Live blog: Thursday, August 28

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

Top Stories:

3:32pm- Mike Carlton has returned to writing, penning his first column since quitting Fairfax in a storm of controversy for Crikey. And it’s about Gaza.

mike carlton screen shot crikey column

1:15pm – Nine boss David Gyngell has slammed the government’s failure to act on media ownership rules, ruled out a merger with Fairfax while it still has print assets, and questioned why Seven and Foxtel would do a deal

11:44am - Qantas has posted some pretty hefty losses, but has decided to keep hold of its loyalty division in the main company as its most profitable part of the business.

11:02am - Yahoo!7 CEO Ed Harrison has been elected chair of digital industry body the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

10:13am - TV ratings are in and it’s a mixed bag for Ten, with the Bachelor boosting, but Wonderland dropping again and Extant being beaten by Eleven’s repeats of The Simpsons. Nine won the night with new and The Block.

9:54am - Nine Entertainment Co has posted improved profits for its first report since its stock market float in December, with profits up 5 per cent and TV revenues up 10 per cent. Events business Nine Live also saw a 33 per cent surge in earnings. Read more »

Southern Cross shuffles new ventures roles after Songl closure

Southern Cross Austereo logoSouthern Cross Austereo stalwart Grant Tothill has been handed a new role with the media company as director of joint ventures and music partnerships following the closure of the Songl streaming service.

Tothill, who has been with SCA for more than a decade in a number of roles, has been managing SCA’s involvement with the DMD partnership which included Sony Music and Universal Music, and managed the soon to be defunct Songl service.

It was announced on Monday Songl was to be wound up, with subscribers to be moved to the Omny service, and the company being renamed Songl Solutions shifting to a business to business focus, including creating branded streaming solutions for partners.

SCA’s chief content officer Guy Dobson said: “Grant will be an integral part of the content team that will see SCA lead the charge into new music initiatives as well as managing our various joint ventures. These new endeavours will deliver music firsts and leading content creation for our clients and audiences. We’re excited about the new move and Grant is the man for the job.”

Read more »

Mike Carlton pens first column for Crikey since quitting Fairfax

Mike Carlton picFormer Fairfax columnist Mike Carlton has written a column for Crikey today on the end of the conflict in Gaza.

It is understood to be the first column Carlton has written since he quit Fairfax earlier this month over claims he had abused Jewish readers in emails and on social media, following some strident complaints about a column he wrote for the Sydney Morning Herald on the conflict between Israel and Gaza.

Carlton this afternoon told Mumbrella the column “was jut something I wrote last night and offered it to Crikey”, adding it was not a paid-for piece, and he had no deal in place with the independent publisher.

In the preamble for the piece Carlton is described as a “former ABC war correspondent and naval historian”, with no mention of his time with Fairfax. Read more »

Gyngell slams Government over stalled media reforms, no merger with Fairfax while it is in print

Gyngell

Gyngell during today’s investor call

CEO of Nine Entertainment Co David Gyngell has admitted the company is frustrated by the stalling of media reform and has declared he has no interest in a merger with Fairfax Media while it still has major print assets.

During an investor call on today’s end of year results today Gyngell also questioned the logic of a much-speculated tie up in video streaming between Seven West Media and Foxtel, saying such a deal would “destroy some value” in the pay-TV operator’s business.

His comments on media reform come a week after Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull admitted there would be no changes to the laws on media ownership, including rules limiting companies to owning just two of either print, TV or radio assets in one market, until there was greater consensus between executives from the major companies.

“You never know. You go in on the day and they say they are going to change it,” said Gyngell. “But you are still 50/50. With the rhetoric going on at the moment nothing seems to be getting through. I don’t know what the priorities are for the media reforms, but it could be an embarrassment if they don’t get through.”

Read more »

Ooh Media won’t reinstate controversial pro-Palestine billboard arguing it could incite hatred

Ooh Media has said it will not reinstate the controversial free Palestine billboard which was taken down in Melbourne at the end of last week, citing commentary from political leaders who suggested it could incite hatred and concerns over the safety of contractors working at the site.

A statement released by the outdoor company this morning said: “The advertisement generated significant concern and an emotional response from two differing points of view. It has also been subject to commentary from political leaders who publicly stated their objection to the advertising being displayed, with a Government MP warning that it could incite hatred.”

The billboard was placed by Australians for Palestine with an intended run of 28 days, but was taken down after just three days, with the group describing the removal of the ad as a breach of its freedom of expression, however Victorian Multicultural Affairs Minister Matthew Guy told The Australian: “This type of advertising achieves nothing except to cause more friction in our community.’’

