Friday 20 September 2019

Trusted reporting is big news again

Media & Marketing: Ad Lib

Larry Bass, Brian Ormond, Pippa O’Connor and Mitchell O’Gorman at the Offscript Studio launch; below Radio Nova rugby pundit Brent Pope
Larry Bass, Brian Ormond, Pippa O’Connor and Mitchell O’Gorman at the Offscript Studio launch; below Radio Nova rugby pundit Brent Pope

Michael Cullen

Consumer trust in good, old-fashioned journalism is being restored - at least for now. The latest Edelman Trust Barometer report declares that fake news and the interference in understanding the truth is a major concern among 33,000 people in government, NGOs, media and business across 28 countries. As a result, people are going back to trusted sources for news - journalists.

Edelman Ireland's public affairs director Feargal Purcell says fake news and conversations around it are giving people cause for pause. "I doubt we're going to see the return of the short-trousered boy with skinned knees, peak cap askew shouting 'read all about it' on street corners," Purcell said.

While the finding isn't newspaper-specific of course, it indicates that traditional media may not be in intensive care after all and could be heading for the recovery room. Purcell says maybe robust media and news organisations, from whatever platform, are reasserting themselves on the back of people's fear of being duped.

In Ireland, the survey found that trust in search engines, social media and apps as a news source dropped by 8pc, while trust in journalism was up by 5pc. With the popularity of smart phones and the increasing pace of life, it was felt people wouldn't have the time or interest in consuming anything except the most convenient news from the handiest sources.

However, it seems people are stepping back. The most talked about issue in media and about media in the last year has been fake news, a focus of US President Donald Trump. Purcell says trust was placed in news because that's how it was labelled, its origin wasn't a matter of concern, but it is now, as society becomes more sceptical.

Of most concern to all media is the barometer's finding that 67pc of people no longer take for granted that news is the unfettered truth. Purcell says whether or not renewed trust in journalism is the start of a trend or a blip centred on fear about fake news, is too early to say.

  • Turning to quality digital content in telling brand stories is proving increasingly popular with Irish marketers. The idea behind Offscript Studio, a joint venture between Independent News & Media (INM) and Larry Bass's ShinAwil production company, was explained to media and creative agencies at a launch party in Tramline. With adland still going through so much change, Offscript aims to capitalise on merging the best of TV production with digital's data and targeting tools.

Offscript boss Mitchell O'Gorman said one of the company's first projects will be with Pippa O'Connor-Ormond, through the development of, an online video platform for female-led content. The site will be a hub for fashion, lifestyle, business, tech and education. John Lloyd, producer of the BBC's 'Blackadder' and 'Q1', spoke about his time working at London ad agency, Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH).

"Having worked as a commercial director in the halcyon days of advertising, I'm acutely aware of the power of storytelling," Lloyd said, amid a stream of some memorable British TV ads for Barclaycard with Rowan Atkinson and Boddington's beer - 'the Cream of Manchester'.

"Audiences have always been hungry for new and meaningful content, particularly with so many brands and platforms jostling for attention. Offscript is to be applauded for thinking differently about how brands can tell their stories," he added.

  • Random acts of kindness is the thrust of the new Cadbury's chocolate strategy. Parent company Mondelez fired Fallon as its global agency last June in favour of VCCP. Fallon created the award-winning drumming gorilla to the strains of Phil Collins's 'In the Air Tonight', but then fell foul with 'Joyville', which was intended to be a long-running campaign but was dropped after just two years.

VCCP's executive creative director Darren Bailes says his agency's intention is to make consumers feel something again for Cadbury - like the pleasure people get by watching 'A Finger of Fudge is Just Enough' ads from the 1970s.

  • Radio Nova has signed Honda as sponsor for a new weekly Six Nations show. Co-hosted by rugby pundit Brent Pope and Pat Courtenay, 'The 6 at 6' is described as "a mix of banter, analysis and music" for an hour at teatime every Thursday until mid-March. The deal, brokered by Havas Media, covers radio and digital stings, social media, podcasting and audience activations. The stings specifically plug the new Honda Civic. The most recent JNLR gives Nova 142,000 listeners in the greater Dublin area.
  • An Post is hosting a breakfast seminar next Wednesday in the Shelbourne Hotel to explain the need for Irish marketers to be ready for the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into force in May. Marc Michaels, director of strategy and insight at Paragon Customer Communications in the UK, is the guest speaker.
  • Michael Cullen is editor of;

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