Ad volatility hurting quality, says CEO

The evolution of advertising was detrimental to quality content and quantifiable audiences, News Corp chief executive Robert Thomson told shareholders.

News Corp CEO Robert Thomson

News Corp CEO Robert Thomson

The disruption of traditional advertising had created “conflicts of interests for ad agencies and a confused and confusing market for advertisers”.

Mr Thomson told News Corp’s annual general meeting: “It is right that the market is under increased scrutiny as advertisers find themselves placed in a mire of digital dross or on jaundice websites which are blatantly biased against business.

“We are clearly in the midst of an ephemeral, experiential phase of advertising’s evolution to the detriment of quality content and truly quantified audiences and communities.”

News Corp posted a 2 per cent drop in revenue in the first quarter of FY2017 and announced $40 million worth of cuts at its Australian business this week.

Mr Thomson spoke positively about the company’s transformation and said a rapidly changing world, prone to economic and social upheaval, had put “a premium on premium content”.

“Fast, accurate news and incisive analysis are invaluable in these turbulent times,” he said.

A shareholder proposal to eliminate News Corp’s dual-class capital structure, which limits voting rights to certain shareholders, was defeated. A similar motion was defeated in 2015.

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