Cash for containers announcement caused Coca-Cola to cancel Sprite Showers at Bondi

One activation went ahead at Surfers Paradise at the weekend

One activation went ahead at Surfers Paradise at the weekend

Coca-Cola pulled its Sprite Showers activation at Bondi beach two weekends ago because of the NSW State Government’s announcement about introducing a cash for containers scheme, it has confirmed.

The company has been a vocal opponent of cash for container schemes across Australia, even going as far as taking the Northern Territory government to court in 2013 over its scheme. 

The activation, which sees showers disguised as a post-mix Sprite machine erected at beaches, had already been built and was due to run over the weekend of February 21, with the company telling Mumbrella at the time it had been pulled due to “unforeseen circumstances” beyond its control.

However in a statement today it confirmed: “When we were made aware that there would be an important announcement from the government on the same weekend, we decided to postpone the Sprite Showers activation at Bondi. Read more »

Daily Telegraph denies digitally altering image of van pictured in child abduction article

News Corp’s Sydney tabloid The Daily Telegraph has insisted it did not alter a photograph featured on its front page this morning, despite the printed image appearing to be missing the faint outline of an ‘S’ which can be seen in a version on its website.

The front page of the News Corp tabloid this morning features image of Bill Spedding, a person of interest in the case of missing toddler William Tyrell, standing next to his van which carries the sign PEDDO’S HIRE. His company is called Speddo’s Hire.

A close up photograph of the image as it appeared on the front page of this morning's The Daily Telegraph

A close up photograph of the image as it appeared on the front page of this morning’s The Daily Telegraph

The same image on the web version of the article shows the faint outline of an ‘S’ which had been peeled from the van.

Mumbrella raised the question with News Corp after a Telegraph reader emailed to suggest the image had been deliberately altered to remove the S. However, it appears that the letter had already been peeled off the van, leaving only the faint residue.

A spokesman for News Corp denied the paper had digitally altered the image to remove this residue, and blamed the missing outline on the reproduction quality in the print edition.

The same photo on the website shows the faint outline of an 'S' on the sign

The same photo on the website shows the faint outline of an ‘S’ on the sign

The S can be made out on the website image

The S can be made out on the website image

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Quickflix founder downplays looming cashflow crisis and signals another capital raising



The founder and CEO of struggling subscription video on demand (SVOD) service Quickflix has downplayed the risk that the company is running out of money and said it has seen an uptick in subscribers at the start of the year.

Yesterday’s half-year financial results showed the company had just $2.1m in the bank as of December 31, but had lost $8.6m in the previous six months, an average of $1.4m a month.

The results have raised questions over Quickflix’s future solvency with the interim report itself  warning its “continuing viability” is dependent “upon the Group’s ability to continue to raise capital and form strategic alliances.”

Stephen Langsford CEO of Quickflix today told Mumbrella the company had moved to lower its costs and that much of its outstanding accounts had been restructured telling Mumbrella: “Yes we have cut costs as well restructured payable – a sizeable component is payable after 6 months.” Read more »

MX launches redesign following restructure and redundancies on afternoon commuter paper

MX redesign Afternoon commuter newspaper MX has undergone a redesign just weeks after a major shake up saw the three editions brought under one editor in chief along with some redundancies.

Mumbrella understands there have been at least three redundancies at MX since a February restructure, which saw Melbourne editor Craig Herbert being promoted to editor-in-chief of the paper, with Melbourne editor Emma Wardill moved to digital MX editor, and Sydney MX editor Melissa Matheson transfer the Sunday Telegraph in “senior writing role” that will see her continue to write her weekly column for The Daily Telegraph.

Asked about redundancies at MX a News Corp Australia spokesman refused to comment on the number of individuals impacted but said: “Our MX publications in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane have re-aligned their formats and implemented a minor organisational restructure. As a result a small number of roles have been impacted. Read more »

Presto signals Telstra deal as it looks to grab more subscribers ahead of Netflix launch

Shaun James


The head of Presto has revealed it has made a deal with part-owners Telstra to provide access to the online streaming service alongside the telco’s other products across its platforms.

Shaun James revealed the move at the Broadcasting Digital Media Summit this morning telling the audience: “You will start to see announcements from Telstra in the next 24 hours in terms of an exclusive deal we have done there to distribute Presto alongside Telstra product and services.

“We recognise we need to get it out there to as many people as possible as quickly as possible.”

James’s statement comes on the same day that US streaming giant Netflix announced its formal Australian launch would be on March 24, which will be available on the Fetch TV platform carried by rival telcos Optus and iiNet among others.

