Media Matters: TVNZ proves TV can still turn a profit & Burger King's whopper of a campaign

NBR reporters Campbell Gibson and Nick Grant talk about the week's big media news on NBR Radio and on demand on MyNBR Radio.

In this installment of Media Matters, NBR Radio’s Owen Poland chats with Campbell Gibson and Nick Grant about the inner workings of New Zealand’s media industrial complex.

Fresh off the phone from company CEO Kevin Kenrick, Mr Gibson talks about TVNZ’s announcement of a 55% increase in annual net profit to $28.1 million.

This result is in sharp contrast to the performance of rival MediaWorks’ TV arm, which NBR understands has been sufficiently dire that its result in the entire group (which also includes radio and digital) is missing its budget by a wide margin.

TVNZ’s improved profit is largely down to cost cutting (overall revenue decreased 2.9%), and Mr Grant is reliably informed there is a fair bit of belt-tightening going on at TV3 too – including cancelling the broadcaster’s subscription to NBR (though he suspects there might be other reasons for that particular measure).

The other breaking media story that’s discussed is the “passive aggressive marketing stunt” that Burger King launched worldwide today.

A tie-in with World Peace Day on September 21, the campaign invites fast-food competitor McDonald’s to fuse its iconic Big Mac burger with Burger King’s Whopper – apparently in a bid to bring about the wish of every beauty pageant contestant ever.

Mr Gibson comments approvingly on the campaign, which is the brainchild of Y&R NZ.

In contrast, after acknowledging the achievement of the local ad agency in getting its pitch picked up by the global burger brand, the mealy-mouthed Mr Grant opines that he’s not surprised McDonald’s has thus failed to bite at Burger King’s suggestion, then burnishes his youngish fogey credentials by launching into a condemnation of social media-fuelled campaigns in general.

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