Economy

Cyclist rescue service… A million new cars… Advertising outlook strong… Online TV ads no turnoff… Profesional salaries steady…

SmartCompany /

Cyclist rescue service

It’s a familiar experience: you ride your bike into work fully intending to ride home, but then it starts raining, you work late or you’re just too tired at the end of the day to make the long trip home by pedal.

If you live in London (where, let’s face it, it is very likely to be dark and cold most of the time) a enviro-friendly car service has been created to come to the rescue of stranded cyclists. Springwise reports that London’s Climatecars has a fleet of five Toyota Prius cars, with three more to follow this month, each fitted with a bicycle carry-rack.

No doubt a trip in a Climatecar will cost more than your average taxi, but they do come equipped with complimentary magazines, newspapers and Belu mineral water (branded as the first bottled water that doesn’t contribute to climate change). It costs no extra to strap your bike to the back of the car, and best of all, you get to travel home comfortable in the knowledge that you haven’t completely undone the morning’s emission-saving cycle commute by catching a ride home in a big dirty car.

A million new cars

New figures show that there was a boom in new car sales in Australia in the 2006-07 financial year despite growing awareness of cars’ emissions increasing global warming.

A total of 1,004,097 new vehicles were purchased during the financial year. Luxury sports cars and sport utility vehicles were the biggest growing segments thanks to wealthy baby boomers and the healthy stockmarket. In SUVs, the biggest growth is for the compact varieties such as the Nissan X-Trail, Honda CR-V and Toyota Rav 4.

But internationally, Toyota’s hybrid Prius is enjoying very fast growth as the environmentally friendly car of choice that enables its owner to make a political statement and save on fuel. The New York Times reports that Prius sales for the first six months of the year are up 93.7% to 94,503 and Toyota has already sold almost as many as it did in all of calendar 2006.

At the cheaper end of the market in Australia, car buyers are flocking to buy lighter, more fuel-efficient cars. The light car segment’s sales are up 12.3%. Strong economic conditions are encouraging the industry to believe that buyers will continue to choose new cars.

Advertising outlook strong

Advertisers and media buyers are confident ad spending will remain strong in 2007-08, with growth in the $11 billion market to top 6% for the year to June 2008. Strong automotive sales and telecommunications and government spending in the leadup to the federal election will drive the growth, The Australian reports.

But print advertising campaigns are expected to remain flat, and there are some concerns that there could be a correction for online advertising. Media buyer Harold Mitchell reckons online ad spending will grow 50% in 2007-08, but the CEO of MediaCom, Anne Parsons, believes a correction is overdue.

In TV advertising, the Seven Network is forecast to lead growth

Online TV ads no turnoff

One of the reasons cited by Fairfax chief David Kirk for the company’s takeover of radio and TV media company Southern Cross Media is the rise of video. Today The Australian reports that Fairfax digital, ninemsn and Yahoo!7 are all reporting strong demand for their video streams and that TV advertising online is not receiving the consumer backlash feared.

European online publishers are reluctant to show video advertisements before or during video content because of fear of losing users. However, Nate Elliot of Jupiter Research told The Australian that sites with ads do not lose users. He says consumers accept ads even though they do not want them.

Ninemsn, runs one ad for every two pieces of video content and an average of six million video streams each month. Some media buyers have predicted that the shift towards online advertising will hit Australia’s free-to-air TV broadcasters by mid-2008. According to Nielsen NetRatings research, 36% of internet users are now downloading free videos and 33% are streaming free video content.

Employers holding professional salaries steady

Despite the tight skills market, only 55% of professional workers received a pay increase in the past year, with 40% having to ask for it, according to a new study from recruitment firm Chandler Macleod.

Overall, the level of salary increases reported by professionals showed that 58% received a pay rise of over 5% in the past 12 months, of which 36% gained an increase of over 8%. Of the 77% expecting to receive a salary increase in the next 12 months, most expected an increase of 2–5%. The 23% not expecting any increase had not been at the company long enough, or were contracting, temping or self-employed.

Two thirds of employees are happy with the level of salary increases they had received, but a third are not.

Increase (%)

Received in past year (%)

Expected in next year (%)

> 8

36

22

5–8

22

29

2–5

34

42

< 2

8

7

Quote of the Day

The best thing about the future is that it only comes one day at a time.

– Abraham Lincoln

Advertisement
SmartCompany

SmartCompany is the leading online publication in Australia for free news, information and resources catering to Australia’s entrepreneurs, small and medium business owners and business managers.

We Recommend

FROM AROUND THE WEB