotely connected to their core business. So why are they doing this? Because it’s different, because people don’t expect it from them (or maybe we do now), and because it makes us feel something about them. They are investing in their brand and, funnily enough, next time I need a new mattress I might just think about them.

Source: ‘Doctors and nurses given helping hand during COVID-19 crisis’, 2020 Carlton United Breweries

At Nine, we understand that magnitude of the challenge in front of us. We don’t know exactly how things will turn out, but I do know that as custodians of a great media brand we have a responsibility and an opportunity to lead the way. The more creative we are, the more innovative and entrepreneurial we are, and the more we challenge the way things have always been done will be directly proportional to the speed and magnitude of the economic recovery.

There is opportunity out there and it will be fascinating to see which brands take the lead.   

Michael Stephenson is Nine’s Chief Sales Officer.

Brooke Corte: Money News, shares her five top tips for small businesses to survive the tough realities

Brooke Corte, host of Money News shares her five top tips for small businesses to thrive during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Corte’s five tips include:

Tip 1: Understand your cash position

Tip 2: Understand your expenses

Tip 3: Connect with your suppliers and clients

Tip 4: Adapt or pivot your business

Tip 5: Communicate with your staff

To find out more details on each of her tips, watch the short video.

Upcoming Publishing Features May – June 22

Make an impact with Australia's best lifestyle content

Our readers are primed for indulgence – new opportunities available across Nine’s leading publishing assets!

Plan your marketing campaign with a premium publishing partnership with Nine.

With the colder months on the horizon, our readers are primed for indulgence and ready to spend. Whether it’s styling their winter wardrobe, planning a much-needed getaway, or immersing themselves in the gourmet food world, there is plenty of opportunity to wrap your brand around our upcoming special issues. 

Across Good Weekend, AFR Magazine, Sunday Life, Traveller, Life & Leisure and Good Food, there is an abundance of opportunity to engage our readers with your brand message.


AFR & AFR Magazine //

Rich List & Rich List Supplement

How I Made It:
Inside the Rich List Podcast

On Sale: Friday 27th May

This year marks the 40th edition of the Rich List, so crack open the champagne as we celebrate the definitive annual snapshot of Australia's richest 200 people.

This is a magazine that draws upon months of research to track the changing face of wealth in Australia - who has it and what they are doing with it. It's an issue that creates headlines around Australia and is beloved by our readers.

Featuring profiles on the most intriguing and most successful entrepreneurs, and set within AFR Magazine's sumptuous mix of fashion, design, food and travel, this is one of our biggest issues of the year. The Rich List itself will appear in a separately bound magazine.

And, With over 156K downloads to date, the AFR, How I Made It: Inside the Rich List podcast is returning for Season 2, diving deeper into the success stories of Australia’s top entrepreneurs - from the ground up. There are new integration and sponsorship opportunities to grow your brand across afr.com.au, with newsletters and more.

Source: Triton Podcast Metrics, October 2021, Downloads.

Booking Deadline Supplement: Friday 8th April

Booking Deadline Mainbook: Friday 15th April

Material Deadline Supplement: Friday 22nd April

Material Deadline Mainbook: Friday 29th April

Podcast Sponsorship: Contact your Nine Representative


Life & Leisure //

Visionaries / New Kids on the Block

On Sale: Friday 20th & Saturday 21st May 

Who tells the story of our time? Who sets the agenda for the future? Who do we look to for change and inspiration? 
Welcome to the inaugural Visionaries issue of Life & Leisure, where we explore the leaders and innovators who have shaped the modern face of luxury.

From motoring and design to travel and food, fashion and beauty and more, this special gloss edition of The Australian Financial Review's weekly lifestyle supplement explores what it means - and what it takes - to be on the cutting-edge of luxury …. and it's not to be missed.

Booking Deadline: Friday 15th April

Material Deadline: Monday 29th April

Life & Leisure



Food & Drinks + 52 Top Wineries

On Sale: Saturday 4th June 

In this, our annual food and drinks special, we explore the big trends in the culinary world in 2022, from the country's hottest impending restaurant opening, to the non-alcoholic drinks craze, to the incredible way technology is being used in food production.

For the second year in a row, we also team up with independent wine website The Real Review and its co-founder Huon Hooke to bring readers a definitive guide to 2022's top 52 wineries in Australia. Plus, we look at some of the best road trips nationwide. With contributions from the country's top food writers, from Neil Perry, Karen Martini and Helen Goh to Terry Durack, Jill Dupleix, Dani Valent and Paul Best.

Booking Deadline: Friday 6th May

Material Deadline: Wednesday 25th May

Good Weekend

AFR Magazine //

Culinary Issue

On Sale: Friday 24th June

From profiles on the most exciting movers and shakers in restaurants, to practical tips on how to lift your own cooking game, our annual culinary issue is one to savour. The issue features the biggest names in fine dining and fine wines. It will also include recipes from restaurants that AFR readers love, compiled and tested by Jill Dupleix.

Anyone with a passion for entertaining at home will find everything they need in AFR Magazine's 2022 Culinary issue to take their own kitchen - and dining room - to the next level. Plus, don’t miss out on 'What to drink now' from award-winning drinks expert, Max Allen, who will provide his annual rundown of the very best wines and spirits on offer.

Booking Deadline: Friday 13th May

Material Deadline: Friday 27th May

Fin Review Magazine



Winter Style Edit (GLOSS)

On Sale: Saturday 18th June

Getting ready for red wine, cosy fires and blustery weather? So are we, and our Winter Style Edit will feature fashion for the colder months, as well as columns by style making opinion setters Marion Hume, Kellie Hush, Luke Benedictus, Karen McCartney and Frances Mocnik, to name just a few.

Booking Deadline: Friday 20th May

Material Deadline: Wednesday 8th June

Good Weekend - Winter Style


Life & Leisure //

Travel Issue

On Sale: Friday 6th May & Saturday 7th May

Being Australian, and coming into winter, naturally we are all chasing the sun - dreaming of refreshed coastal escapes and getting out at sea again as soon as possible.

Find everything you need to know about planning your next adventure in this upcoming Travel Issue of Life & Leisure.

Booking Deadline: Friday 29th April

Material Deadline: Monday 2nd May

Life & Leisure - Travel Issue


Escape Winter: Islands + Beaches + Coasts Edition

On Sale: Saturday 7th May

What better time to turn our travel dreams to warmer climes one month or so before the onset of winter?

In this always popular special edition, Traveller’s writers and editors will showcase their favourite islands, beaches and coasts from both Australia and abroad along with the best ways to savour them, including aboard a cruise…

Key categories to be explored include ocean and river cruising, escorted journeys, package holidays, hotels and resorts, wellness and more.

Booking Deadline: Monday 2nd May

Material Deadline: Wednesday 4th May

Traveller - Escape Winter

Find out how your brand can leverage the power of Nine's Publishing assets to drive business outcomes: Request more information