UM boss Mat Baxter joins PR convergence panel at Mumbrella360 conference

Mat BaxterMat Baxter – the agency boss who sparked a debate about PR turf when he declared that UM was no longer a media agency and would now be doing battle for earned media territory too – is to put his case at Mumbrella360 on Wednesday.

Among the panellists Baxter will be debating with is Anthony Freedman, co-founder of PR agency One Green Bean. Freedman, who also runs ad agency Host, warned Baxter in February that shifting his agency’s cultural thinking into public relations territory would be tougher than he thought.

They will join panellists including Matthew Gain, chief operating officer of PR agency Edelman and digital strategist Karalee Evans, who blogged earlier this month on “the Great Convergence” of agency offerings. Evans has worked clientside and at PR, creative and digital agencies.

Completing the panel is Droga5 ECD Steve Coll, who is a long time champion of creating campaigns that generate PR.  Read more »

mX editor-in-chief Craig Herbert says staff ‘gutted’ by closure of commuter newspaper

mX coverCommuter newspaper mX editor-in-chief Craig Herbert has said staff are “gutted” by the decision to close the struggling commuter paper, in a front-page editorial which also thanked readers for their support.

News Corp confirmed yesterday that the newspaper’s last edition will be on June 12.

The publisher’s CEO Julian Clarke blamed the closure on the shift to mobile of its young commuter audience, which he said made the “decision inevitable”.

“It’s been a fun and frenetic journey for all who have had the privilege to work on mX over the years, and every single member of the mX family is gutted by the decision to pull down the curtain,” wrote Herbert, in his editorial thanking readers. Read more »

Arnie to spruik Terminator Genisys as guest co-host on The Project

Hollywood star and former Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger is set to co-host Ten’s The Project next Friday to push Terminator Genisys which sees the action star reprise his iconic character alongside Australian actor Jai Courtney.

Schwarzenegger has most recently been seen on Australian screens in Realestate.com.au’s campaign which saw him confuses Australia with his home country Austria.

Read more »

Newspoll workers to protest sacking, asking for fair redundancy packages and references

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 2.21.25 pmAround 100 Newspoll workers are expected to protest their sacking this afternoon in an attempt to secure fair redundancy packages for more staff and reference letters.

News Corp Australia are set to close the polling arm next month in a move that will end decades of live fortnightly telephone polling, although staff say they only learnt of the closure through an article published by The Australian.

National Union of Workers organiser Jafar Kazim said the staff are looking to gain some “respect” from News Corp, describing the sacking as a “real tragedy”. Read more »

Media buyers say News Corp’s closure of mX is not beginning of the end of print papers

Simon Ryan

Ryan

Media buyers have said News Corp’s decision to close the mX commuter newspaper was inevitable because of the shift to mobile by consumers, but are split on what it means for newspapers more broadly.

News Corp announced the move yesterday afternoon with 30 journalist jobs now in the air, but media agency boss Simon Ryan says the publisher had little choice.

“It’s not rocket science,” said Ryan. “Consumers are now turning to their mobiles for immediate access to breaking news and content. The closure of mX is understandable and not a huge surprise given the changed media habits of commuters.” Read more »


Complaints against ads reaches record high with discrimination the biggest issue

ASBThe number of complaints submitted to the Ad Standards Bureau last year nearly doubled to a record 5,735 with discrimination the most touchy-subject for the public, the ad watchdog’s 2014 Review of Operations report has revealed.

Complaints against 515 ads were considered by the board, with another 30 withdrawn from circulation by advertisers before it got to that stage. Of these 62 were found to be in breach of the AANA Code of Ethics, with only three advertisers refusing to pull their ads when a complaint was upheld.

Discrimination and vilification accounted for 27.61 per cent of complaints, with the “ick” factor in ads created with the category of “other” responsible for 16.61 per cent of complaints. Read more »

New Southern Cross CEO Grant Blackley says ‘improvements needed’ in some areas

SCAIncoming CEO of Southern Cross Austereo Grant Blackley and chairman Peter Bush have signalled that its troubled Sydney radio station 2Day Hit 104.1FM is their “number one challenge”.

