Making journalists write native ads is a ‘mistake’ Mandarin editor warns publishers

L:R Nicole Sheffield, Kylie Rogers, Ian McClelland, Jason Whittaker

L:R Nicole Sheffield, Kylie Rogers, Ian McClelland, Jason Whittaker

The editor of new online publication The Mandarin has argued at a forum in Sydney that allowing journalists to write branded content is a “massive mistake”, which runs the risk of undermining reader confidence in publications and mastheads across various segments.

Speaking at during a sometimes heated discussion on the separation of sales and editorial at yesterday’s Publish Conference in Sydney former Crikey editor Jason Whittaker said he did not believe journalists should be allowed to write brand content or native advertising.

“Readers have to trust the byline,” said Whittaker. “If I have to figure out the byline and if there is a sponsor behind it then I am going to have a lot less trust in the byline.

“We did it initially and looking at content marketing, we had journalists writing some of the stuff, and we realised that it was a massive mistake. That said as the (journalism) job market gets increasingly harder people will put up their hands for those sort of roles.”

However Kylie Rogers, sales director of Mamamia, which allows journalists to write branded content, told the room it was something their writers were comfortable with doing. Read more »

Father Bob offer people chance to win guaranteed happiness in volunteering experiment

Cummins & Partners has created a new campaign for a new charitable project from Father Bob Maguire offering people the chance to win happiness – guaranteed, seeking to promote volunteering.

The new campaign for the Father Bob Foundation encourages people to make a donation at and tell the organisation ‘how they find happiness’, with winners receiving prizes from a flat screen TV, a five night stay with a “ritzy” hotel chain and a top prize of  ‘happiness guaranteed’ “Or more specifically the winner will be awarded a ‘Week volunteering in a Soup Kitchen’.”

The campaign is based on the insight – backed up by global studies – that people are happier when they give something,with the winner set to fill in happiness questionnaires before and after the stint volunteering.

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Seven’s audience share dips to 14.8 as Beauty and the Geek falls again

Thursday saw another depressed night in TV ratings with no show breaking the 900,000 viewers mark with reality show Beauty and the Geek tumbling to 496,000 viewers from 533,000 last week according to OzTam overnight metro ratings.

Whilst the dating show did rise to 528,000 for a second episode, the result saw Seven’s audience share drop to 14.8 per cent, however that was still enough to secure the biggest free-to-air broadcast second place behind Nine which had 17.9 per cent.

It was up against Kings Cross ER at 7.35pm on Nine, which had 726,000 viewers, and Big Brother which saw another slight audience decline at 8.35pm to 516,000.

The final episode of SBS One’s special event series First Contact was the 22nd most watched show with 399,000 viewers, up on the previous night’s 339,000, but down on the first night’s audience of 433,000.

Read more » and Sterling Publishing big winners at Excellence Awards

publishers Australia logoNewsLife Media’s and Sterling Publishing were the big winners at the Publishers Australia Excellence Awards, with the recipe title taking out the top gong of the night.

Now in their 18th year, the Excellence Awards are the preeminent and longest running awards for the print and digital publishing industry recognising outstanding work by both large and smaller publishing companies. walked away with the coveted Publishers Australia Excellence Award in addition to winning  Multi-channel Brand of the Year and Website of the Year – Consumer.

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Morning update: Pizza Hut and Italians; most shared ads of 2014, Qatar goes for JWT

Adweek: Pizza Hut wants you to know Italians hate its pizza

There was a time when Pizza Hut was famous for deep-dish pies and a waiting list to be seated. Unfortunately, that was a long time ago. This week, the restaurant chain hauled a piping hot rebranding effort from the oven. It’s bubbling with the stuff you’d expect from a fiftysomething chain trying to attract twentysomething customers—new toppings, new sauces, new crusts and a new logo that’s ditched the red roof in favor of an actual pizza. The spruce-ups, marketing vp Jared Drinkwater told us, are “the biggest changes in the 56-year history of our brand.”

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Tablet publishing fails to create habit with readers due to less frequent publishing rate

(l-r) Zachary King, Marcelo Silva, Angela Clark, Martin Wanless on stage at Publish

(l-r) Zachary King, Marcelo Silva, Angela Clark, Martin Wanless on stage at Publish

Publications on a tablet struggle to create a reading or viewing habit with readers due to it often being a weekly or monthly cycle of new content, ABC’s director of innovation Angela Clark has said.

Speaking at the Publish conference in Sydney today, Clark suggested publishers utilising tablet apps for longer form content need to pair it with sites with a more frequent content cycle as a reminder to readers to check the content released less frequently.

