Live blog: Thursday, July 24

Welcome to Mumbrella’s live blog, our daily roundup of what’s happening in media and marketing.

Top Stories:

3:34pm - Not shy of creating a bit of controversy Carefree has released some new videos which are bound to have a few people seeing red.

1:30pm Network Ten’s executive general manager Russel Howcroft has accused companies of confusing the public by slapping their corporate name on advertising in a needless bid to take ownership of their brands.

12:30pm – Screen Australia has announced it will be lowering its maximum investment in films to $2m, cutting 12 full time staff members and shedding $500,000 from marketing support following a $25m cut to its budget by the Federal Government over four years in May’s budget.

11:51am - What’s the future of the iPad? Apple reported sales of the device were down 9 per cent last quarter, and boss Tim Cook didn’t even mention it in their earnings statement. Is the writing on the wall for the device wonders the SMH? Read more »

Press Council records ‘considerable concern’ over climate change story handling in The Australian

APCThe Australian Press Council (APC) has taken the unusual step of issuing “an expression of considerable concern on its findings” in a ruling against an article and editorial about climate change in The Australian, whilst an article linking a politician to a brothel in the Sydney Morning Herald has also been censured.

In the ruling which was made public today the APC upheld complaints over an article and editorial in The Australian over incorrect reporting on the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report published in September last year.

The council expressed concerns over what it argues were delays in the acknowledgement of error and expressions of regret with the Council ruling: “They should have been made very much earlier, and made directly to the publication’s readers in a frank and specific manner.”

Today The Sydney Morning Herald also published a ruling after the APC found it “inaccurately and unfairly” linked then treasurer Chris Bowen with Fairfield Mayor Frank Carbone, who was landlord of a business which on certain occasions had been found to be illegally offering sexual services, in a report published just before last year’s federal election.

Read more »

ADMA warns against mandatory reporting after Catch of the Day delayed revealing breach for three years

jodie-sangsterThe Association of Data Driven Marketing and Advertising (ADMA) has warned that forcing companies to report data breaches could see consumers unnecessarily “flooded” with reports that their personal details may have been compromised.

Chief executive Jodie Sangster said making it mandatory to notify the Privacy Commissioner could be counter-productive as genuinely serious breaches may be lost amid a mass of unnecessary warnings.

Her comments came after news emerged that daily deals website Catch of the Day told consumers of a potential security breach three years after the incident. Read more »

Parent companies ‘should let their brands do the talking’ insists Ten’s Howcroft

Russell HowcroftNetwork Ten’s executive general manager Russel Howcroft has accused companies of confusing the public by slapping their corporate name on advertising in a needless bid to take ownership of their brands.

He told a panel discussion that companies such as Unilever and Procter and Gamble should let their brands do the talking and keep the corporate identity in the background.

“I don’t buy a Unilever and yet these days they do like to brand their advertising,” Howcroft said. “It’s like the parent wants to own the child and yet I am buying the children, not the parent.”

His comments came during a discussion on ‘brand purpose’ at a seminar organised by the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA).

Howcroft also accused brands of being self-obsessed and “forgetting the transaction”. Read more »

Australian Grand Prix appoints Visual Identity to handle digital account

F1_AGP_2015_Logo_Blk-RGB-PreviewThe Australian Grand Prix Corporation has appointed independent full-service agency Visual Identity (VI) to handle the digital requirements of the 2014 Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix and the 2015 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, Mumbrella can reveal.

The account was put out for pitch in May as the Grand Prix was looking to drive the brand’s online presence as it aims to become a digital leader in the sport and entertainment industry.

Misha Horsnell, Australian Grand Prix Corporation group manager of marketing, said: “Throughout the pitch process, VI demonstrated an excellent understanding of our brief, impressing us with innovative concepts. Ultimately, vi presented an overall digital service package that met the key objectives of the business in this space.

Read more »

Clear Channel’s Australia and New Zealand president John Bevans departs

Clear Channel logoClear Channel’s Europe, Australia and New Zealand president John Bevans has left the company after 16 years, with the company simplifying its management structure in the region.

The company, which owns 50 per cent of outdoor company Adshel in Australia, as well as a joint venture with the Australian Radio Network with iHeartRadio, with Bevan’s responsibilities in the region falling under Clear Channel Outdoor global CEO William Eccleshare.