The comments were made in an interview with Mumbrella following yesterday’s announcement of the appointment of the former CEO of Network Ten as the replacement to former CEO Rhys Holleran.

“Our number one challenge is to recover in one station in Sydney,” said Bush, referring to 2Day. “We dominate in Melbourne and everybody seems to forget the broader performance of the business – regional radio is very strong and it is very early days for (Hit Network) to build share and loyalty.” Read more »

Mumbrella360 masterclass to focus on using community management to overcome social media abuse

Rod McGuinness

McGuinness: How to deal with online abuse

A workshop on how to respond to social media abuse is to be presented at next week’s Mumbella360.

Rod McGuinness, social media producer with ABC Radio, created the Social Media Self Defence short course to help individuals and people working for brands who find themselves attacked by trolls or subject to other online abuse.

McGuinness, a former managing editor of New Matilda, began presenting the course to ABC staff in 2013 in response to online abuse. The session highlights the role of community management on influencing online behaviour.    Read more »

Pizza Hut romances Four’N Twenty in new campaign pushing pizza-pie combo

Pizza Hut has unveiled its latest collaborative pizza effort, teaming up with Four’N Twenty for a new Stuffed Crust Pizza, with a campaign pitching it as Australia’s favourite lovechild.

The campaign, created by Host, tracks a romantic relationship between Four’N Twenty and Pizza Hut, before things turned sour as Pizza Hut started having some odd cravings before introducing Four’N Twenty to their lovechild: a half pizza-half pie delicacy.

Pizza Hut Australia head of marketing and innovation Fatima Syed said in a statement: “Aussies love pizza and we love pies, so in a world first we’ve brought these two legendary foods together in the crust, the perfect combination for the heart of the footy season.” Read more »

Major brands take out full-page ad in today’s The Australian to support marriage equality

A large number of high profile brands including the Commonwealth Bank, Foxtel, Telstra and Qantas and ANZ have taken out a full page ad in today’s The Australian newspaper  declaring “corporate Australia supports marriage equality”.AME marriage equality ad

Overall 53 brands declared their support in a full-page ad for Australian Marriage Equality in today’s The Australian, with Pink Media Group managing director Ben Mulcahy calling on more people “to speak to their organisations to get on board with this”.

“We’re hoping many more brands will come on board. This is the first time this has happened, we’re hoping over the next week or two and we’re putting a call out to major organisations nationally to join this initiative and to show their support,” Mulcahy said. Read more »

Mark and Carl Fennessy to remain with Endemol Shine Australia as joint CEOs

MARK AND CARL[2]Endemol Shine Australia has announced brothers Mark and Carl Fennessy will remain the group, taking on the joint CEO role despite announcing their intention to depart the group last month.

The pair said in a statement: “Since giving notice we have continued to work through a transition, producing our current slate of shows and assisting with a succession plan. Our pride in the local business coupled with a fierce loyalty towards our talented staff was always going to make departing difficult.

“They say a week’s a long time in television – so after further discussion and consideration we’ve decided to accept the opportunity of managing the merged company. We’re genuinely excited about being part of the next chapter for a combined Australian business within Endemol Shine Group.” Read more »

Redesign my Brain with Todd Sampson pulls 675,000 as Ten and Seven tie for second place

The return of the Leo Burnett CEO Todd Sampson’s Redesign my Brain on the ABC was watched by 675,000 at 8.30pm, down on season one’s debut in October 2013.

The first series of the show by the Gruen panelist kicked off with 865,000 viewers, dipping to 764,000 on its second outing before climbing back to 874,000 for the third and final episode.

