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NSW Premier pushes print aside for online advertising

Tuesday, 18 November 2008
By Print 21 Online Article

NSW Premier, Nathan Rees, gives printers the flick, encouraging bureaucrats to use online advertising as a cheaper alternative.

Last week Rees decided to cut the advertising budget by 25 per cent as part of the mini budget. "The Government must tighten its belt so we can continue providing frontline services," he said.

The push away from print and towards online is seen as cheaper, but it will undoubtedly have a serious effect on the printing industry who rely on regular government work.

A spokesperson for the Minister for Commerce offered only an evasive response on behalf of Rees as to why he made this decision.

"All areas of government spending were subject to review in the lead up to the mini-Budget. In line with this, the Government determined that it could achieve efficiencies in advertising expenditure," said the spokesperson.

"Government advertising addresses important issues across a variety of target markets including road safety, water conservation and cancer prevention. It remains the responsibility of individual agencies to create the most effective and efficient advertising campaigns and to choose the most appropriate and cost effective media to achieve the objectives of each campaign."

Robert Fuller, general manager of Printing Industries NSW is angered by the move.
"Premier Rees appears to be eroding the last threads of NSW business confidence by seeking to cut communication with the taxpayers of NSW," he said.

"There is nothing wrong in using the web for advertising but the web is a ‘pull through’ medium whereas the printing industry is a ‘push through’ medium and long-time proven to be the most effective form of communication. The Premier should remember that print is portable and can be carried and consumed everywhere and doesn’t need a screen or electricity to view the message."

Fuller also questioned the effectiveness of online advertising.

"Print is permanent and easily re-read but when the computer screen fades, so does the message," he said.

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