Ooh Media Palestine Billboard

Samah Sabawi, a volunteer for Australians for Palestine, has accused the company of breaching its contract, which had a clause saying there has to be seven days notice given to remove the billboard, however Ooh has rejected this claim, saying it was “within its rights to have taken the course of action it has”.

Read more »

RadiumOne hires Patrick Darcy as first APAC commercial director

Partick Darcy

Partick Darcy

RadiumOne has hired Mi9′s director of programmatic trading Patrick Darcy as its Asia Pacific commercial director, Mumbrella can reveal.

Darcy, who took on the head of programmatic role with Nine Entertainment Co’s digital arm last July, will lead the advertising platform’s sales efforts across Australia, Japan and South East Asia.

“When I look at where the market is heading with automated media buying, I see RadiumOne’s combination of proprietary data and delivery capability as uniquely positioned to service the next stage of evolution in the market”, said Darcy. Read more »

Topshop collaborates with Uber and Mini Cooper to drive consumers in-store

topshopTopshop/Topman Australia has vowed to continue its “innovative” approach to marketing as it prepares to collaborate with Uber and Mini Cooper to drive customers into its Sydney store and provide them with a “real shopping experience”.

Managing director Sonia Bettega said online retailing, while continuing to rise, will never replace the experience of visiting bricks and mortar stores, something Topshop is keen to encourage by thinking “outside normal fashion retail marketing”.

She revealed the British retailer would also be expanding its Australian footprint with the opening of a second Sydney store in Miranda at the end of March.

uber-logoUnder the promotion, which kicks off tomorrow and runs over the weekend, Uber drivers will give consumers a free ride to the Topshop store in Sydney’s CBD by downloading the Uber app and entering the code “Topshopmini”. On arrival at the store they will receive a VIP personal styling session and a $50 gift card.

“We are trying to think differently from usual fashion retail marketing. So much retail is now online but we wanted to take people back to the traditional retail experience and give them a real experience in-store,” Bettega said.  Read more »

Target follows up spring/summer campaign with one promoting children’s line

Target has followed up its spring/summer launch campaign with a new spot promoting its spring/summer line for kids.

Created by AJF Partnership, the ad features slowing moving images of kids enjoying the start of warm weather activities such as bike riding with text rolling across the screen suggesting “It’s training wheels off” and “It’s been handed down”.

Read more »

Qantas to keep hold of loyalty scheme after pondering partial sale

QantasQantas Loyalty has reported its fifth straight year of double digit earnings growth in an otherwise calamitous set of financial results for the troubled airline.

The loyalty division was the one shining light as Qantas posted an underlying loss before tax of $646 million. Hefty restructuring costs and writedowns to its fleet saw the statutory loss sink to a $2.8 billion.

Qantas Loyalty posted record earnings before interest and tax of $286m, a 10 per cent rise on the previous year. The number of loyalty members climbed 720,000 to 10.1 million since June 2013 while award redemptions increased 11 per cent to 6.2m.

The airline started a massive cost cutting exercise earlier this year which resulted in 40 per cent of the broader marketing team being lost. Read more »

Ed Harrison appointed chair of IAB

Ed Harrison 4Yahoo!7 CEO Ed Harrison has been elected chair of digital industry body the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

The move, first tipped by Mumbrella earlier this month, sees Harrison replace former Mi9 CEO Mark Britt who has taken a role in Asia at the helm of the organisation which is currently tendering the contract for online audience measurement for the first time since 2011.

“I’ve been involved with the IAB for a number of years and have first-hand experience of the substantial contribution that this organisation has made to the industry,” said Harrison, a veteran of the IAB both in his previous role at Fairfax and more recently with Seven digital joint venture Yahoo!7. Read more »

Australia Post suggests Darrell Lea’s Dad Bag is the perfect Father’s Day gift in new ad

The Australia Post is promoting its Darrell Lea Dad’s Bag as the perfect Father’s Day gift in a new campaign celebrating what father’s teach their children.

The spot, created by Isobar, starts with a dad feeding a young child, before moving onto the sports game pep talk and finishes with teaching them valuable life lessons such as BBQ skills and driving.

Read more »

Enero boss sees pay rise to just over $1m, annual report reveals

Melhuish

Melhuish

Enero boss Matthew Melhuish saw his remuneration increase by $102, 707, pushing his yearly rate over the $1m mark, the company’s 2014 annual report has revealed.

The news follows the group posting a five per cent decrease in net revenue from $127.3m to $119.5m in its 2014 financial year results and a loss of $1.453m.

