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BBC and
Agencies owed
Google want
global iPlayer
$166 million by GM
General Motors reveals massive debts to media industry, following its file for bankruptcy
US Starcom MediaVest and McCann also announced plans to cut 47,000
Erickson are among the media jobs worldwide.
and advertising agencies owed an The media sector is bracing itself for
estimated total of $166.7 million by the impact of the GM bankruptcy as TV,
General Motors. radio, print and online media all relied
The huge sum of money GM owes heavily on the company’s ad dollars.
GLOBAL Full versions of BBC- was revealed after the automaker GM spent $5.3 billion on advertising
produced TV shows could be made filed for bankruptcy protection last in 2008, making it the third-largest
available globally on a digital media week. The filing showed Starcom advertiser in the US last year after
platform supported by YouTube. MediaVest, which handles GM’s media Procter & Gamble and AT&T, according
Currently, the British state buying and planning in the US, is to TNS Media Intelligence.
broadcaster shows full-length currently owed $121 million. Starcom’s However, a ‘new GM’ is expected
versions of its popular programmes parent company Publicis Groupe is to launch in the next 60 to 90 days as
to UK-based viewers of its iPlayer owed a further $25.3 million, which an independent company, according
service for seven days after is connected to liabilities through to a statement issued by the Detroit-
initial broadcast. Media sources its Digitas and Leo Burnett arms. based firm. It will be, “supported
report that Mark Thompson Interpublic Group is owed $15.9 by a stronger balance sheet due to a
(pictured), BBC director general, million by GM, while McCann Erickson significantly lower debt burden and
is leading talks with Google’s chief is owed $4.5 million. operating cost structure”.
executive Eric Schmidt about an Starcom is sixth on the car manu- Fritz Henderson (pictured), GM’s
international version, which would facturer’s list of largest creditors, with president and chief executive officer,
be supported by Google-owned GM’s overall debt standing at around says the move was “a defining moment
video sharing website YouTube. $27 billion. in the reinvention of GM as a leaner,
The deal has been delayed by The car company had already been more customer-focused and more cost-
difficulties arising from the need forced to ask all its ad agencies to cut competitive company that, above all,
for international rights clearance their fees by as much as 20 per cent can quickly generate winning bottom
for BBC programmes broadcast over the last couple of months. GM has line results”.
outside of the UK. The organisation
has sold many shows, their
distribution rights and associated
German adspend continues to fall
sales to a plethora of foreign
broadcasters and distributors. GERMANY Adspend fell by 2.2 per Total advertising expenditure in
No details about the potential cent to €20.36 billion ($28.7 billion) Germany has grown consistently
structure of the agreement are last year and is likely to decline from 1950 to 2000, including annual
available, although it is thought by 8 per cent in 2009, according double-digit improvements for
internet users will be able to to figures from ZAW, the German around half that time. However,
access content for free. Advertising Industry Association. the period from 2000 to 2009 has
It says the current downturn seen revenues fall by some €3
marks the most challenging period billion ($4.2 billion) from a peak
Mantise launches
facing the country’s ad market for of €23.38 billion ($33 billion)
six decades. recorded in 2000.
targeted taxi ads
Journalists still at risk
in troubled Sri Lanka
SRI LANKA A journalist was last criticised by state authorities in
week recovering in hospital after recent weeks.
HONG KONG Taxi roofs are being being attacked near Colombo, The New York-based Committee
fitted with special LED screens on as rights groups expressed re- to Protect Journalists says the attack
which ads can be changed according newed fears for the safety of the shows Sri Lanka’s independent
to the cab’s location. island’s media. media is still a target, despite the
Mantise Media is initially No one has claimed respon- end of the war with the Liberation
equipping 30 taxis, increasing the sibility of the assault on Poddala Tigers of Tamil Eelam.
number to 500 in 2010. The LED Jayantha—secretary of the Sri Nine journalists have been killed in
panels use GPS technology which Lanka Working Journalists’ Sri Lanka and more than 25 assaulted
enables companies to advertise that Association and editor of Upali since 2006. Amnesty International
their locations are within a five- Thennakoon. However, colleagues says 20 more have fled the country
minute driving distance. say his media activism had been because of death threats.
07 JUNE 2009 / 09
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