Mediaworks and Mega

The Herald reported:

MediaWorks has cancelled an advertising campaign for internet millionaire Kim Dotcom’s new business, Mega, which is due to be launched on Sunday.

The new online data storage facility, a successor to the defunct Megaupload, promises to be an online haven for internet users, which he has previously said will be “powered by legality and protected by the law”.

On Twitter today, Dotcom said MediaWorks had cancelled a radio advertising campaign which had been booked prior to the launch.

“Apparently some music labels complained to MediaWorks about our radio ads. Booking of over 500 ad plays terminated. Wow!!!

“Not blaming MediaWorks. They are a great company with great people. It’s the music labels that are abusing their power, again.”

Dotcom appealed to non-MediaWorks radio stations to play the advertisements instead.

A MediaWorks spokeswoman confirmed the campaign had been pulled.

“For commercial reasons we are not playing the Kim Dotcom advert.”

That is somewhat concerning. If Mediaworks had concerns about whether the service being advertised was legal, it would be appropriate to consider not running the ads.

But it sets a nasty precedent if one group of advertisers or suppliers can get a media outlet to refuse advertising from a competitor – not during a sponsored progamme – but from the entire network.

Would we want a media outlet refusing advertisements from a car manufacturer because their horse and buggy supplier objected?

Now Mediaworks as a private company can choose to do what they want. However allowing one group of suppliers to pressure you into turning down paid legal advertising is a pretty bad precedent to establish, as it may encourage others to do the same.

If the issue is that they thought the service being promoted was not legal, then again that would be different. But they themselves have said the decision is for commercial not legal reasons.

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