The new Viztrade Local Media Fund is aimed at delivering digital advertising investment to Australia’s regional and independent media, and providing an avenue for brands and marketers to reach local communities across the country.

The fund will be lead by Melbourne-based digital advertising platform Viztrade in association with Standard Media Index, marketing management consultancy TrinityP3, DVM Law and Arthur St Digital.

It has also gained backing from Australia’s peak digital advertising body, IAB Australia, which supports initiatives like the Local Media Fund because its mandate is to benefit publishers.

Simon Larcey, MD of Viztrade. Source: Supplied

“We will provide a better system for all advertisers and marketers to reach local communities by connecting directly with digital newspaper publishers across Australia,” said Simon Larcey, Managing Director of advertising platform Viztrade.

“By investing in the Local Media Fund, advertisers can efficiently get their brand messages in front of potential customers. The idea for the Fund has been sparked by the collapse in advertising due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Regional publishers that would benefit include the following media operators: the Bairnsdale Advertiser, Midland Express, Wangaratta Chronicle, Hamilton Spectator, Gawler Bunyip, Plains Producer, Kingsborough Chronicle, Fassifern Guardian and the Southern Riverina News.

Larcey said the Viztrade platform was already connected to hundreds of local and regional publishers across Australia and brands that wanted to support online newspapers outside of the metropolitan markets could easily participate.

“Our long-term aim is to enable Australian and global brands to invest in local media as an effective communications channel. This takes money away from the big tech giants and returns it to the local media economy,” Larcey said.

The media initiative is aimed at supporting independent media during the COVID-19 crisis, but it also establishes an apparatus to ensure the sustainability of the local media industry.

“We support initiatives like the local media fund as we believe the Australian media industry must be provided with as much assistance as possible in this challenging time,” said Jane Ractliffe, Standard Media Index (SMI) Co-founder and MD of Australia and New Zealand.

SMI tracks adspend in Australia and acts as a barometer for brand investment in Australia.

The Fund would stem the flow of job losses in regional media, enable brands to support the long-term viability of publishing businesses, and achieve positive advertising returns for marketers by promoting their services directly to regional communities.

“The Local Media Fund is a great initiative for advertisers to support the local media economy and a new way to create a more sustainable media economy to support all Australian communities,” said Darren Woolley, Global CEO for TrinityP3.

The Fund will be an ongoing initiative and invites both advertisers, marketers and publishers to express their interest in taking part.

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