Emails between Dick Smith and News Limited CEO Kim Williams

Attached are the two relevant Emails in relation to
Kim Williams, CEO of News Limited not accepting my magazine

To see original letter of 23 July 2012 click here

In Email 1 of 25 July (see below), I explained to Kim Williams how he may have had a misunderstanding in relation to the fact that the magazine was a paid advertising insert.  I also offered to send him a copy of the magazine when it was printed.

I received Email 2 (see below) on 26 July, a two-line reply which basically treated me with both a flippant disregard and disdain, refusing to address any of the important points I made in my positive email to him the day before.


From: Dick Smith
Sent: Wednesday, 25 July 2012 5:26 PM
To: Williams, Kim
Subject: from Dick Smith re Important Correspondence

To                         Kim Williams AM, CEO and Managing Director, News Limited
From                   Dick Smith

Dear Kim

Thank you for the spirit in which you have replied to my letter.

I believe there could be one serious misunderstanding.  My magazine is to run as a paid advertising insert in your newspapers (if you will accept it). This is the same way that Coles or Harvey Norman would run one of their  brochures.  Nearly 50% of it is advertising, mainly for Dick Smith Foods, but it also advertises such other organisations as AusBuy.

The insert will also include a number of articles about issues that I believe are important for our society and is a one-off publication never to be repeated.

I notice from time-to-time the Murdoch press publishes full-page advertisements for religious organisations and other interest groups promoting a particular view. Your organisation may not support their views, but you are happy to profit from their publication. Why should my insert be treated differently?

My insert does have an article that answers the criticisms your organisation has instigated against me, but surely this is only fair?  For example, an article in the Sunday Telegraph a number of months ago linked my marketing to the extremes of the Cronulla race riots.

I have never been a whinger running off to the Press Council (if that is what it is called) or to the Courts or even demanding letters of apology or correction when you have a go at me - sometimes inaccurately. My method is always to go public and explain my different version of events. This is also what my insert is intended to do.

You mentioned one of the reasons you supported not publishing my Wilberforce announcement was that it took a cheap shot at your organisation. Kim, your people do that to me all the time! In this morning’s Daily Telegraph they have linked my statement in relation to the lack of sustainability of perpetual economic growth with the fact that I have lots of material possessions.  Good on them! That’s what a free press is all about.

My insert is completely harmless to you and your powerful organisation.  I even describe it myself as “eccentric” and I would be devastated if you refuse to take my money as it contains, I believe, an important message.

In places like Adelaide, Brisbane and Hobart you have the monopoly of the print media and as my insert is designed to be distributed in newspapers, if you refuse to accept it, then Australians in those areas would be correct in asserting that their media has been censored.

I even looked at running it in the suburban newspapers of Adelaide if you were to reject it, but I discovered you own those as well!

Then again, rejecting my insert will create an enormous amount of publicity for both of us and save me the
$180,000 expense of insertion costs that would add to your profits.

We are having the insert printed at present and I am happy to send you a copy in advance.  I really hope you will run it in the interests of free speech that you believe is presently at risk.

All the best. Dick Smith


From: Williams, Kim
Sent: Thursday, 26 July 2012 10:02 AM
To: Dick Smith
Subject: RE: from Dick Smith re Important Correspondence

Dear Dick
Frankly it is beneath both of us to engage/indulge (depending on one’s perspective) further in your frivolous and misleading word games.


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