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Scoop Magazine fights for its brand at The Local

SOUTH Australian publisher Brooks Media has agreed to some format modifications following complaints by Western Australia’s Scoop magazine.

SA lifestyle magazine The Local came under fire after its masthead, rate card and web site were considered to be identical to Scoop’s work.

It is not the first time Scoop Magazine’s publisher Concept Reality Media Group has stepped up to defend its brand.

In May last year it noticed similarities between Queensland-based Gold Coast Panache and Scoop, which resulted in Gold Coast Panache agreeing to change its masthead and internal layout.

In 2000 Scoop took Sydney-based Scoop Weekly to court over naming and branding issues.

WA-based Scoop magazine won a High Court judgement that it had a national reputation and that market confusion would result if Scoop Weekly continued to publish under the (then) current format.

The battle in SA is also being fought to protect Scoop magazine’s national image, critical to the publishing company that is planning an expansion across the Nullarbor next year, according to Scoop publisher David Hogan.

“The Scoop brand has been in the marketplace for six years and we have been talking about going national,” Mr Hogan said.

“We will likely enter Victoria or South Australia next year.”

Mr Hogan said his main gripe with South Australia’s The Local was copying of Scoop magazine’s rate card and masthead, however legal action was unlikely following discussions with the publishers of The Local.

“We’ve had a chat about it and the publishers have agreed to have a look at the rate card and make changes. Apparently the masthead was never meant to be red, it was going to be a silver grey,” he said.

The Local editor Linda Brooks said the rate card Mr Hogan has referred to was more than a year old and was not in use.

The masthead had changed four times since it was launched a year ago, she told WA Business News.

“We have been using different mastheads as a competition with advertisers to find the one that works. The last one was red and white with a black band but the next issue is orange and that is the masthead we are going to keep,” Ms Brooks said.

“That rate card we had over a year ago and we don’t use that anymore. There were similarities on the web site and we are making changes to it.”

Mr Hogan said Scoop Magazine’s launch across the Nullarbor was likely to take place next year in either Victoria or South Australia. 

 “Victoria has a high concentration of wealth in a small area. Another magazine set up there six months ago and it is a high quality magazine so that would be a consideration we would have to make because we would be directly competing,” he said.

Mr Hogan said there was room in the Western Australian market to expand on Concept Reality Media Group’s two magazines, Scoop Magazine and Scoop Traveller.

“We could go into food and wine or health and there’s potential for a housing magazine. There are still big niches in the market,” he said.

Scoop Traveller will grow from 96 pages to 112 pages for its next edition.

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