The Need for a Media Reform

I have always thought that Television is educational and informative with so many channels and cable that the world has discovered. In my small world with just a dot on the global map, Television has simply brought the world to our homes updating us with all events globally. But little did I know, that there have been regulations and protectionist laws limiting broadcasting now faced with the neighbouring countries.

The Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association (ASTRA) has publicly showed the world some of the fascinating issues tarnishing the benefits of the whole IMC philosophy with the challenges of protectionist laws that has had a significant impact on Australian Television companies.

Hickman (2016) confirms that the Australian government is now undergoing a reformation package to abolish the audience reach rule and cross media ownership restrictions  so that free subscriptions in the Television industry are realised.

There is however a holistic media reform package that the Australian government has placed on the Australian free-to-air and subscription Television companies. The package includes the excessive licence fees, the anti-siphoning list and other compliance costs.

Hickman et al, further confirms with the ASTRA Chief Executive Officer, that this package reform initiated by government, will revoke media ownership and control rules that unfairly restrict Australian broadcast and publishing companies from building the scale and cross media capabilities needed to take on global digital media rivals. There is also protectionist policies such as the anti-siphoning laws that was supposedly to regulate media companies having access to significant sports that has recently prevented Foxtel from bidding on some of the certain sports when in fact it was seen as a blunt instrument to cut back one competitor. Then there’s governments excessive broadcasting licence fee which has been recorded more than 15 times the rate that is used in the United Kingdom. This tax however is only applicable to Television and radio services that use radiofrequency spectrum, this has significantly eroded funding in areas of local content productions.

The rise of the Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) has also been confirmed having a somewhat lesser impact on the pay Television Industry with a recorded amount of 50% of households now having to pay some television content, which is now recorded as the highest in Australia.  These hurdles has placed local content procedures at a huge disadvantage making Google, Facebook and Netflix which are free from all these regulations are in the go to lure advertisement dollars from the traditional channels and making way into the digital world (Hickman, 2016)

With such, a call for deregulation urgently needed confirms Hickman et al. There is a dire need to create a level playing field so that local companies can focus on producing Australian content so that they are able to compete with much of the endless production line of the highly blockbusters from the United States and from other countries.

The free-to-air and subscription Television sectors have been aligned in this deregulation reform called the “unity ticket” and it has placed great emphasis on the local content with less content requirements for TV networks and placing ideas on investing in locally produced drama and also on children’s programs.

Hickman et al confirms that ASTRA will adopt a similar robust position and will include competition barriers that are unique to ASTRA members. This includes the anti-siphoning list that prevents Foxtel from bidding for live sports that are known to be of national interest. More significantly, ASTRA believes that free-to-air networks are softening their position on anti-siphoning list as they have commercially more important strategies and marketing activities to focus on. The government will proceed with such reforms to deregulate and getting rid of some of protectionist laws that have accumulated over the last 20 years for free-to-air television.

ASTRA is now heading towards a change period and the increasing challenges presented by digital world and the sector expanding that greatly needs Integrated Marketing Communications so that ASTRA can further make informed choices and to select the most appropriate media outlets.

Iacobucci (2013 p.162) states that marketers and businesses can capture a variety of audiences or target group  across the varied media that engage them, marketing experts have encouraged the strategy of IMC. The marketing manager needs to know the strengths of the various individual media available. It is significantly important that the marketing messages are seamlessly integrated across the   media selections. Companies and Marketers nowadays needs to keep in mind the company’s overarching strategies and ensure that all of the marketing activities send a consistent message such as its communication, the significant things like consumer and trade advertising and promotions, product placement, personal selling, direct and database marketing. Also including other marketing mix elements such as the product design and packaging, pricing and channel availability.

To ensure that such strategy is effective , all IMC messages across all media should be the same. Although, marketers have realised that while some elements should be consistent (brand names, logo, general flavour and positioning) the varied media have varied strengths and therefore the messages should also play to the mediums strengths for instance, a TV ad is vivid and dramatic, however, the message needs to be kept simple, whereas complicated products can be explained better in print such as in magazines, online, direct marketing). the overall goal here may be consistent in terms of its positioning, but the different media offers supplemental information.

Iacobucci et al p. 163 further gives media comparisons with today’s TV channel fragmentation, this medium still yields the largest reach numbers. While reach is strong, frequency can be very challenging to achieve given the expenses. Traditional TV, is considered a mass medium, but special TV and cable channels serve more focused audiences.

Kuang-Jung, Mei-Lian, Chu-Mei and Chien-Jung (2015) gives a model that builds on relationships among integrated marketing communications, collaborative marketing and global brand building and it has given that IMC has significantly impacted and has had positive effects on the global brand building. Further this approach also elaborates on collaborative marketing which has reached a closer integration and better management of business relationships among parties, business partners and customers which although adopted in Taiwan, it may be an applicable approach for all business marketers.

by Jacinta Tupuola

ID 212369336


Iacobucci, D. (2013) Marketing Management, MM4, Student Edition.

Kuang-Jung, C, Mei-Ling, C, Chu-Mei, L and Chien-Jung, H (2015) . Integrated Marketing Communication, Collaborative Marketing and Global Brand Building in Taiwan.The International Journal of Organizational Innovation Vol.7 Num4. April 2015






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