Newspaper of the Year Awards Australia- who was the star of the night?

News Corp’s The Australian took out the top award at the PANPA Newspaper of the Year Awards on Friday night, winning Daily Newspaper of the Year in the National/Metro category.

Other winners of the night included Fairfax Media’s AFR Weekend, which won the Weekend Newspaper of the Year, Fairfax’s Newcastle Herald took home the Regional Daily Newspaper of the Year for the second year, and the Community Daily Newspaper of the Year went to News Corp’s Manly Daily. For the fourth year in the row, The Newcastle Herald won the regional award.

Newspaper of the Year Awards were held at Ivy Ballroom image

Fairfax dominated the digital news media and innovation categories, achieving 11 wins at the industry-run event held at the Ivy Ballroom in Sydney.

Fairfax took home the Digital Destinations of the Year category, with Digital News Site of the Year awarded to The Sydney Morning Herald (national/metropolitan), the Newcastle Herald (regional), and The Maitland Mercury (community).

Fairfax’s digital presence continued with The Australian Financial Review’s iPad app winning Best Mobile Site or App; The Age’s “The Big Sleep” named Best Niche/Specialty App or Microsite; and Financial Review’s “AFR Innovation Surver” taking out Digital Publishing Innovation of the Year.

“Fairfax’s winning streak was such that some thought they were at ‘the Fairfax Media awards’ – but these awards aren’t some sort of company-run backslapping,” a Fairfax Media spokesperson said.

“We’re thrilled to have our peers and colleagues in the news media industry paying tribute to the genuine competitive edge that Fairfax has – particularly in digital news media – and the unmatched pace we are setting in delivering publishing innovation across Australia and New Zealand.”

More than 400 guests attended the awards held to recognise excellence in print and digital publishing, photography, environmental initiatives and print and production. The event concludes the industry’s annual conference, Future Forum.

NewMediaWorks CEO Mark Hollands says: “Our news media brands are among the best in the world and this year’s award winners were no exception. Our judges overwhelmingly remarked on the high quality of influential journalism and the diversity of entertaining, provocative and often courageous ways in which news media is engaging audiences.”


See all the winners below:




Manly Daily – News Corp Australia


Newcastle Herald – Fairfax Media


The Australian – News Corp Australia


AFR Weekend – Fairfax Media



Mandurah Mail – Fairfax Media


The Land – Fairfax Media



The Maitland Mercury


Newcastle Herald

National / Metropolitan

The Sydney Morning Herald



Smoking Actor – Jon Hewson, Fremantle Gazette


Playing in Ash – Wesley Monts, Townsville Bulletin

National / Metropolitan

Ahmed Kelly – Alexander Coppel, Herald Sun



High Fliers – Sitthixay Ditthavong, Riverine Herald


Nudist Nomads… No Tan Lines Here – Elise Derwin, NT News

National / Metropolitan

Stories of Hope – Jason Edwards, Herald Sun




Title Defence – Braden Fastier, Manly Daily


White Water Wonder – Jon Gellweiler, South Western Times

National / Metropolitan

Fernando Alonso’s Exit – Alexander Coppel, Herald Sun



The Crop – Braden Fastier, Manly Daily


Pot of Gold – Glenn Hampson, Gold Coast Bulletin

National / Metropolitan

Storm Front on Bondi Beach – Rohan Kelly, The Daily Telegraph


Sydney Print Centre, News Corp Australia – Zero Waste Program




Sharp Daily, Taiwan


Apple Daily Publications – Apple Daily, Taiwan

National / Metropolitan

Apple Daily, Hong Kong




Ormiston Print Centre, Fairfax Media – World News Weekly


Yandina Print Centre, APN News & Media – Gympie Times

National / Metropolitan

Chullora Print Centre, News Corp Australia – The Daily Telegraph


Cairns Print Centre, News Corp Australia – Off the Leash (NT News)


Yandina Print Centre, APN News & Media


Erik Jensen – The Saturday Paper


Best Mobile Site or App (Open)

AFR iPad app – The Australian Financial Review, Fairfax Media

Best Niche / Specialty App or Microsite (Open)

The Big Sleep –, Fairfax Media

Digital Publishing Innovation of the Year (Open)

AFR Innovation Surver – The Australian Financial Review Fairfax Media

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Henry Sapiecha

Mercedes-Benz Uses Tough-to-Get Telco Data to Target Ads for the E-Class

Startup Zeotap Helps to Turn Carriers’ Subscriber Info into valuable Mobile Ad Dollars


As cellphone carriers itch to turn their consumer data into dollars, Mercedes-Benz is among the first advertisers to benefit from new partnerships between telecom providers and a young but growing telco data firm called Zeotap. In Spain, the luxury car dealer recently aimed mobile ads to high-income men between the ages of 40 and 60, in part based on the amount of money they paid for mobile service each month.

