British editors launch Australian marketing website

Two former B2B editors from the UK have teamed up to launch an online publishing venture focusing on marketing and travel in Australia.

Tim Burrowes and Martin Lane (pictured) have seven B2B editorships between them. Burrowes has edited Hospital Doctor, Media Week, Campaign Middle East and B&T Australia, while Lane has edited Travel Weekly, Travolution and Travel Week Australia.

Their new venture, called mumbrella.com.au, focuses on ‘everything under Australia’s media and marketing umbrella’and is a blog-based site with aggregation, news and comment.

The pair have also launched a digital newsletter called Backpacker Trade News which plans to target Australia and New Zealand’s independent travel industry and to host a related conference, trade show and awards dinner.

The duo, who previously worked together at RBI, which publishes Travel Weekly, said they had identified ‘a number of markets ill-served by the established players”.

Despite the current downturn, Burrowes said the benefits of new media technology meant journalists had new opportunities to become their own publishers.

He said: ‘In the past, journalists keen to go it alone faced high barriers to entry, most notably prohibitive print and distribution costs, but the web has taken that away.

‘Australia is the last English-language territory where there are huge gaps in the market. For instance, there are currently no sites in Australia like Brand Republic, PaidContent or MediaGuardian. And we intend to exploit that with Mumbrella before moving into other verticals.”

Burrowes also said he could not rule out their company, Focal Attractions, one day launching printed products.

He said: ‘It’s about providing content in a form the audience wants to receive it. If we thought a print title would work alongside a website, we’d launch one for sure.”

Lane added: ‘The internet is a great channel for a start-up business – it’s fast, cheap and effective if you do it right – but events and face-to-face are just as important.

“Ultimately, you need great content and we believe we’re better positioned than most to deliver it.

‘Australia is virtually the only place in the developed world that’s not facing a recession, so we’re very confident of success.”

The venture is being backed by former TNT Magazine UK group managing editor and United Press International correspondent Ian Wakeling, now relocated to Sydney as managing director of TNT Magazine Australia and New Zealand.

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