“Even a weekly cycle it’s not a daily habit where you’re looking at news a few times a day,” Clark said on the ABC’s The Brief app. Read more »

UM CEO Mat Baxter: ‘Put procurement back in the box where they belong’


From left: Karin Upton Baker, Hermes; Danny Bass, Group M; Mat Baxter, UM and Simon Davies, Bauer Media Group

Powerful marketing chiefs have the ability to “put procurement back in their box where they belong” but too few CMOs are rising up through the ranks to have such influence, UM chief executive Mat Baxter has said.

Speaking at the Publish conference in Sydney today, Baxter said it would be in “everyone’s interest” if procurement departments were only part of the process of selecting agencies “rather than the dominant part they are at the moment”.

The comments came in a wide-ranging panel discussion on the relationships between media buyers, publishers and marketers.

Baxter said boards, CFOs and procurement staff are increasingly demanding to see hard data when they buy advertising space. To that end, he urged publishers when pitching for business from media buyers to supply better metrics which can then be communicated by the agency to the client.

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Fairfax Media focuses on subscription business as source of revenue

Fairfax Media is turning to a subscriptions business as the media company looks to new revenue models following the decline in the print industry which has seen print publication circulation tumble, taking with it print advertising revenue.

Speaking at the Publish conference Fairfax CEO Greg Hywood stressed the company was in “really good shape” after severe cost cutting over the past three years, adding: “It’s not conventional wisdom that it’s in good shape, but it is in really great shape.”

HywoodHe said there had been a transformation in the business with changes in revenue streams, with subscriptions now making up around 50 per cent of revenue, stressing the company was now “debt free” after being $1bn in the red two years ago.

“If you look at the metro business now, when I first started the breakdown in revenue was 85 per cent advertising, 15 per cent subscription,” he said.

“Now it’s closer to 50:50. What you’re saying is there is a focus around building a subscription business.” Read more »

Click Frenzy advertising spend rises 40 per cent with clicks up 41 per cent

Click-frenzy-logo1-366x366Advertisers spent more than 40 per cent more on Click Frenzy this year than the 2013 event while the number of clicks climbed almost 42 per cent, figures have shown.

Cross-channel advertising platform Marin Software also reported an eight per cent lift in click through rates (CPR) while the cost per click hit 92 cents.

Marin Software APAC managing director Jay Revels said advertisers were better prepared this year after several businesses misjudged the interest of the past two years and websites crashed.

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Cummins & Partners wins Vodafone following pitch

VodafoneVodafone has appointed creative agency Cummins & Partners as its creative agency following a competitive pitch process.

Cummins & Partners beat out McCann Melbourne and JWT for the account, with Whybins\TBWA pulling out of the race earlier.

It is expected that Cummins & Partners will open a Sydney office to service the business.

Vodafone general manager of brand Nilanjan Sarkar said: “We are confident that Cummins&Partners will deliver a strong, differentiated and enduring creative platform for Vodafone’s brand in Australia

“This is an exciting time for the Vodafone brand in Australia following several years where our focus has very much been leveraging the $3 billion we have invested in our network. With the brand’s turnaround journey almost complete, we are now able to focus more on our strengths as a brand and what sets us apart from our competitors.”

Cummins & Partners have signed a four-year contract with the telco and will have full strategic and creative scope across all communications channels.

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Marketers ‘completely crazy’ for looking to web traffic as content marketing success metric

Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 4.30.01 PMAustralia’s marketers have been labelled “completely crazy” by the founder of the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) after a study found that website traffic remained their key measurement of a successful content marketing strategy.

Joe Pulizzi said the measurement was “meaningless” and underlined the immaturity of content marketing.

Six out out 10 marketers in the CMI research – which questioned 251 Australian CMOs – said web traffic was key while less than half named conversion rates or sales as a pivotal ROI measurement.

“My main concern is the number one metric was web traffic. That is completely crazy as it means nothing,” Pulizzi said. “Content marketing is a very old discipline but it remains immature in Australia and all over the world.”

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Buzzfeed international boss: Uber controversy ‘will change way people think about us’

Buzzfeed's Scott Lamb speaking at today's Publish event in Sydney

Buzzfeed’s Scott Lamb speaking at today’s Publish event in Sydney

The international head of Buzzfeed says the recent international media controversy around Uber demonstrates that the social viral content website can deliver hard news and break global stories.

“This is a great example of the type of news BuzzFeed News goes after. Exclusives, scoops, things that no one else has and move the story forward,” Scott Lamb told Mumbrella at the sidelines of the Publish Conference, at Doltone House in Sydney.

“This story, in particular, is really going to change the way people think about Uber as a company but it is exactly the type of thing that the news side of Buzzfeed is trying to do,” he said, referring to a story published by Buzzfeed two days ago, which has caused a global media storm after it claimed Uber executives targeted the personal details of journalists who wrote unfavourable stories about the company. Read more »

Marketers being squeezed as companies seek short term results

LambroMarketing budgets are at risk of being cut as companies increasingly take a short term view and invest in quick sales rather than longer term growth strategies, the chief marketer of electronics giant LG has warned.

