Facebook launches Cricket World Cup themed video series starting with Shane Warne

Facebook has partnered with the International Cricket Council to produce a new content video series featuring cricketing legends to coincide with the World Cup.

The weekly ‘Corner with Cricket Legends’ will kick off with Warne giving Facebook a mix of World Cup predictions and career highlights including revelations on his favourite victory and toughest opponent.

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AFR in scathing attack on board member Todd Sampson and his agency’s tobacco links

This cartoon was also carried with the piece in today's column.

This cartoon was also carried with the piece in today’s column.

Fairfax Media board director Todd Sampson has come under attack in the Australian Financial Review today.

Today’s Rear Window column by Joe Aston questions whether the environmental credentials of the CEO of Leo Burnett sit awkwardly with the agency having tobacco company Philip Morris as one of its clients.

Sampson, who has become a TV personality as a regular panelist on the Gruen series as well as getting his own ABC show Redesign My Brain, became a director of Fairfax last May to add a level of marketing savvy to a board criticised in recent years for a lack of innovative thinking.

The AFR is published by Fairfax Media.

In today’s piece Aston writes: “For how long are we supposed to swallow his “I wear a T-shirt because I’m an advertising creative” shtick? Read more »

House of Hancock case has implications for real life based drama producers, say academics

Billionaire mining magnate Gina Rinehart’s last minute legal push to edit the contents of a fictionalised portrayal of her relationship her life could have serious consequences for makers of non fiction based drama, say media law experts.

Mandy McElhinney as Gina Rinehart in House of Hancock

Mandy McElhinney as Gina Rinehart in House of Hancock

Last Friday afternoon Rinehart took Channel Nine to court to gain access to the final episode of the series House of Hancock, reaching a confidential agreement with the network on Saturday which saw edits made to the second episode before it aired on Sunday night. The court heard that as part of the deal Nine agreed to broadcast a line at the start of the show about it being a “fictionalised” drama.

Journalism academic Mark Pearson, said the case raises concerns defamation actions could be used to stifle production of local content based on living persons, and said the case could have an impact on how producers choose to tell stories like the fictionalised House of Hancock.

“It’s a very difficult area to work in because, while copyright has a defence of satire, defamation has no such defence so a fair comment or honest opinion defence is required which is where such shows may find it hard,” said Pearson, a professor of journalism and social media, at Griffith University. Read more »

Salt and Shein names 50 most influential corporate affairs leaders

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 12.02.33 pmCorporate affairs recruitment firm Salt and Shein has named its annual list of the 50 most influential corporate affairs practitioners, with spinners from the ABC, Seven and Ten all making the list for a second year in a row.

The 2015 list also includes the likes of high profile Qantas executive Olivia Wirth, Westfield’s Mark Ryan and Optus’s David Epstein and, also found that increasingly corporate affairs was reporting to the CEO rather than to marketing.

“More and more heads of corporate affairs are reporting to CEOs,” said Josh Shein, director of Salt and Shein. “These days it is considered equal to if not more senior than the head of marketing by most listed companies.” Read more »

Seek announces record profit, up by 64 per cent in 2014 second half

SeekSeek has announced a second half year profit of $182.8 million, up 64 per cent, a new record for the online jobs listings company.

Overall revenue for the company was up 17 per cent to $395.3 million for the period July to December 2014. Read more »

SBS’ Feast magazine to close with four job losses

FeastThe next issue of Feast magazine will be the last with four jobs to go with Pacific Magazines CEO Peter Zavecz admitting it is “no longer commercially sustainable to publish”.

Pacific Magazines has produced the publication, which celebrated the broad range of food and culture around Australia, on behalf of SBS for the last four years.

In last week’s Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) figures the magazine dropped  12.9 per cent to 32,290 copies sold from 37,090 for the six months previously.

Leon Coningham, head of distribution at SBS said in a statement the magazine was “integral in building on SBS’s reputation for quality food content” adding “we remain committed to producing even more diverse and engaging food content for our audiences to enjoy”. Read more »

Yahoo!7 hires Stu Stevens to be head of commercial partnerships

StuDigital joint venture Yahoo!7 has hired Stu Stevens, former director of content marketing of Cirrus Media, as its new head of commercial partnerships.

