Week in brief May 8 2012

New promotional website for SMEs; Too many SMEs in New Zealand?; Apple named Australia’s most reputable brand; and more.

A new website that SMEs could use to promote their wares to their local community has just been launched. Called Local Today, the free to use website lets users (including business owners) post news, events and deals in their local area, and those behind the site have told us they believe it could be a great tool for SMEs to attract more customers from the neighbourhood. The site allows users to input their postcode to view content related to their neighbourhood and surrounding suburbs within a 10km to 100km radius. You’ll find the site at http://www.localtoday.com.au/.

The New Zealand Herald reports that, according to New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants' chief executive Terry McLaughlin, the country doesn’t have enough big companies to sustain the thousands of small businesses in its economy. McLaughlin added that the fact that so many Kiwi businesses seemed content to stay small might be restricting the country's economic growth. Read the full story here.

Advanced Market Research (AMR) Sydney’s latest annual Corporate Reputation Index, released last week, puts the ever-popular Apple as Australia's most reputable brand. AMR’s customer research survey included 6,000 Australians aged 18-64, and Apple Australia has this year reached number one in its first year of inclusion; JB Hi-Fi was named the top brand in the two previous years. After some horror recent PR incidents, Qantas and News Limited have dropped well down the rankings, while Telstra showed the most improvement from last year’s survey.

With the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)  on the cusp of releasing new guidelines around online brand safety, Ad News reports that a number of major companies, including the Commonwealth Bank, Qantas, Hyundai and Vodafone, have been busted for online ad placement on adult sites. Display ads promoting Hyundai, World Vision, Qantas and ANZ to Aussies have reportedly appeared alongside soft porn or adult content, while CBA advertising appeared on a website that could facilitate illegal downloading under copyright law in some countries. Interestingly, Austar deemed one of its ads, which appeared next to several images of a naked woman on a site called Plunder Girls, borderline appropriate because the ad was promoting Fox Sports to a male audience.

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