As the growth of new mobile subscribers dwindles, telcos have investigated a variety of new revenue streams generated from the information they have about current customers, including data on home addresses, demographics and the places that subscribers’ phones turn up.

Zeotap is one of the few firms that has managed to sign data monetization deals with multiple tier-1 carriers, most of which have found data privacy and security regulations to be significant barriers to fulfilling their goals of creating new revenue streams from their data. Tier-1 carriers have direct connections to the networks they use to provide voice and data services. Zeotap, founded in Germany in September 2014, says it has partnerships with six telcos in India, Europe and North America that represent a total of more than 100 million subscribers.

The startup declined to name any of its telco partners, highlighting the sensitivity around a business model that depends on telcos sharing customer information.


“It’s such a tough business to convince these empires to share their data,” said Dirk Freytag, a board member of Zeotap and former senior VP of advertising products and technology at AOL, which itself was recently purchased by Verizon in part to help the telco giant monetize its data through advertising.

“It is a long sales cycle to build trust with a telco provider,” he added.

Mr. Freytag owns a 3% stake in Zeotap, which raised $8 million in funding thus far.

Like most data-centric digital ad models, advertisers pay a fee to target based on the telco data, and in turn, Zeotap provides a cut of that fee to the telco partners. The global market for telco data as a service could be worth as much as $79 billion by 2020, according to estimates by 451 Research based on a survey of likely buyers of such data.

Put simply, Zeotap links telco data to mobile ad targeting systems. The company ingests anonymized, non-personally-identifiable network data through feeds from its telco partners and uses it to target mobile ads to segments of those consumers through its own platform and those of ad tech partners.

While some equate mobile data with real-time location data, Zeotap isn’t currently working there. Instead it focuses on other telco information that categorizes consumers according to factors such as income proxies and the types of contracts they have.

“Real-time information sounds amazing in theory, but often limits scale while being very sensitive on the privacy side,” said Daniel Heer, CEO and founder of Zeotap.


Seeking big spenders
Zenith España, which works on Mercedes’ media duties in Spain, wanted to aim its ads for the Mercedes-Benz E-Class at people who could actually afford the pricey sedan. Zeotap built clusters of consumers based on the amount they were billed for their mobile data and voice services each month. The automaker targeted two groups, individuals between the ages of 40 and 60 who spent 100 euros or more on their mobile bill each month, or those who spent 100 euros or more and paid for more than one mobile line, in order to reach likely business entrepreneurs or people with families.

“There aren’t too much qualified data for mobile in our market and we needed to target accurately bearing in mind E-Class is an expensive model not available for everybody,” said Miguel López-Guzmán, digital media director at Zenith España.

The Mercedes-Benz campaign was the first Zenith ran with Zeotap. “We hope to launch at least another campaign by the end of May,” said Mr. Guzmán.

“In Spain, they have found the right agency who understands what the value is,” said Mr. Freytag regarding Zeotap and Zenith. The data firm must continue to add marketing clients, he said. The company recently hired Michael Sullivan, former VP of demand at mobile ad firm Nexage, as its general manager for North America to help woo the ad industry.

Telcos in recent years have begun exploring ways to create new businesses from the data associated with their primary mobile carrier services. Companies including Verizon, Sprint and Telefonica have partnered with SAP, IBM, HP and others to manage, package and sell data in various forms to marketers and other clients, in some cases sharing unprecedented levels of data.

Zeotap believes there is a very small number of firms that are directly competing with it to foster multiple mobile carrier partnerships. One is Smartpipe, a company that has access to mobile network data and partners with ad tech firms including Komli Media, which plans to use data from Smartpipe for audience targeting in Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand. (No, Smartpipe is not related to the parody startup Smart Pipe featured in a sketch on Cartoon Network‘s Adult Swim in 2014.)

hooded-hacker at work image

A self-imposed hack
It’s not surprising that firms like Zeotap and Smartpipe stress the privacy aspects of their technologies and data partnerships on their websites and when promoting their businesses. Not only are privacy regulations different across the globe, telcos have come under scrutiny in previous attempts to monetize user data. Even when systems are built with privacy in mind, companies risk consumer backlash if companies are not forthcoming about how data is being shared and used. Zeotap says its partners notify their customers that their information is shared through their websites, print statements and by other means.

