MEDIA MONITORS AUSTRALIA
Established in Melbourne in 1904, the Australian Press Cuttings Agency (APCA) was Australia’s first media monitoring specialist. Within two years, its clientele included Sir John Forrest and his wife, several members of parliament, and various companies and community groups.
From 1915, it was headed by Beatrice Fowler and staffed entirely by women. By 1938, APCA claimed to be Australia’s largest press clipping agency and had links with international agencies. Competitors included the Country Press (est. 1923). As the need for monitoring services grew, each capital city had at least one agency. National coverage was provided through informal networks.
Modernisation occurred gradually. Monitoring of broadcast media commenced in the 1970s while the cut-and paste-process of filing newspaper reports was computerised in the late 1980s.
Neville Jeffress’s purchase of the Country Press in 1982 began a succession of takeovers that radically altered the monitoring industry’s structure. Bringing the Lynch Pidler agency on board, Neville Jeffress Pidler would embark on an expansionist campaign by buying out competitors, with APCA an early acquisition. In addition to expanding the agency’s client list, each acquisition extended its reach and expertise.
By the 2000s, Media Monitors Australia (as it was now known), had bought out its largest local competitors and was extending internationally into New Zealand, Singapore, and China. In 2012, it was renamed Sentia Media. Rebranded iSentia the following year, it would apply this title to its entire operations in the Asia-Pacific region. With a staff of over 1200 servicing some 5000 clients across 15 countries, iSentia claims to be the largest media intelligence firm in the region.
REF: P. Allen (ed.), Media Monitors Australia 1904–2004 (2004).