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Sam Kekovich plays ranting truck fleet boss in new campaign for PACCAR Parts

Former Lambassador Sam Kekovich has resurfaced in an ambassadorial role as the face of a new campaign for automotive brand PACCAR Parts, playing lorry fleet boss Sam Trukovich and launching a tirade demanding more rights for truckers.

Kekovich was dropped from his long-standing role promoting lamb for Meat and Livestock Australia this year as a new campaign from The Monkeys took a different approach, although he did still appear in the ad.

The new campaign for PACCAR includes a two-minute long rant on why truck drivers deserve more recognition from the community, and also includes print and digital assets emphasising the tagline “PACCAR Parts. Get it Right”.

Marketing Services Manager, Marian Dekker said: “We’re emphasising that PACCAR Parts is all about quality, expertise and excellent parts availability. Sam Kekovich communicates all of that very strongly – and in a direct and entertaining way.” Read more »

ABC admits ‘editorial error’ in cross promotion of Micallef’s Mad as Hell on ABC News

The ABC has conceded it made an “editorial error” in broadcasting a three minute satirical clip from Shaun Micallef’s Mad as Hell during its news broadcast.

The public broadcaster’s own show Media Watch last night reprimanded the ABC over the inclusion of a clip mocking the Coalition Medicare co-payment plan in ABC 24’s Morning News, ABC News Breakfast and ABC Midday news program.

“It is appropriate to cross-promote another ABC program if content from that program has been used in a news program but the Micallef clip was not appropriate,” an ABC spokeswoman said in response to questions about the program from Media Watch.

The Micallef clip played during the ABC News   Read more »

Grant Denyer’s camp game show lifts I’m a Celebrity above The Block, while Gallipoli falls again

The audience for Nine’s historical drama Gallipoli tumbled again last night whilst its primetime reality show The Block: Triple Threat was also outrated by Ten’s I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here in the 7.30pm timeslot.

Ten’s reality show, which is still being simulcast on multichannel One, recorded an audience of 748,000 with Grant Denyer’s appearance to host a quiz with contestants adding 131,000 viewers on last Monday’s episode.

The Block could only manage 723,000, down from 812,000 last Monday, but Seven’s My Kitchen Rules dominated the timeslot and the night with 1.649m viewers. ABC’s 7.30 had 815,000 viewers.

Last night Nine also started to “burn” underperforming Gallipoli after CEO David Gyngell last week admitted its ratings had been the “biggest disappointment” of the year for the network. Episode one at 9pm slumped to 479,000, and episode two straight after had 373,000 viewers, according to OzTam’s metro overnight consolidated ratings.

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Netflix confirms launch in Australia on March 24

US streaming giant Netflix has announced its Australian launch date as March 24, a week earlier than had previously been reported.

Netflix announced back in November that it would launch in March, with reports suggesting it would come on March 31.Netflix

“Many Aussies and Kiwis have heard a lot about Netflix over the years, and we’re excited they’ll get to experience our unique blend of Netflix original content, local series and films, and popular movies and TV shows from around the world, all for a low monthly price,”  said Reed Hastings CEO of Netflix.

The service is set to include the new series of House of Cards, released in the US over the weekend, as well as other original series Marco Polo and Bloodline.  Read more »

Morning update: Geico beats the YouTube skippable limit; WSJ launches loyalty program

Creativity Online: Geico Knows You’re Tired of Pre-Rolls, so These Are Different

So many of us can’t wait to “skip this ad” to get to the videos we wanted to see in the first place. Geico and The Martin Agency get that. They’re tapping into that insight for “Unskippable,” the insurance brand’s latest digital campaign that’s looking to sabotage the boring side of pre-roll.

The video ads “end” and the actors in them freeze even before viewers’ patience gets a chance to wear thin. A self-assured voiceover then points out that “you can’t skip this ad, because it’s already over.” Is it really, though?

Read more »

Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel topples Fifty Shades of Grey in opening weekend

Fifty Shades of Grey was finally knocked off the top of the box office charts this weekend as the Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel more than doubled its takings on its opening weekend.

The star studded sequel starring Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy and Dev Patel took $4.081m in its first weekend on 417 screens, whilst Fifty Shade of Grey mustered just $1.954m on 426 screens, taking its total box office so far north of the $20m mark.

Kingsman: The Secret Service took in $1.512m on 312 screens pushing its total takings to $14m, whilst Jupiter Ascending took $1.073m on 385 screens on its second weekend.

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Quickflix losses double while subscribers dwindle

QuickflixTroubled streaming service Quickflix has recorded an $8.6m loss in its latest half yearly financial report, a figure more than double last year’s $4.2m loss.

