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”.

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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.

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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.”

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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.
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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.”

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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.

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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 »

Ella Baché appoints Core to handle digital, social and content push

Ella Baché logoSkincare brand Ella Baché has appointed Sydney-based creative agency Core to develop its digital, social and content marketing strategy and creative as the brand looks to drive sales, Mumbrella can reveal.

Core will work with the brand’s creative director Faie Davis on campaigns in line with the brand’s positioning of ‘No two skins are alike’.

Last September, the brand attempted to court controversy by running an image which had failed to win approval because of the expression on the naked models’ faces in an outdoor installation in Circular Quay and featured it on posters in-store. Complaints against a poster featuring a smiling version of the image were dismissed by the Ad Standards Board.

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Qantas awards in-flight ad sales to MCN, moves in-flight news from Nine to Sky News

qantas copyQantas has appointed Multi Channel Network (MCN) as the supplier of its inflight advertising and Sky News as its supplier for inflight news following a competitive tender.

The decision follows an announcement by the airline in April that it was pitching both for in-flight advertising sales and invited all the major free-to-air TV networks to pitch for the news rights. As part of the changes Foxtel and Fox Sports have also been chosen to provide additional programming. The Nine Network currently provides a dedicated news bulletin for the airline, whilst Bauer Media handles ad sales.

“We know that inflight entertainment is a key part of people’s journey. It’s something we invest heavily in and have a plan to keep improving over the next 12 months,” said Olivia Wirth, Qantas Group executive manager for brand, marketing and corporate affairs. Read more »

Luxury Travel editor Lucy Jones to depart

58Cover_largeThe editor of Luxury Travel magazine Lucy Jones is to depart the magazine.

Jones started her journalistic career at the magazine in 2010 and has been editor for two years, having previously been deputy editor on the magazine which is devoted specifically to luxury travel and has an audited readership of over of 100,000.

“I can confirm that I am leaving but not moving to another full time role at this stage,” Jones told Mumbrella.  Read more »

ROI on tourism marketing is $16m for every $1m spent, claims a hotel association report

TAAEvery $1 million ploughed into marketing Australia to the world generates an additional $16m in spend by overseas tourists and creates an additional 89 jobs, according to research released today.

The findings were contained in a report commissioned by the Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA), an association which represents hotels across the country, and carried out by research firm Webber Quantitive Consulting.

The study, titled Estimates of the Return on Marketing Investment for Australian Inbound Tourism, concluded that hotels alone receive an extra $4.5m from visitors for every $1m spent promoting the country. The report comes after a Commission of Audit suggested slashing tourism funding by half, although the government decided to leave Tourism Australia’s budget untouched in the budget.

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Watchdog dismisses complaint suggesting ad for video game Watch Dogs was ‘intimidating’

Watch Dogs

A similar image to the outdoor poster

The Ad Standards Board has dismissed a complaint against an outdoor ad for controversial Ubisoft video game Watch Dogs which claimed it was “intimidating” and normalised guns.

The poster depicted the game’s character Aiden Pierce standing in the street of Chicago wearing mask and holding a mobile phone in one hand and a gun in the other.

Ubisoft caused controversy in May when it sent journalists a locked safe as a promotion for the game. The stunt resulted in the bomb squad being called to Australia Square and Ninemsn staff evacuated from officesafter a black safe.

The complaint to the ASB said the ad was displayed on a bus shelter outside a high school, adding it prompted their own children to ask about guns. They added: “Why is an R rated game advertised in bus shelters, particularly around schools? I can monitor and restrict where my children go in a store, what advertising they see on TV or what magazines they read, but public space advertising like this should always be suitable for all audiences that see it.”

Ubisoft defended the ad, telling the ASB the game is not aimed at children, however did concede some people could perceive the ad was threatening.

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Greenpeace puts Nemo in a blender to highlight risk to Great Barrier reef

Greenpeace Australia is challenging Australians to consider the outcome for the Great Barrier Reef if Queensland’s Carmichael mega mine and dredging for the related port expansion is allowed to proceed.

The ad is voice by actor Richard Roxburgh who outlines how the proposal for the coal mine threatens the reef juxtaposed against an image of a clownfish, which as the camera pans out is revealed to be in a blender.

Roxburgh asks “How much will we destroy in the pursuit of profit and power?” before the screen goes black with text which reads “You have the power to save the Great Barrier Reef” alongside the audio of a blender.

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Look beyond creative awards to boost agency credentials, warn new business experts

Awards are important to help marketers benchmark potential partners, but Agency of the Year and effectiveness awards are more impressive when it comes to winning new business according to a panel of industry experts.

When asked at The Source New Biz breakfast this morning about the recent controversy over creative awards and a series of ‘one-off’ executions which were entered into Cannes Lions, co-founder of business consultancy the Leach Partnership William Leach said marketers need to use them to gauge which agencies are doing well.

“There are not many things you can do which will give you some kind of benchmark,” he added. “You don’t want to reveal your figures, you don’t want to reveal growth, so one of the things is winning new business as clients like to go with a successful company. But how else will they benchmark you.

“So awards are actually a very good thing to benchmark. And when you think of awards think of the Telstra Business Awards, the Boss Magazine Awards, culture awards as well as creative awards, so if they level the creative awards thing against you and say ‘right now that’s all scammy’ you can say ‘maybe, but we we’re a top 15 Fast Company and we won the Telstra Business Awards and we were Mumbrella’s Agency of the Year.

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