Some privacy watchdogs suggest that anonymization techniques are faulty in many cases because even information associated with a hashed or encrypted identification code can be linked back to a home address and potentially re-identified by hackers.

Mr. Heer, the Zeotap CEO, said privacy and data leakage are the most imposing obstacles for telcos when it comes to developing new revenue streams from their data. The company has consulted with privacy lawyers and others in developing its technology and business model, he said. It also makes a point to communicate with privacy executives at telco partners before reaching out to business decision makers.

In addition, the company is undergoing a self-imposed hack of its system. “We are hacking our own technology to make sure data leakage cannot happen,” said Mr. Heer. He declined to elaborate on what the process entails.

“Ad targeting by telcos needs strong user controls and serious de-identification,” said Jules Polonetsky, CEO of Future of Privacy Forum, a Washington, D.C., think tank primarily funded by companies such as AT&T, Facebook, Google, Apple, American Express, Disney, Bank of America, Amazon, Tune, and Ernst & Young. “We were impressed with the steps Zeotap employs to ensure careful de-identification of any data it handles.”

Zeotap may attempt to seek partners outside of the advertising industry that could use telco data. “Telco data can create a lot of value in many different industries beyond advertising, and we have it on our mid-term roadmap to explore these other verticals,” said Mr. Heer.


Henry Sapiecha

Pop Star: PepsiCo Makes Big Bet on In-House Content Creation

Food and Beverage Giant Opens State-of-Art Content Studio in Manhattan

Pepsi-management image

Kristin Patrick, PepsiCo’s senior VP-global brand development, and Brad Jakeman, president of PepsiCo’s global beverage group Credit: Nathan Skid

If you have Hollywood ambitions, rubbing shoulders with Meryl Streep isn’t a bad place to start. And if you want to make it big in the music business, Usher is a pretty good guy to know.

So it was fitting that the two megastars were among the first celebrities to make use of PepsiCo’s sparkling new, state-of-the-art content studio in Manhattan. That space will be key as the food and beverage giant strengthens its ties to the entertainment world, pumping out branded content while also pursuing distribution deals with film studios, online publishers and other outlets for brand-agnostic content. And the central mission of all of that content is to entertain, not to sell chips, soda, oatmeal and other PepsiCo products — at least not directly.

pepsico-international-logo image

PepsiCo envisions selling enough unbranded content to cover the costs of creating ad content that does fuel product sales. The unit, called the Creators League, will serve as an internal production arm for scripted series, films, music recordings, reality shows and other content distributed for TV, online viewing and services such as Amazon Prime.

It is an ambitious venture considering that marketing is typically viewed as an expense, not a profit center. But PepsiCo executive Brad Jakeman said he believes that PepsiCo’s massive brands, from Doritos to Gatorade to Mtn Dew, have value beyond what is in the bag or bottle — and he wants to monetize it.

“Our goal is to really behave like a Hollywood studio,” said Mr. Jakeman, president of PepsiCo’s global beverage group. He oversees the content studio along with Kristin Patrick, senior VP-global brand development. So, for instance, brand Pepsi might sell music-related content during the NewFronts, and Gatorade could work with sports leagues to package and sell content like behind-the-scenes videos.

pepsico-foods-logo image

“The holy grail for me is to leverage the incredible power of our brands and their equities to essentially fund their own marketing,” Mr. Jakeman said last week, as he and Ms. Patrick gave Ad Age a tour of the studio. “Will we ever get there? It is going to take a while. Are we making steps toward that direction? Absolutely, we are.”

“For many, many years, we have been the people who have been renting the content from the networks and the studios. There’s an opportunity for us to become more ingrained in that profit pool,” added Ms. Patrick, who joined PepsiCo in 2013 after serving as chief marketing officer for Playboy Enterprises. Her resume also includes stints at Walt Disney, NBC Universal and William Morris Endeavor. At PepsiCo, she is stationed in Los Angeles, close to the entertainment moguls the company is wooing.

Already, the Creators League has signed a development deal with AOL‘s Partner Studios to co-create a slate of branded and unbranded content around music, pop culture, and health and wellness for distribution on AOL and Microsoft properties. PepsiCo is even getting into the movie business, after inking a deal with The Firm, a management and production company, and hip-hop artist Tip “T.I.” Harris to make what is described as a coming-of-age feature film.

