Could there be anything worse in life than to have your balls in the tight grip of Gerry Harvey?
That’s Gerry “the poor can go fuck themselves with a rubber hose” Harvey of Harvey Norman.
Okay, we’re paraphrasing there just a bit but rich-as Gerry has said some rotten things about poor people and how they abuse welfare.
But the analogy at the top of this piece is fair enough. Gerry Harvey has a tight hold almost at white-knuckle stage and the helpless owner of the gonads being gripped, the plums under painful pressure?
Nine Entertainment Co’s masthead The Sydney Morning Herald.
Here’s the problem. Gerry is doing very, very well, thank you for asking, out of COVID-19.
The money Aussies used to spend on domestic or overseas travel is now being spent at the Harvey Normans of this world for things to amuse themselves with in lockdowns.
Add to that the millions Gerry pocketed from the federal government through Jobkeeper and that’s a helluva lot of money not to give to poor people because they’d only spend it on piss, the pokies and packets of ciggies.
So where does he spend all that dosh? On media advertising to make even more money from his stores. It must be great to boast one of the finest business brains ever in our nation’s corporate/retail history.
And so we look at yesterday’s SMH for simple evidence that what Gerry wants – the python-like grip tightens just enough to be noticed – Gerry gets.
Especially when the balls being squeezed belong to the struggling masthead mentioned above, which means that when Gerry wants a wrap-around, he gets one his way.
The Media Glass House is not suggesting that the SMH is the first newspaper to prostitute themselves – to sacrifice the look of their front page – to make a desperate dollar. Sometimes a masthead and the splash head have been all that stood between an advertiser’s desire to buy as much of that front page as possible (we hope they paid for the whole fucking lot at a juicy loading) while folk still had a chance to recognise it as a newspaper on the newsagent stands.
Yesterday’s SMH and liftout (at top) weren’t as bad as that. But bad enough. You do what you need to do to survive, the MGH supposes.
But here’s our overall criticism. If you want to prostitute yourself, then at least have the balls – okay, now we see the problem – to make the Gerry Harveys of this world buy the whole four pages of the wraparound. Plus a charge for getting the paper’s remaining sub-editor to create two different front pages.
And we’d also be very curious as to know what Peter FitzSimons (pictured below) – a damn fine writer – thinks of his Saturday column being discarded by readers tossing the wraparound aside.
A company regularly taking multiple pages or liftouts in metropolitan dailies can afford to take most of the front, page two and the inside back and back pages at a hefty loading to make it a proper advertising wraparound.
In other words, it’s time for the SMH to muscle up to Gerry and show some balls, no matter how bruised they might be.
Postscript: The Bug is not privy to such things but if Hardly Normal paid for the space occupied by the Fitz column on the inside back page of yesterday’s SMH, then good on you, Nine Entertainment Co! Shouldn’t make Fitz feel any better, though.
Make Gerry pay for a normal store ad on that inside back page and put poor old Fitz in the main book so it doesn’t become fish wrapper quite as quickly as the wraparound.