Meanwhile Ten and Seven tied for second place with both channels claiming an audience share of 17.2 per cent. Nine won the night with a share of 18.8 per cent as the ABC settled for a share of 12.9 per cent. Read more »

Morning Update: Vodafone NZ tells the story of a mailman who befriends a lost pig

AdWeek: If You Like Cute Pigs and Happy Endings, Vodafone Has an Ad for You

Vodafone New Zealand is out with a heartwarming ad that tells the story of a mailman who finds and befriends a lost pig, then goes on a mission to reunite it with its owner.

It’s a path fraught with people who don’t know anything, except that pigs taste pretty good (truth). Eventually, thanks to Vodafone’s mobile network, the pig’s knight gallant is able to track down its home—though the story doesn’t end there. Read more »

Shazam launches visual recognition function, Universal Pictures signs on with Jurassic World

Visual Shazam functionalityShazam has introduced visual recognition in an effort to drive audiences to online content, with Universal Pictures International, Southern Cross Austereo and Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment signing on as launch partners locally.

The new functionality aims to extend the company’s mobile engagement static images such as platform to posters, packaged goods and print media which can then be transformed “into dynamic pieces of content”.

Shazam VP Asia Pacific Steve Sos told Mumbrella the visual functionality was a “natural progression” for the company which made its name through audio recognition platforms. Read more »

Mediacom shakeup: Sydney MD departs, Westpac lead named new Maxus Sydney MD

Websdell

Websdell

Clarke

Clarke

GroupM media agency Mediacom is seeing a major shakeup in its senior ranks, Mumbrella can reveal.

Sydney MD Geoff Clarke is to depart after two years in the role and almost a decade with the agency while Katy Websdell, general manager and client lead on its biggest client Westpac, has been named as managing director of sister agency Maxus Sydney.

“Katy has done four fabulous years here and we are really happy that we can promote her,” Mark Pejic, CEO of Mediacom told Mumbrella. “Regretfully Geoff has resigned and he is going to another agency yet to be determined. Read more »

Walkley Award winning journo Adam Walters joins Ten Eyewitness News from Seven

Walters

Walters

Network Ten has recruited Walkley Award-winning journalist Adam Walters from Seven as a senior reporter for Ten Eyewitness News.

The move comes just over a year after Ten axed a large chunk of its news department in a bid to cut costs amid plummeting ratings, but in recent months the network has seen an improvement in both ratings and ad revenues.

Walters joins Ten from Seven where he has worked for the last five years, during which he picked up the Walkley Award for Excellence in Television News Reporting, for reports on the NSW government ignoring advisers and allowing a monopoly on the sale of ethanol.

One of his most famous and controversial reports was the 2010 expose of transport minister David Campbell’s “double life” as a bisexual man, using a hidden camera to capture footage of him coming out of a gay sauna after tailing him there. Read more »

Fairfax ‘disestablishes’ 160 jobs in NZ claiming it is creating more ‘digitally focused’ roles

Fairfax_Media_logoFairfax Media has downplayed reports from New Zealand claiming the publisher is poised to axe a large number of jobs, saying it is in the process of a restructure “to boost the number of reporters across the country”.

It is understood under New Zealand law employers are required to “disestablish” positions before offering employees new a one. Whilst the company would not comment on numbers the restructure will see 166 positions disestablished with 180 positions created, with many of the new positions digitally focused.

“The proposal announced today by Fairfax Media NZ is a restructure – it’s not about reducing headcount,” said a Fairfax spokesman. Read more »

Kerry Stokes remains in top 20 rich list despite losing $110m from his $2b fortune

Kerry Stokes - Australian of the Year finalist

Seven West Media chairman Kerry Stokes remains one of Australia’s 20 richest people despite seeing $110m wiped off his fortune over the past 12 months.

But Stokes could still be described as comfortable with the 2015 BRW run down of the country’s 200 wealthiest people estimating he is still worth $2.11b. It makes him Australia’s 16th richest person, down two spots from last year.

The rich list, released this afternoon, also showed a decline for WIN owner and minority Ten shareholder Bruce Gordon, whose fortune dipped $40m to $1.06b, putting him in 45th place, down from 34.

Read more »