Stevens will be tasked with leading the partnerships team to deliver connections across commercial channels, distribution and technology partners in addition to across the Yahoo!7 network.

“Partnerships are a huge priority for Yahoo7 as they enable us to work with other likeminded businesses to leverage each other’s strengths and add value for our clients,” said Jonathan Steel, director of business development and partnerships. Read more »

Gallipoli falls to 580,000 on second outing while ABC performs well on Monday night

Nine’s much promoted drama series Gallipoli saw its audience nearly halve on its second outing last night, falling from 1.104m to 580,000 last night.

The result for the third episode of the show, which has already been made available in its entirety on streaming service Stan, will be a disappointment for Nine which has invested heavily in the Endemol production, which ranked 19th in the ratings behind I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here and game show Hot Seat.

According to Oztam preliminary metro ratings Monday night saw the ABC perform strongly across board with the likes of Q&A and Australian Story both performing well.  Read more »

Compare the Market creates first local meerkat campaign with ‘Mission Impawsible’

VCCP Australia has created its first fully local work for foundation client Comparethemarket.com.au which sees meerkats Aleksandr and Sergei spying on Australians to find out why they use their website to compare health insurance deals.

Until now the agency had been repurposing work from the UK for the local market since the launch of the brand two years ago, with the new ‘Mission Impawsible’ work the first to be created by the Sydney office.

The ‘Undercover Sergei’ ad opens with Aleksandr in a ‘lice cream van’ talking to sidekick Sergei who is on a Mission Impossible style wire spying on a meeting of Compare the Market executives talking about the health fund rate rise in April.

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Morning update: John Oliver takes on big tobacco with Jeff the diseased lung mascot

Last Week Tonight: John Oliver takes on tobacco companies, and plain packaging

The HBO show created a new mascot for Philip Morris International called ‘Jeff the diseased lung in a cowboy hat’ in a large segment looking at the impact of plain packaging laws in Australia and around the world, and how tobacco companies are trying to stop them spreading around the world.

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SMI: Ten lifts its revenue share to 24.7 per cent on the back of Big Bash

TenThe Ten Network has posted its biggest revenue share since the Winter Olympics last February, grabbing 24.7 per cent of the metropolitan TV cash from media agencies last month, according to the Standard Media Index’s latest figures.

Last month saw the TV network book a media spend of $38.6m on the back of the success of Big Bash cricket, while Nine Network booked 34.4 per cent ($53.9m)  and Seven got 40.9 per cent ($64.1m) of the pie. While Seven’s result was down on 2014 this year the men’s Australian Open Grand Final was broadcast on February 1 and therefore not included in the January SMI.

Last January Ten posted a share of 20.8 per cent, whilst its result of 24.2 per cent share from last February was on the back of broadcasting the final of the Big Bash and the Sochi Winter Olympic Games.

Commenting on the result Network Ten’s chief sales officer, Louise Barrett, said: “It is a very strong result and our best January share result since 2010. It reflects the success of the KFC T20 Big Bash League and the success of our strategy of investing in premium Event TV content aimed at people 25 to 54.” Read more »

Fifty Shades of Grey dominates weekend box office taking in over $10m

Fifty Shades of Grey dominated the Valentine’s Day weekend, pulling in a staggering $10.437m across 523 screens, the biggest opening of the year so far, while the anticipated box office debut of The Interview failed to draw a big crowd.

The film, based on the book by EL James, has not been without controversy, with a number of anti-domestic violence groups and celebrities condemning the storyline for glamourising an abusive relationship.

It thrashed its nearest rival Kingsman: The Secret Service, making more money in one weekend than it has made since its premiere last weekend. Kingsman made $2.967m across 359 screens, taking its total Australian box office total to $8.626m.

American Sniper, the other film to pass $1m in ticket takings, grabbed $1.226m across 306 screens. The film has made a total of $16.329m at the local box office.

However, James Franco and Seth Rogan’s The Interview failed to bring in ticket sales in its opening weekend, only managing $553,442 across 186 screens.