Melhuish’s pay rise from $939, 311 to $1.042m can largely be attributed to a doubled cash bonus on last year. According to the annual report he received a bonus of $200,000.

Enero agencies include BMF, which Melhuish co-founded, Naked Communications, Hotwire and Frank PR.

The annual report revealed the company has shed $9.994m in employee expenses decreasing its employee costs from $99.989 to $89.995m. In 2012 employee expenses costs the group $131m. This year’s report says the network has 650 employees globally. Read more »

Ten’s Wonderland and Extant shed viewers as ABC’s Utopia and Reality Check claw back audiences

Ten enjoyed mixed fortunes last night, with its two drama offerings shedding viewers while reality dating show The Bachelor boosted its viewing on the back of promotions revealing one bachelorette asking to be let go in the rose ceremony.

Locally made drama Wonderland saw its audience drop from 532,000 to a series low of 501,000 while US drama series Extant, which stars Halle Berry, saw its audience plummet to 189,000 viewers, overnight OzTam metro TV ratings show.

Extant, which launched in a Sunday 8.30pm timeslot now airs at 9.40pm on a Wednesday night, and was last night beaten by two repeat episodes of The Simpsons at 9.30pm and 10pm (196,000 and 198,000 respectively) on sister digital channel Eleven. Last week’s episode of the show was watched by an extra 156,000 taking its total viewers to 384,000.

Read more »

Nine posts $144.2m net profit, in first results since float

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 9.01.20 amNine Entertainment Co has posted a $144.2m profit up 5.5 per cent on last financial year in its first full year financial report since floating in December.

The media company, which has grown its share of TV revenue in the last year, recorded revenue of $1.578bn up 5.8 per cent while the Group EBITDA was $311m up 4 per cent.

“I am pleased with our performance in FY14,” said David Gyngell, CEO of Nine Entertainment. “We have exceed our prospectus forecasts across the board, and we are making good operations progress across each of our television, live and digital business.” Read more »

SingTel chief commercial officer Michael Smith to return to Australia

Michael SmithMichael Smith, the chief commercial officer of Asian telco giant SingTel, is returning to Australia, Mumbrella can reveal.

Smith moves home for personal reasons, according to the executive, and will continue to perform the same role from Sydney, the headquarters for SingTel-owned telco Optus.

SingTel said that there would be no staff changes as a result of Smith’s relocation, only that the executive will be “spending more time on planes”.

News of Smith’s move comes in the same month that Optus’ head of marketing and brand Nathan Rosenberg quit the firm. He is to stay on until September before moving on to a role outside of Australia, according to reports. Read more »

Government launches $3m ad campaign following sweeping changes to travel industry

gov travel adThe government has launched a $3 million radio, print and digital advertising campaign as it seeks to inform the public of changes to the way Australia’s travel industry is regulated.

The sweeping reforms, which have seen the government put regulation in the hands of the industry, came into effect on July 1 and saw the closing of the Travel Compensation Fund (TCF), a quasi-government body which refunded consumers in the event of their travel agent going out of business.

Holidaymakers will now rely on Australian Consumer Law (ACL) and newly created insurance policies to protect their money, while an industry-led voluntary travel agent accreditation scheme – ATAS – has been launched with the aim of building a network of quality travel retailers. Flight Centre is among the members.

The Australia Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) has already launched a video promoting the use of ATAS travel agents which screened in cinemas, online and through social channels.

Read more »

Life jacket company censured for harrowing ad featuring screaming woman and drowning child

EBBS logoA life jacket company has fallen foul of the ad watchdog for a TV ad depicting the sound of a child drowning which the Ad Standards Board ruled was presenting violence in a manner not justifiable in the context of the product advertised.

The ad, promoting a EBBS life jacket, featured a splash, followed by a woman’s scream and a child’s voice whispering desperately “help me”, while a voiceover gives statistics on the number of children who drown each year, with the only visuals is a heart rate monitor and the statistics.

Complaints to the board argued the TV spot was “fear mongering”, and it was irresponsible to promote a product in a way that resembled a community service announcement or government ad. Read more »

Government advertising could turn to Facebook to reach indigenous communities

Facebook autoplayAdvertisers targeting Indigenous communities could turn to Facebook as a way of reaching their audience after research showed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders use the social site more than the national average.

Figures show that six out out 10 Indigenous Australians use Facebook on a daily basis against the national average of only 42 per cent.

The highest usage is in metropolitan areas of the capital cities where Facebook use is 68 per cent. That falls to 61 per cent in regional towns and 44 per cent in remote areas where home computer ownership is particularly low and fast internet connections are less available.

Read more »

 
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