Read more »

Lynx encourage men to ‘face the world with confidence’ in new BBH spots

Lynx is refocusing its messaging from “success in the mating game, to getting guys ready to face the world with confidence”, a positioning that sees the brand encourage men to embrace dreaded Mondays and Wednesdays and see the “untapped potential of these blah work days” in two global ads created by BBH.

The global ads are complemented locally with a national outdoor campaign, running across major sites in key city suburbs for four weeks. Read more »

Screen Australia to axe 12 staff and support for industry training programs after budget cuts



Screen Australia has announced how it will save more than $5m this year with measures including lowering its maximum investment in films to $2m, cutting 12 full time staff members and shedding $500,000 from marketing support.

The publicly-funded body which provides grants to Australian film and drama producers was handed  a $25m cut to its budget by the Federal Government over four years in May’s budget, and has undertaken a review of its processes to find where it could make the savings.

Training funds are also set to be cut with $400,000 stripped from the Talent Escalator program, whilst there will be a “transition away” from direct funding for screen resource organisations, with a move to commission them to do professional development activities handled in house.

Staff cuts will see the body reduced to effectively half of its 2008 size, with 100 full time employees as opposed to 190. CEO Graeme Mason said the review had led to a “renewed focus on the core business of the agency”.

Read more »

Former TMS boss Andrew Lamb joins Initiative as client partner

Andrew Lamb Former managing director of independent media agency TMS Andrew Lamb is to join Initiative in the newly created role of client partner.

Lamb, a 12 year veteran of TMS, departed the agency in April shortly before a pitch for part of Toyota subsidiary Lexus’ media account, was announced.

“Andrew carries a high level of respect in the industry,” said Lee Leggett, CEO of Initiative.

“Among the marketing community and media owners he is known for building strong relationships with clients and as a team leader.  He is the calibre of executive I am focused on bringing into the Initiative team and I am looking forward to working with him.” Read more »

Samsung creates moving SlideLiner seats as part of Wallabies sponsorship

Samsung has created a set of seats which move on tracks alongside the pitch as part of its sponsorship of the Wallabies as part of a campaign for its latest range of TVs.

The spot promotes its Samsung SlideLiner activation which gives rugby fans who have purchased a Samsung TV the chance to win a seat between the grandstand and the pitch which runs along an 80m track beside the pitch, moving up and down the pitch to follow the game in real time.

Created by experiential and digital agency Traffik, the spot features a number of  Wallabies players including Adam Ashley-Cooper, Nick Phipps, James Slipper, Tatafu Polota-Nau and ex-Wallaby Nathan Sharpe as the fan heckling the team from the SideLiner seat.

Read more »

SAP Australia to continue working with Howorth Communications despite global Omnicom alignment

SAP logoSoftware provider SAP Australia will continue to work with Howorth Communications despite the company consolidating its global communications, advertising and media and other marketing services with Omnicom.

Perry Manross, head of global corporate affairs for SAP told Mumbrella:  “There are no immediate plans to engage Omnicom directly in Australia. SAP Australia has worked with Howorth Communications since July 2013 for Australia-specific communications support, and this relationship remains very productive and very strong.”

Read more »

The Voice Kids pulls just 806,000 in first weeknight outing as Masterchef wins primetime battle

The first weeknight outing of The Voice Kids has drawn just 806,000 viewers for the singing contest, which features children competing for a recording contract.

The result, which sees the audience for the junior version of The Voice halve from 1.6m since its Sunday June 22 debut, will be a disappointment for Nine and comes just a day after the network’s head of reality TV vowed to refresh the adult version of the singing competition.

In contrast Ten’s Masterchef won last night’s 7.30pm entertainment battle with an audience of 1.128m while The X Factor had an audience of 1.079m in the same time slot on its first Wednesday audience according to the OzTam Overnight Metro Ratings.
Read more »

DWA changes Asia Pacific management structure as John Massey departs



John Massey, the Asia-Pacific MD of tech-focused media agency DWA, has left the company after a seven-year stint to join Singapore based IT firm Leo Tech.

Massey moved from Sydney to Singapore in 2012 to oversee the expansion of DWA’s regional business from Asia. He was also behind the launch of DWA’s Auckland, New Delhi and Bangalore offices.

He joined the company in 2007 from Haymarket, where he was publisher and sales director for the company’s titles in Australia, based in Sydney. Read more »

The Mandarin denies it intentionally copied rival’s logo

The MandarinPS News Tom Burton publisher of new online website The Mandarin, which is aimed at members of the public service, has rejected suggestions by rival PS News that the new Private Media venture copied their logo.