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Campbell Arnott’s pitches creative for entire business with four agencies in contention

CampbCampbell's Arnott'sell Arnott’s Australia is reviewing its creative arrangements as it looks to consolidate its entire business with just one agency putting DDB Sydney and Clemenger BBDO Sydney on alert, Mumbrella can reveal.

The company confirmed four agencies including the incumbents are involved in the ongoing pitch. DDB Sydney currently handles the Arnott’s accounts while Clemenger BBDO Sydney works on the Campbell’s brands.

BMF and Ogilvy are also in the running for the multi-million dollar business.

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Global IAA boss: no one cares about church and state when it comes to native advertising

IAA boss Lee

IAA boss Lee

The global boss of the International Advertising Association (IAA) has dismissed concerns that native advertising is eroding consumer trust in the media saying they are not concerned about the separation of sales and editorial, often referred to as church and state.

IAA managing director Michael Lee told Mumbrella the ongoing global concern about native advertising, typically described as advertising that appears in the news feed of publications and looks similar to the editorial offering, was overstated.

“I don’t think that anyone really cares,” Lee said. “Church and state might just be a hangover from the old days but I don’t think the average consumer really cares.”  Read more »

Enero Group posts nine per cent decrease in net revenue

enero logoThe Enero Group has posted a nine per cent decrease in net revenue from $61.6m to $56.2m in its half yearly results for the six months ended December 31, 2014.

The group’s EBITDA – earnings before interest, depreciation, taxation and amortisation – was also down by 8 per cent down from $5m to $4.6m. This was despite a drop in employee expenses from $45.405m to $41.173m and a drop in operating expenses from $53.277m to $48.018m.

The half-yearly results for the group, which owns agencies including BMF, Naked Communications and The Leading Edge, were released quietly last week to the Australian Securities Exchange and show it recorded a profit of $974,000 for the six months ended December 31.

The results show the net revenue contribution to the group from its Australia, New Zealand and Asian operations was 52 per cent, consistent with the half yearly results in the 2014 financial year. UK and Europe account for 37 per cent while the USA makes up the remaining 11 per cent, with revenues there down 27 per cent for the six months.

Australasia’s net revenue dropped by 7.6 per cent from $31.7m to $29.3m, however its overall contribution to operating EBITDA was 53 per cent of the group, up from 31 per cent last year, up to $4.4m from $2.6m.

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Report claims owned and earned media will grow 3.5 times faster than paid media

SGMNew research claims owned and earned media will grow 3.5 times faster than paid media channels this year, although the overall ad market in Australia is expected to remain relatively flat again.

The SMG Media Futures 2015 report has advertisers predicting just 2.7 per cent annual growth for the market, while media executive were more pessimistic forecasting 1.3 per cent growth forecast.

CEO of Starcom MediaVest Group Chris Nolan told Mumbrella the shift away from paid media was significant for agencies and clients alike: “I don’t think this threatens the role of the agency but it certainly changes the role of the agency.  Read more »

MTV targets Mardi Gras audience with pop up channel MTV Pride

MTV is the latest brand to support the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras rebranding its MTV Dance channel as MTV Pride. logo_MTV-PRIDE

For a week from March 2 the Foxtel channel will become MTV Pride and will see MTV’s current VJs Krit and Kate Peck replaced by drag queen Courtney Act and international drag queen and comic Bianca Del Rio.

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The Daily Telegraph’s publication of journalist beheading image vindicated by Press Council

The Australian Press Council has ruled in favour of The Daily Telegraph after a complaint was made about the use on the paper’s front page of an image of journalist James Foley about to be beheaded.

In its ruling the APC said that while the image, which shows Foley dressed in an orange jumpsuit while a black clothed member of terror group IS holds a knife near his throat; was likely to cause offence, the public interest in publication outweighed any potential distress or upset the image may have caused.

The image, which was published on the front page of the newspaper on August 21 last year with the headline “Barbarians behead US journalist in grotesque propaganda clip. PURE EVIL”, was taken from an IS online video of the US journalists’ killing which attracted widespread coverage.

While the APC agreed “the image was likely to cause substantial offence and distress to a significant number of people” it argued “it is sometimes in the public interest for people to be exposed in a powerful way to realities which they may find upsetting but about which it is important that public opinion is well-informed.” Read more »

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