25 Feb 2013

Ad agencies underestimating young Maori - magazine editor

7:06 pm on 25 February 2013

The founding editor and publisher of an online Maori magazine is appalled by the attitude of some advertising agencies, saying they underestimated the technical ability of young Maori when her publication moved to a digital format.

After 14 years as an indigenous lifestyle magazine, TU MAI will stop publishing under the umbrella of TU MAI Media Plus Limited.

Ata Te Kanawa of Ngati Maniapoto descent says when she decided in 2010 to move to an entirely digital format her readers had no issues with it.

But, she says, some advertising agencies were misled by inaccurate information and made an assumption that most rangatahi did not have access to the internet or were technically illiterate.

She says the incorrect data was generated by AC Neilson and said Maori between the ages of 15 and 25 were on the internet less than an hour a week.

Ms Te Kanawa says she was so disturbed that her magazine contacted them and wrote an in-depth article on how inaccurate that information was.

She says there is plenty of proof that Maori teenagers and young adults have totally embraced the internet.

Ata Te Kanawa says there is certainly no one between those ages from any race who is on the internet for less than an hour a week, let alone Maori, who she says are "rampant on Facebook".

She says it was sad that those advertising agencies took "almost a default position", but she does admit TU MAI was ahead of its time and bolted from the stable too early to realise the great potential online publishing provided.