In a video hangout with Mumbrella yesterday, Burton was challenged by the group editor of his rival over what it claimed were similarities in the design of the two logos.

“It certainly wasn’t meant to be,” said Burton. “I don’t even know what the logo for Public Sector News is to be honest.”

“It was put together by a design agency and we went back and forwards on it a million times arguing about whether Tasmania should be part of Australia or Bass Strait should be recognised — should it be pink, should it be blue or should be angular.”

Read more »

Live blog: Wednesday, July 23

Welcome to Mumbrella’s live blog, our daily roundup of what’s happening in media and marketing.

Top Stories:

3.28pm – Our video hangout with Private Media’s new venture The Mandarin, which looks at the public service, has just wrapped up. You can watch the discussion here. 

1.26pm - Nine’s reality TV boss Adrian Swift has admitted he felt Monday night’s finale of The Voice “deserved” a bigger audience and has promised to “refresh” the format ahead of its 2015 return. Read the full story here.

1.19pm - The agencies battling it out for the Budget Direct creative account. For all the details on who click here. 

12:23pm - An ad for video game Watch Dogs (the one which sent ticking safes to journos, and got the bomb squad called in) was hauled in front of the ad  watchdog for glamourising guns.

11:46am - When asked about the ongoing debate around the Cannes Lions awards a panel of new business experts have suggested agencies need to look beyond just creative awards to culture and effectiveness measures to boost their credentials.

10:12am - TV ratings are in, and whilst Seven and The X Factor won the night it was ten and Masterchef which walked away with the demographic gold last night, whilst Nine saw an improvement for Hamish and Andy.

9:27am - Once again the 24-hour news cycle see a key word omitted from a news ticker. Ironically this time it’s ‘horse’.

queen tests positive for morphine Read more »

Nine’s reality TV boss says The Voice finale ‘deserved’ better ratings, promises a refresh

Adrian Swift

Adrian Swift

Nine’s reality TV boss has admitted he felt Monday night’s finale of The Voice “deserved” a bigger audience and has promised to “refresh” the format ahead of its 2015 return.

Speaking to Mumbrella Nine’s director of development and digital Adrian Swift said they will look at all aspect of the show, after just 1.6m metropolitan viewers tuned in to see Anja Nissen take out the singing competition, down from $2m the year before.

The Voice was credited with turning around Nine’s fortunes when it first aired in 2012 and was the most popular show that year. However, it struggled last year against Seven’s My Kitchen Rules losing some audience share, and this year has seen numbers fall off still further.

Swift said he believed the falls were in line with declines in traditional broadcast audiences and that the network would look at a number options, including reviewing the coaches, the songs and possibly featuring more of the backstory of unsuccessful contestants, to make the show more captivating for viewers.

“We believe the show deserved bigger numbers but I think the reality with all singing show is that they are down this year,” said Swift, who also has responsibility for Nine’s The Block which enjoyed a resurgence in ratings this year. Read more »

Filmmaker works with Jack Daniels to explore issue of musicians ‘selling out’

A filmmaker has denied that he sold out by taking money from Jack Daniel’s to produce a documentary – that explored the issue of musicians accepting cash from brands to further their careers.

Dan Graetz, founder of Brisbane-based Graetzmedia, told Mumbrella that he was handed “complete creative control” of the venture when he was approached by JD to shoot a documentary as part of the whisky maker’s new Future Legend’s music initiative.

“When Jack Daniel’s showed interest in supporting creative music-related projects I figured I’d go for broke so pitched this documentary around musicians, brands and honesty,” he said.

Graetz said that after initial reservations at accepting financial help, he was “surprised” at being handed complete creative control of the documentary, The Truth About Money in Music.

Read more »

BMF and Host among three agencies vying for Budget Direct shortlists

budget directThe agencies battling it out for the Budget Direct creative account are 303Lowe Sydney, BMF and Host, Mumbrella understands.

It was revealed last month that the Queensland-based insurance company was pitching its creative account with three agencies in play.

Budget Direct declined to comment on the shortlisted agencies, with director of marketing and digital Jonathan Kerr stating: “We are in the middle of our creative pitch process and will make an official announcement regarding an appointment in August.”

The contacted agencies also declined to comment. Read more »