Peter Horgan, the new chairman of the Media Federation of Australia, believes the lifting of current ownership constraints would benefit publishers through greater use of cross-platform advertising solutions.
Mr Horgan, the CEO of OMD Australia, takes over from Henry Tajer, who was recently appointed chief operating officer of IPG Mediabrands.
“The body’s got good momentum,” Mr Horgan said, outlining his ambitions to “continue to reinvest in training and promoting media industry as a great place to work, attracting and retaining the best talent.”
With Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull expressing a keen desire to dismantle the current “two-out-of-three” platform-specific rules, Mr Horgan said the MFA was in support of a review of existing regulations.
“It’s a 30-year-old construct. We’re in favour of strong media owners, as long as sufficient diversity is maintained,” he said.
Should the regulations be relaxed, he predicted “you’ll have media owners with more platforms and assets at their disposal.
“I think cross platform solutions will become more prevalent, which has the capacity to lead to more complete media solutions,” Mr Horgan said.
“Diversity is a balancing act, and if we’re discussing relaxing existing regulations which are quite aggressive, [maintaining] a form of diversity should be an easy compromise to work with.”
Print, he said, is an enormously impactful and important media that continues to command a healthy share of budget.
“The challenge for the sector is that it’s a far more competitive landscape [than before].”
In a cross-platform context, however, he said there were a wide range of places for print.
“I think it can range from anything from retail activation, to being a mass funnel for online extension, using the broad reach of print as a call to action or pointing towards websites and deeper information immersion,” he said.
He also said the geo-targeting capabilities of suburban newspapers could “augment broader TV or digital print or out-of-home campaigns that require a regional component.”
Mr Horgan’s appointment came as the MFA merged its board with its executive group, a move to streamline its management structure.
MFA chief executive Sophie Madden praised the changes. “While our core focus remains the same – to champion a dynamic and thriving media industry – the newly-revamped structure will allow us to be more effective in making changes to better the industry for our people now and in the future,” she said.
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