New 2UE billboard thrusts a double edged sword in 2GB’s face

It’s been done many times before; a station places a billboard right in the face of its biggest rival. It’s a cheeky tactic designed to stir up the opposition’s presenters and off-air staff. With that in mind, there’s little chance that 2GB staff will miss the 2UE sign coming to and from work each day. It dominates the corner of the road that leads to a media enclave that includes 2GB and 2CH as well as Nova 969, Classic Rock 95.3 and Channel Ten.

But while the “In Yer Face Billboard” stunt has been pulled before, this time there’s a twist. It also serves the purpose of keeping MRN’s bosses focused on buying the radio network that Fairfax wants to sell.

Yet the idea for the billboard came entirely out of 2UE – and, presumably paid for out of their meager advertising budget.

Fairfax has been roundly criticised by many for not capitalising on the cross-promotional opportunities that exist between the newspapers and radio stations. But in an interview in The Business Spectator, when asked about the lack of cross-promotion, Fairfax Chief Greg Hywood admitted that the two targeted different audiences, telling Robert Gottliebsen, I think that you wouldn’t directly relate the Sydney Morning Herald audience to the 2UE audience.”

Meanwhile the fair and balanced people at Murdoch’s Daily Telegraph know which side their idealogical bread is buttered on. In two separate stories in Confidential about which presenters are taking holidays during the ratings break, in one, they strongly criticised the 2UE pair Michael Smith and Paul Murray for taking time off, while in the other, they gave 2GB’s Ray Hadley a tick of approval for taking a rare mid-yea break.