Utusan On War Path?

(Adoimagazine.com) – The Hammer
22 May 2013

It still puzzles me how Utusan Malaysia has censured AirAsia X CEO Azran Osman-Rani for his comments regarding the newspaper’s headline recently post General Elections 2013.

Now Utusan refuses to accept any ads from AirAsia until Azran apologizes; Azran had earlier threatened to pull out all ads from Utusan.

All this seems a little pointless to me.

Because for the whole of last year AirAsia spent slightly over half a million Ringgit on advertising in Utusan. And when you look at the paltry RM10,000 they forked out for Kosmo, Utusan’s sister publication, these are just drops in the ocean.

In fact, AirAsia spent more than RM700,000 with competitor Berita Harian last year.

However, these are Nielsen ad tracking figures based on published rates, which also means AirAsia’s spend is very much lower than stated above.

But what really puzzles me is why a newspaper that has been experiencing a decline in readership and diminishing advertising revenue in recent years can be so bold and
blacklist an advertiser in clear daylight. Sources say that it is a tit-for-tat reaction to Azlan’s earlier threat.

Will this not distance Utusan from other advertisers who are currently advertising with them?

Or those who are ‘thinking’ of advertising in the paper? It is well known among media specialists that Utusan has not been the first choice for advertisers when it comes to advertising to the Malay populace, and even GLCs don’t mandate Utusan as their main choice.

Since the paper’s parent Utusan Melayu is a public listed company, wouldn’t the Board of Directors have something to add about this strategy to censure a paying advertiser? Does this mean that all current Utusan advertisers, and their staff, cannot say anything against the same paper they are paying big money to?

Azran was not supporting the Opposition but commenting on a distasteful editorial headline. I am not saying it is wrong to support the Opposition, but just like any other reader, Azran has a right to his opinion. Instead of doing the right thing, Utusan has taken upon itself to challenge common wisdom. Their contention is he is the CEO of a large company and in that capacity his statement is taken in the political context.

Now if The Star newspaper dared an advertiser to repent before accepting their ads, that’s a different story altogether. The Star is by far the market leader and it can
afford to be ‘cocky’ if it needs to. I am not suggesting they are cocky, but The Star can afford to be picky about who should enjoy special consideration in their pages.

But we all know this is not about who’s sausage is longer.

This is a dare about who has bigger cojones!

Footnote: Tan Sri Tony Fernandes’ blog got hacked by “Rakyat Malaysia” this morning.

  1. #1 by cinaindiamelayubersatu on Friday, 24 May 2013 - 1:44 pm

    utusan meloya

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