Lambro Skropidis told Mumbrella firms are becoming “beholden to shareholders” and looking for rapid results which can work against marketers.

The problem is being exacerbated as the tenure of chief executives and managing directors gets shorter resulting in a tendency to look towards shorter term wins “to get runs on the board”.

“Twenty years ago people were in their roles a lot longer and invested in the longer term. Today, people are managed more short term and increasingly companies are being asked to achieve short term deliverables,” he said.

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Red Agency acquires Graymedia as it looks to expand Queensland footprint

Gray media red agencyThe Red Agency has boosted its presence in Brisbane acquiring the Graymedia agency and installing its principal Yasmin Gray as managing director.

The move sees the four staff from Gray offering move in with the four existing Red staff in the city and merge its client base, adding sectors including healthcare, mining and resources, travel and tourism and sport to the mix.

Red Agency CEO James Wright said: “This is part of a strategic investment to develop the Red Agency business in Queensland. Our Brisbane office has always been a very tidy operation but the introduction of Graymedia wil help scale up and increase our footprint. Read more »

Australia’s win against South Africa helps Nine win the night

Australia’s one day cricket international helped Nine to a winning audience share of 22.3 per cent after 985,000 viewers tuned in to see Australia bowl South Africa out from 6.30pm.

The second session of the cricket was the highest non-news program of the evening, with 489,000 viewers watching the first session from 1.30pm.

Seven’s Home and Away the second most watched non-news show with an audience of 815,000 at 7pm, but Seven had to settle for an audience share of 19.5 per cent, while Ten could only manage 10.4 per cent, beaten by the ABC 12.4 per cent.

Also on Seven, the second outing of season two of Westpac-funded TV documentary Air Rescue, at 8pm, saw its audience grow to 674,000 after debuting to 629,000 viewers last week.

It was beaten in the 8pm timselot by the ABC’s Shaun Micallef’s Mad as Hell which pulled an audience of 722,000.

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Morning Update: New York Post dares you to ignore its new ads; Singapore Airlines keeps faith with TBWA

AdWeek: Asus Has Finally Created the Perfect Digital Device for Birds With Arms

“Stop it, you’re quilling me.

Birds with tiny human arms and hands soar in sublimely silly style thanks to SuperHeroes’s first global campaign for the Asus Transformer T100 2-in-1. It’s also the inaugural work from the New York office of the Amsterdam-based agency perhaps best known for its prankvertising efforts on behalf of LG.

In “Modern Birds,” a freaky fingered flock demonstrates the features of the Asus laptop/tablet hybrid. The idea is that birds know how to get stuff done #OnTheFly.”


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Commercial networks will ‘fund SBS budget cuts’, as Free TV warns of quality erosion

TenNetwork Ten and Free TV have attacked the government decision to double the hourly amount of advertising SBS can sell, claiming the move has created a “fourth free-to-air network” that will damage the quality of Australian TV production.

Ten chief executive Hamish McLennan branded the move “very concerning” while Free TV chairman Harold Mitchell reiterated claims that $200m worth of advertising revenue will vanish to SBS over five years. Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull had earlier suggested the figure was nearer $28.5m.

Free TV logoThe criticism came after Turbull announced budget cuts to both SBS and ABC and tasked SBS with raising additional revenue through advertising. To achieve that the maximum five minutes of advertising per hour will be raised to 10 minutes.

SBS managing director Michael Ebeid predicted raising the cap will bring in between $20m and $30m additional revenue over five years.

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Malcolm Turnbull confirms ABC and SBS cuts to total $308m over five years

Malcolm Turnbull Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has revealed the extent of funding cuts to the ABC and SBS, telling a forum in Adelaide this lunchtime “the SBS and ABC will emerge from this process much stronger”.

Both organisations will lose a combined $308m over the next five years, with SBS contributing $53.7m of that, and the ABC the rest, but Turnbull insisted the government will not “direct the organisations on operational matters” and allow them to decide where to make the cuts.

The cuts to the ABC are in line with those flagged by Media Watch host Paul Barry on Monday night’s show, which he said would lead to between 4-500 job losses and closure of some operations. Yesterday Education Minister Christopher Pyne started a petition to save a production unit in South Australia threatened with closure.

SBS managing director Michael Ebeid said the cuts “whilst anticipated, is sizeable and will naturally be felt by our organisation”, while ABC managing director Mark Scott warned it would “impact on the kinds of content we can make and offer”.

The SBS will get $287m in funding in 2014-15, 75 per cent of its total funding, with the organisation tasked to raise revenues through advertising, with Turnbull saying the governmemt will allow it to reallocate its limit of 120 minutes of advertising per day, with a maximum of 10 minutes per hour rather than five minutes per hour, allowing it to make more cash from primetime programming.

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