The planned movie, which Ms. Patrick described as an “urban ‘Pitch Perfect,'” is in its early stages. A key player in the deal is The Firm’s film division president, Robbie Brenner, whose credits include producing “Dallas Buyers Club.” She hooked up with PepsiCo through Ms. Patrick, with whom she has a social relationship, she said. PepsiCo will be an executive producer of the movie, which will star T.I. “This isn’t about branding and putting Pepsi in the movie at all,” Ms. Brenner said. “It’s about a culture. And because the content and the subject speaks to their demographic, this is a great fit for them.”

pepsi-studio-team-at-work image

PepsiCo team works in the company’s state-of-the-art content studio in Manhattan. Credit: Nathan Skid

Networking Opportunity

The Creators League has been in the works for years and PepsiCo executives have previously discussed the concept. But with the recent opening of the 4,000-square-foot content creation studio in the heart of SoHo, PepsiCo has kicked the initiative into a higher gear.

The studio occupies the same office building floor as PepsiCo’s two-year-old design and innovation center, which Mr. Jakeman also oversees. It was designed by architect and acoustician John Storyk, whose credits include designing studios for the likes of Jay Z and Bruce Springsteen. The space includes a 2,300-square-foot, multiuse recording studio, five editing and production bays, and a theater-style screening room with 10 oversize leather chairs. There’s even a green room for celebrities, which last week was stocked with bags of Doritos, Lay’s and Cheetos.


The studio is staffed by seven full-time PepsiCo employees, including an engineer, editors and producers. The plan is to bring in writers, art directors, cinematographers and other talent on an as-needed basis.

PepsiCo execs envision the studio as a way to network with established talent and up-and-coming stars. Ms. Streep stopped by last week to film a project whose details remain under wraps, although a PepsiCo spokeswoman confirmed that it will not be a Pepsi ad. Usher used the space for what was described as a “personal project.” Serena Williams also dropped by recently to film a video for her Serena Williams Fund, which benefits educational programs.

Singer Kacy Hill, who is signed to Kanye West’s label, recently performed in the studio in front of a live audience for a video called “Creators League Live.” The video, which will be posted to Ms. Hill’s website, was absent Pepsi branding except for a tag at the end that included a Pepsi logo and labeled it a “Pepsi Studios Production.”

PepsiCo does not charge musicians to use the space. “What we hope is that as they build their careers, they remember us as somebody who authentically leaned in to help them, and that when we do want to do a more commercially oriented deal with them, they are going to be more predisposed to doing that,” Mr. Jakeman said.

pepsi-logo-on-building image

The Daily Grind

Last Tuesday was a typical day at the studio. In the main recording studio, staff carefully positioned three cans of Pepsi in front of a guitar during a shoot for Pepsi social media channels. In an adjacent room, a video showing a handful of rolling oranges was being edited for distribution by Tropicana in Canada. In one editing bay, staffers were working with video content featuring Alicia Keys that is being produced for PepsiCo’s sponsorship of the Union of European Football Associations Champions League final on May 28 in Milan. The studio is also shooting videos for a new Gatorade philanthropic program rolling out this summer called “For the Love of Sports” that features Ms. Williams, Usain Bolt and pro beach volleyball player April Ross.

Much of the daily grind at the studio involves pumping out content for PepsiCo’s own brands, whose needs have ballooned as media channels multiply. “It just becomes more efficient at some level to have it in-house,” Mr. Jakeman said.

In traditional arrangements, money typically flows from marketers to ad agencies, which in turn pay production agencies. But at the PepsiCo studio, work is created in the confines of the one-floor studio. That allows the marketer to eliminate overhead. Of course, running the studio comes with its own costs, though PepsiCo declined to detail those expenses.

Bringing content production in-house potentially threatens creative agencies, which are rushing to boost their own creation capabilities. But Mr. Jakeman, who has had tough words for ad agencies in the past, says he is not trying to upstage his shops. Instead, he views his agencies as necessary for higher-level guidance on brand strategy.

“We really value that part of the process,” he said. “Will [agencies] ever be able to produce $15,000 films in eight hours and do 400 of them [a year]? Who knows. But that is not the problem I need them to solve right now. I really value them for that upstream brand stewardship.” His message to agencies? “It’s not about a land grab. It’s about sticking to your knitting, doing what you know how to do the best, and being ego-less and willing to work well with others.”


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