Thursday, September 20, 2007

Manchester Confidential: News in 250 Words etc




Manchester Confidential is quite good. And their new News in 250 Words features around four cherry-picked Manchester stories to save you wasting your life trying to find anything worth reading in the monopoly press. Bit harsh. But non-state monopolies are a sin!

Manchester Confidential is the heir of City Life (another thin wiki page) but being free and virtual it works better commercially. This thing rather than the Evening News will stop Time Out succeeding in the rainy city.

When City Life was picking up and surviving in 1984 and 1985 the Manchester Evening News purchased a vast advertising campaign orchestrated by J Walter Thompson with an Absolute Beginners' vibe. Seemed like a sledgehammer to crack a nut. But we had news and views and we survived. "There ain't no stopping us now" we cheered, with DJ Mick Hucknall at the wheels of steel. Or later Andy and Lou who didn't go on to be quite so rich and famous.

The "News" is now free in the City Centre, even in some places outside the ring road, and they are porting lots of their business to the web, or hoping to. And just to show they're rattled they have adopted an icon of a loudhailer ... remarkably like the one above used by the Manchester Confidential crew.

But a bit pathetic really isn't it?

Manchester Confidential also do Liverpool Confidential. City Life's equivalent there was called Next 14 (or sometimes Next 28) and it didn't achieve even half the advertising base we had, or last for 23 years.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

When providing you with this PR stunt, did manchester confidential also tell you that they are run by a bankrupt ex porn baron?

Mark Garner said...

That will be ex bankrupt ex porn baron you spineless little sh1t. Mind you, i did prefer the porn baron bit. Thanks for your comments Paul, we appreciate them. Anonymous, quite happy to bandy words with you as long as you have the balls to tell us who you are.

Chris Paul said...

You're welcome Mark. LOL like what you're doing. We've never been porn barons ourselves but we can't say we care too much about bygones.

Anon 14:46: Manchester Confidential DID NOT provide me with any stunt. the stunt is one of our own making. And you sir/modum are a coward.

Jonathan Schofield said...

I'm the editor of Manchester Confidential. Away from broadcasting Manchester has been so dominated by the Guardian Media Group that some folk find it difficult to accept other companies, print or web, presenting an alternate view. They're like the old-school communists after the fall of the Berlin Wall.We found this when we did the story on the girls with the fake guns caught on CCTV - 'Toy Story'. Some people thought that we didn't have a right to challenge a deeply suspect MEN story. Fortunately many more people did understand and the readership grew again. Confidential is evolving, it's growing, we will continue to do great comps and offers but we will also do serious articles, reviews, satire and food and drink. Soon our listings will improve too. We are a small Mancunian company and all the editorial staff and almost all the sales staff live within the M60 - within three miles of the Town Hall. For Manchester Confidential this is very important, it means we are of the city and that its issues are our issues. It will be the same with Liverpool Confidential as it grows.

Chris Paul said...

Thanks Jonathan, and for the Sleuth link, appreciated. With GMG holding almost all the local frees and the regional and the so called "community" TV station there is a real problem with the concentration of ownership in their hands - even though the Scott Trust is above it all.

When I wrote to them to challenge the decision to shut City Life - even if a pale shadow in many ways - they replied that this was up to the bean counter Dodson and they wouldn't intervene.

Which makes you wonder why they have all their worthy slogans and visions and missions.

Any ideas? Perhaps blog about that someday soon.