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Advertising & Marketing

Friday, 13 September 2013 11:26

New Business Day campaign challenges the status quo of South Africa’s political economy

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Johannesburg, September 13, 2013 – “Understand your country, or lose it” – that’s the opening salvo fired by Africa’s largest business newspaper, Business Day, in its new brand campaign launched in South Africa today.  The campaign sends a strong message to its readers of how critical accurate and timely coverage is to decision makers. It also subtly infers how important freedom of information and expression are to a healthy political economy.

Business Day, with its team of over 120 top journalists, has a readership of more than 59 000 in print, and runs South Africa’s largest business news website (in terms of global audience).  Its readers include South Africa’s senior decision makers in business and government.

The campaign, launched on multiple platforms including TV, online and print, deals with poverty and inequality, the eradication of which are critical to a robust political economy.  The campaign is designed to encourage active engagement with Business Day’s readers and stimulate debate about issues that are core to the country’s future.   

Commenting on the campaign, Business Day’s editor-in-chief Peter Bruce said, “We want to position Business Day’s value proposition in the minds of our readers as the most credible source of coverage of South Africa’s political economy.

The campaign is passionate because we are passionate about coverage that is objective, informed and thoroughly well researched.  We also care deeply about South Africa and its wellbeing, and the campaign reflects this.

Poverty and inequality are South Africa’s core problems.  Our readers need to understand the threat they pose and engage with the issues.”

Building on the newspaper’s reputation for sophisticated coverage of South Africas political economy, the campaign aims to demonstrate Business Day’s commitment to delivering in-depth news, analysis and opinion of a calibre unrivalled in the country, to assist in constructive and well-informed decision making.

Business Day is a thoughtful, analytical daily newspaper. These adverts are the sharp end of a brand campaign that highlights poverty and the wealth gap as the country's single biggest problem and invites our readers to engage with it and not ignore it,” said Bruce.

“We are suggesting to our readers that they should proactively engage with the challenges South Africa faces, or they stand to lose their country, either symbolically to vested interests or even to conflict, and that’s how we got to the campaign’s headline,” he added.

Stimulating public debate

The advertising campaign also makes provision for active engagement with readers. “We’re aiming to increase awareness and usage of our social platforms, where members of the public can debate the country’s issues and their ramifications, thereby setting the agenda and making their voices heard,” said Bruce.

“This will also allow our audience, especially business leaders, to inform and influence sound policy making, and hold government accountable. And it’s truly in their interest that they do so. Ultimately, any government relies on a healthy business sector, since profitable business activity is the biggest source of tax income for its coffers,” he said.

Multiple media platforms

It is no coincidence that Business Day has also introduced a number of complementary media platforms including the BD Live website and the Business Day TV channel. “This is because news and analysis are being consumed not only in print, but in all forms across the globe and we want to make audiences aware that our content is conveniently available in a number of different formats,” Bruce said.

To support its extensive newsroom, Business Day also recently introduced a partial paywall to the BD Live website. “This is an international trend, as print circulation and ad revenues continue to decline globally. This is due to the increasing availability of more convenient channels, such as online news sites,” Bruce said.

“Our readers already view the content we provide as essential to assisting them in making informed business decisions. We anticipate that they will recognise that the excellent standard of journalism we maintain is worth paying for.”

Bruce believes that the campaign will set the wheels in motion for a more rigorous level of public debate. “The ‘Understand your country or lose it’ campaign is strong and evokes the degree of reader engagement so urgently needed in South Africa today,” he said.

View the campaign at 

About Business Day

Launched on May 1 1985, Business Day is now regarded as Africa’s premium business publication and the most credible source of news on South Africa’s political economy. This reputation was established through the publication’s consistent commitment to the highest standards of journalism and to the delivery of news without fear or favour.

Both the newspaper and the website are the news source of choice for decision makers in business and government – the newspaper has more readers from the LSM 8-10 population group than any other publication in the country. Additionally, some 25 per cent of readers are international leaders in business and government.

According to the latest AMPS figures, Business Day has a readership of 59 000. BDlive currently attracts 407 474 unique browsers and 1 739 930 page views per month.

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