Media Neutrality and Ad Avoidance – ‘A local shop for local people’

I started working in advertising in the early noughties. Back then the world of media was a very different landscape. There were a plethora of local papers covering every inch of the UK the same could be said for radio and TV did not have the technology to pause and invariably fast forward through adverts not to mention the advent of subscription services such as Netflix which are totally ad free. Back in those halcyon days reaching the right audience for your client was like shooting fish in a barrel. Of course our recommendations were always supported by research but we almost always instinctively knew which media would achieve the best results for our client’s.

The effects of the recession have had irreparable damage on the world of media. The ad to content ratio in most media is so far out of kilter that consumers are switching off their local radio station and where there is still one prevalent barely reading their ‘local’ newspaper. Where I live we used to receive a free weekly local newspaper which reported on local news. This reminds me of the League of Gentlemen

We still receive a ‘local’ newspaper but unfortunately this only carries a handful of truly local news stories the rest is from further a-field. I don’t envy the job of local newspaper journalists now. Less than 20 years ago we had an office in our town for our local newspaper journalists lived in the area and were passionate about reporting local news. So where do you turn to find out what is really happening in your local area?

For me personally it’s the internet, there are several local online outlets within my local area. But in the main these new media offerings are not run by professional journalists but anyone who has bought a URL specific to the area in question. I’ve had many a heated conversation with the ‘editors’ of these publications who will not accept a press release because they ‘don’t work for free’. Whilst I have sympathy for these local entrepreneur’s news should be treated as just that. Not news for the highest bidder. These local websites and to a certain extent magazines are not regulated in the same way that traditional media is so anyone can create their own outlet. I sometimes question the motivation of such publications do they really want to deliver the best news for our area?

The problem with our now fragmented media is the lack of sense of community. With our inability to unite people through media comes the lack of ability to support the local community. A new business opening, charitable cause or local event is increasingly difficult to promote. Advertisers and PR consultants need to work extra hard to reach their audience and in many cases are operating on smaller budgets. Is it any wonder so many local businesses struggle to thrive? Once again I look to Singapore they still have one main English language paper the Straits Times/Sunday Times with a daily average circulation of 393,000 you can ensure that your advert is reaching 8% of the population. This is all the more impressive when you take into account that “English is the native language of 32% of Singaporeans…” (Source). 

I was delighted when Jazz FM returned to the airwaves last year the ad to content ratio is spot on and I’ve found the adverts to be informative like the recent campaign by the FSA something I’m genuinely interested in. That’s the beauty of well-planned media selections. If you take the time to investigate the correct media outlet for your audience, you can still achieve sensational results.

At Icon Marketing Communications we offer media neutral, tailored solutions to help our client’s realise their objectives. Yes, the task is much harder but not impossible. Recommendations are developed based on clients’ goals, research and of cause budgets. Although the media landscape can at times seem bleak there are still many ways to reach out to your target audience. If you would like to talk about realising your objectives feel free to get in touch. or 01625 533102.


Cheshire White Collar Boxing - In Memory of Julian Churchman

Cheshire White Collar Boxing are holding an event in honour of Julian Churchman who sadly died earlier this year of stage 3 stomach cancer. Best friends Dave Bridgewood and Julian Churchman first met playing pool 30 years ago. The original plan was to send the Ashton based family on a once in a lifetime trip with the funds raised from the GoFundMe page,  raffle and auction but unfortunately Julian lost his fight to cancer at the age of 44 before this was possible. The money raised will go to Julian’s widow and daughter.

The Event

The ‘Ultimate Challenge’ Friday March 17th and ‘Fight Night’ Saturday March 18th will still go ahead and Dave hopes it will raise awareness of stomach cancer as well as being an enjoyable event. The event will be held at Wilmslow Leisure Centre doors will open at 6:30pm with the first fight starting at 7pm there will be 10 fights per night, tickets start at £25 with ringside seats available at £35.

Julian leaves behind a 14-year-old daughter, Paige and wife Michelle. Over the years Cheshire White Collar Boxing and Cheshire Fitness have raised in excess of £110k through their online charity donations, raffles & auctions. The goal is to raise £5000 for the family. Michelle Churchman says;

Churchman family

“Julian was the life and soul of the family, hard-working but fun. He will be sadly missed by everyone who knew him. Especially the family”

The Ultimate Challenge is an opportunity for white collar workers to participate in a boxing match this has recently been extended to any type of worker. White Collar Boxing is open to fighters aged 18-57 years. The boxers for the March event range in age from 19 to 49 and cover a wide variety of professions: banker, director, construction workers, accountant, solicitor, barbers, recruitment, health care, leisure & fitness. White Collar Boxing is safer than traditional boxing as the gloves used are larger and there is rarely a knockout.

There are people taking part from all over the South Manchester & Cheshire area with most participants living in either Wilmslow, Alderley Edge, Mobberley, Hale and Lymm. Luke Brown from Wilmslow is the youngest contender at 19 years old, and Dave Bridgewood the eldest at 49. As well as participating in a match, Dave and his wife will be in attendance on the night as medics.  The referee on the night will be British featherweight champion Andy Morris Jr.


Cheshire White Collar Boxing was established by ex-professional boxer Glenn Williams in 2012. They are the first local company to bring back the glitz and glamour of the original white collar boxing which originated in New York. Fights have previously taken place at Mere Golf Club, The Hilton Deansgate and The Titanic Liverpool. For many of the white collar boxers this is the opportunity to fulfil a lifelong ambition, stepping into the ring in front of their friends and family. Boxers are being trained by a wide range of coaches including Bob Shannon, former coach to Ricky Hatton.

For ticket information speak to Glenn on 07886 432658 or email to find your nearest outlet. For more information, please visit their Facebook page @CheshireWhiteCollarBoxing

Of the event Glenn says;

“Once again we are proud to be hosting our event in Wilmslow. White collar boxing as a sport is bigger and better than it has ever been before. Many of our fighters have taken part in other sporting trials, but white collar boxing takes it to another level; the physical and mental strength required is immense. Stepping into the ring is one of the most adrenaline fuelled challenges these guys and girls will ever face.”