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PMP boss stands behind print in face of digital explosion

Tuesday, 29 June 2010
By Print 21 Online Article

Richard Allely was a lone voice in support of printing among a who’s who of CEOs who predict a digital future.

In an inaugural survey with The Australian’s Media and Marketing section this week, 19 CEOs gave their opinion on the state of the industry (Fairfax’s Brian McCarthy and APN News & Media chief, Brendan Hopkins declined to be a part of the interview).

Allely, (pictured), who came on board as CEO last year following the exit of Brian Evans, is optimistic concerning the state of printing, citing a return to investment in catalogues. While he acknowledged the growth of online, he is confident of print’s durability. PMP has contracts to print Sensis phonebooks, a product critics often claim is out-of-date given the proliferation of online search engines.

“As the internet becomes a worldwide source of information, navigating oneself through the maze becomes even more confusing,” Allely said. “Traditional mediums such as catalogue and direct mail therefore continue to achieve greater cut-through when combined with digital.”

Bruce Akhurst of Sensis, who looks after Telstra’s directories division, however, sees the print market as “a bit more subdued”. Online, is where he sees a huge growth area. “Digital media has reached a point I call the big bang,” he said. “We’re seeing an explosion of devices, applications and content.”

PBL Media chief, Ian Law, believes that television is a window of opportunity for his company, while there is “uncertainty” in the overall economic outlook.

“The demand for advertising inventory on television is being led by the economic recovery and the fact there is an increasing awareness that in a world of fragmentation in terms of media and how it is delivered, that there is no other media form that can offer that mass reach of free-to-air television,” he said.


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