Today’s release to the Australian Securities Exchange also show its paying customers fell from 122,862 in June 2014 to 117,106 in the six months to December 2014, despite the growing awareness of subscription video on demand services ahead of the formal launches of Stan and Netflix in Australia in 2015.

While the company reported increased revenues, up from $8.6m in 2013 to $9.2m in 2014, the loss was triggered by a blow out in marketing and operating costs. Read more »

Rinehart takes Nine back to court over ‘unseen scenes’ on House of Hancock DVD

Rinehart-234x29711Mining magnate Gina Rinehart’s battle with the Nine Network returned to court today with lawyers for the billionaire seeking to stop the TV network from selling uncensored versions of its miniseries House of Hancock on DVD in the future.

Last month Rinehart struck a deal with Nine forcing the network to cut chunks of the second episode of the miniseries, which focuses on the relationship between Rinehart, her father Lang Hancock and his second wife Rose Porteous, after claiming it had a number of “errors” in it.  Nine agreed to the edits as well as airing a disclaimer before the program about its veracity.

Sources have told Mumbrella the latest legal action centres on Nine’s promotion of the House of Hancock DVD as having special extras including ‘never before seen scenes’, with Rinehart’s camp worried Nine is looking to include the censored scenes on it.   Read more »

Westfield sticks with content led approach with Autumn/Winter campaign featuring fashion influencers

Westfield is continuing with its tactic of using fashion influencers to drive its marketing with its new Autumn/Winter 2015 campaign spearheaded by fashion writer Derek Blasberg, Mumbrella can reveal.

The new content led campaign for the shopping centre group, called ‘Fashion Obsessed’, features a range of content including in centre appearances and keynote speaking spots at the Melbourne Fashion Festival, while mini documentaries show Blasberg describing his favourite trends, and interviewing TV presenter and ‘It Girl’ Alexa Chung and Australian model Abbey Lee.

The campaign has been created by agency Baker Brand.

Sarah Cleggett, general manager of marketing at Westfield parent company Scentre Group said: “Derek Blasberg is renowned for his personal and authentic interview style and as such the documentaries offer an insider look at Alexa’s and Abbey Lee’s style secrets, so we’re expecting great interaction and engagement from our style-conscious shoppers. Read more »

Mindshare formally opens its New Zealand office appointing Samantha Osbourne to lead it

Samantha Osbourne MindshareGroupM media agency Mindshare has opened an office in New Zealand which will be headed by former Ogilvy NZ head of media Samantha Osbourne.

The launch comes four months after MediaCom APAC head of business development Sean Seamer was revealed by Mumbrella as the new CEO of GroupM New Zealand. GroupM’s media agencies also include MediaCom, MEC and Maxus.

Katie Rigg-Smith, CEO Mindshare Australasia said she was pleased to be formally launching the brand in New Zealand. Read more »

Sprite Showers resurface in Surfers Paradise a fortnight after cancelled Bondi event

The Sprite Showers at Surfers Paradise at the weekend

The Sprite Showers at Surfers Paradise at the weekend

Giant Sprite Showers popped up on the beach at Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast over the weekend, a fortnight after the activation was mysteriously pulled hours after being built at Bondi beach.

The activation sees beach showers disguised as giant Sprite dispensers erected at beaches, with bathers having to press on the dispensing button in order to activate them. Similar activations have taken place in Israel and Brazil.

It is part of a new campaign push by the brand from creative agency McCann Sydney featuring a lifeguard breaking up awkward situations using a Sprite.

Read more »

MLA uses iconic sporting commentary with everyday tasks as it looks to reposition beef

Meat and Livestock Australia is looking to position beef as the fuel for active people with a new ‘You’re better on beef’ campaign juxtaposing sport commentary from iconic moments with everyday activities like trying to get the lid off a jar in a new campaign from BMF.

The new campaign sees the MLA change its consumer messaging around the meat from seasonal campaigns to year-round health based pushes after conducting consumer research.

“We want to remind busy working families about the benefits of eating beef. These families make up one third of Australian households and spend more than $2 billion on beef each year and we know they have a strong emotional desire to feed their families healthy, satisfying meals,” MLA Marketing Manager Andrew Howie said. Read more »

Telstra resellers Boost Mobile and Belong appoint Match Media

Boost Mobile Prepaid mobile service Boost Mobile has consolidated its media strategy, planning and buying into one agency appointing Match Media to the account.

The move sees Match pick up media on Telstra resellers Boost Mobile along with internet service provider Belong.

“We look forward to consolidating and streamlining our agency relationships to drive efficiencies across both brands and believe in Match we have found an ideal partner to take the brands to the next level,” said Ian Blackhall, CMO Boost and Belong, in a statement. Read more »

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