This is a story that you will NOT see in the Advertiser

It is modern day true story of Newsagents (David) V (Goliath) The Advertiser (News Ltd.)

Before the car was invented there were paper-round deliveries but within the next couple of months, many of these delivery rounds will cease to exist. Walking out your front door to pick a paper up off your lawn could well become a thing of the past. Why? Because News Ltd has made it non viable for newsagents to do so.


In most areas, when you purchase a newsagency, it comes with a delivery round. Newsagents have paid goodwill for these delivery rounds. In recent times, the Advertiser has started poaching customers from Newsagents with special subscription deals. The problem with these deals, while a bargain for the customer, is that the newsagent does not receive the usual commission or delivery fee. Usually, when big business does self promoting or special offer deals, it is the big business that wears the cost but not with News Ltd; they make the newsagency wear the cost. Not only has the newsagent lost a customer coming into the local newsagency, the newsagent does not get paid the full commission. The Advertiser’s poaching methods have now made newsagent rounds non-viable. Most country newsagents are now running their delivery rounds at a loss. We are not talking big dollars here. Full commission is 25% of a newspaper, so for each Monday to Friday Advertiser we make a full 27.5 cents.


The Advertiser also wants to take over every newsagent’s delivery customers. They are calling this Migration. Newsagents are being forced to give the Advertiser YOUR PERSONAL DETAILS. If newsagents refuse, The Advertiser will fine them by taking more of their commission away. When Migration happens in your area, and because the Advertiser already has your details, you will have no choice but to deal with the Advertiser and the Advertiser only. As a customer of home delivery, you will have to pay the Advertiser (News Ltd) for 8 weeks supply in advance and contact a call centre to STOP/START your papers. You, as a consumer, will lose the right of choice in the way you pay for and receive your paper.

The Future

The future does not look good. At the present, small delivery rounds are not viable. News Ltd are forcing newsagents into a “take it or leave it” contract with only 6 weeks to sign (It’s now only 4 weeks). If we do not sign the new contract, News Ltd, (The Advertiser) will refuse to deliver any daily papers to that Newsagency.

South Australian Newsagents could go down in the Guinness Book of Records as the only newsagents in the world not to sell a daily newspaper!

Please support your local Newsagent

If Newsagents do not sign the contract, they will not receive the Advertiser to sell. Newsagents are looking for support from not only customers but other businesses in the town. If you own a business that is offered a deal from the Advertiser, please refuse and support your local Newsagent. Your local newsagent is a part of your community. They are always there to support/sponsor all sorts of sporting and community groups. If the Advertiser wins this fight, jobs will be lost and towns will be worse off.


Please help David fight Goliath!

South Australian Newsagents thank you for your time.

Please download, complete and Fax to (08) 8658 1303 or drop in at the newsagent. Newsagent Customer Survey


  1. Felicity Arthur on 10/12/2009 at 12:53 am

    I hear what you say, tim. I don’t doubt rural newsagents have been hit hard, and I don’t blame them for squealing. But it’s probably worth stressing that the newsagents (as an industry) demand a non-negotiable 25 per cent (!) of the cover price. So I’m not sure you can blame News Ltd if they see a better way.
    I note that News said it was happy to negotiate with individual newsagents. I’d be really interested to hear how this eventually panned out in Orroroo?
    Cheers, Felicity

    • tim on 10/12/2009 at 9:05 am

      Hi Felicity.
      Personally, as a retailer I would think a 33.3% markup (or 25% of cover price) would be resonable for selling publications, in fact quite low considering the display requirements. (I bet a few farmers wish they got 75% of the retail price for their produce!)

      As for newspapers, well the cover price certainly doesn’t reflect production costs anyway as they are largely paid for by advertising. – So let’s consider fee for service. I can’t get anything delivered within the town for less than 55 cents (a letter, maybe slightly less for bulk mail) a rolled up newspaper would cost me about $4.00 at a guess. (a Weekend Australian probably double).

      As for the outcome, I’m interested too….An Adelaide Age might be a welcome improvement on the Advertisers offering. 🙂

      • Felicity on 11/12/2009 at 12:48 am

        Sure, but Goliath is under cost pressure, too – as a rule of thumb, a newspaper would look to the cover price to recover its distribution costs. But there’s a cap on the cover price – it can’t exceed what enough readers are prepared to pay. So the squeeze is on at both ends.
        I agree the ol’ ‘Tiser isn’t always much of a read – and that’s the problem – their circulation hasn’t kept up with costs. But I can’t see a bit of downward pressure by News as being bad for consumers (or small publishers) – but then, I’m not a retailer, and I guess I should see how they accommodate your newsagent before I commit to an opinion!

        Anyway, I was just passing through before I got diverted. I like your site. (Maybe News will find a model to make it pay!)

        • tim on 11/12/2009 at 9:29 am

          No worries Felicity, thanks for taking the time to comment.

  2. JoT on 17/11/2009 at 3:06 pm

    Don’t you just luurve ‘corporate speak’ terms like “migration”? Might be worth forwarding to the guys at Get Up (not their usual type of cause) but it’s just another face of globalization, so maybe……? I’ve forwarded to mum – she’s quite the activist these days!! 🙂

    • tim on 17/11/2009 at 3:18 pm

      Only yesterday the pollies were apologising for forced migrations, somehow I don’t think News Ltd will ever be apologising for their forced migrations! 🙁
      Not quite the same, but they still piss you off though!

      • John Mannion on 24/11/2009 at 9:42 am

        Remember years ago there was a catch-cry, “stop the world I want to get off!” Well it’s even more relevant now. The bloody world is out of control! Save the planet – kill the people!

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