The Voice launches to 2.155m, double the audience of House Rules

Nine won 2.155m metro viewers for the first episode of season three of The Voice last night, surpassing its launch last year but not as high as its first episode in 2012, according to preliminary overnight metro ratings from OzTam.

The Voice averaged 1.828m for the first episode last year, and 2.177m in 2012.

Meanwhile House Rules averaged 1.093m on Channel Seven in the 6.30pm timeslot, and telemovie The Killing Field starring former Packed to the Rafters actress Rebecca Gibney averaged 1.166m, making it the highest rating non-news or reality show in fifth spot overall.

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Morning Update: Keven Spacey in the new Call of Duty ad; Lawyers write to Barack Obama over ‘racist’ Top Gear

This is our Morning Update, rounding up international media and marketing news from while you were sleeping.

AdWeek: Ad of the Day: Yes, That’s Kevin Spacey in the New Call of Duty Commercial

“On Thursday, Complex and a few other outlets found a SoundCloud file, with no context attached, of somebody who sounded an awful lot like Kevin Spacey delivering a bad-guy-sounding monologue about democracy—and not really being into that particular form of government so much. Complex originally hypothesized it was a viral campaign for House of Cards.

Variety’s Marc Graser ran a spectral analysis on the sound file (wow, Marc) and found a picture of a soldier holding a gun, and made the leap that it was from a new Call of Duty ad.”

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Holden promotes its VF Commodore Storm in spot from AJF Partnership

Holden is promoting its VF Commodore Storm with a new campaign focusing on the cars features.

Created by AJF Partnership Melbourne the car is seen driving along typical Australian roads with the driver’s narration describing the cars features and ends with the tagline “The new special edition VF Storm range, turns more heads, changes more minds”.

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Ray Lawrence wins best direction in a TV commercial for NSW Teachers Federation work at ADG Awards

The work of Australian screen directors has been celebrated at the ADG Awards held in Sydney tonight, which saw Ray Lawrence take home the award for best direction in a TV commercial for his work on the NSW Teachers Federation’s First Day campaign.

ADG executive director Kingston Anderson said: “The winners include some of the industry’s most experienced directors, such as Ray Lawrence, Rowan Woods, Geoffrey Nottage and Rachel Perkins, but also reflect the incredible new talent rising through the ranks who are working across the various screen platforms.”

The inaugural ADG Award for Innovation was awarded to Australian multi-platform content specialists Hoodlum. The company have recently worked on Ten’s Secrets and Lies, which was acquired by Channel 5 in the UK prior to Ten airing the series.

The winners:

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Up to 500 journalists made redundant in 2013

MEAA reportThe union representing journalists has said a vast amount of experience has been lost from newsrooms, with an estimated 500 jobs cut last year by publishers.

In its annual report into the State of Press Freedom in Australia the MEAA says print publishers were responsible for the majority of redundancies as they “continue to struggle in the wake of the enormous changes taking place due to the digital transformation.”

According to the report News Corp Australia shed around 65 reporting staff, while Fairfax Media cut 50 from the metro dailies, plus another 13 full-time from the financial and business reporting group.

There were also about 75 redundancies at AAP  with 50 coming from subediting hub Pagemasters as a result of the “offshoring” of Fairfax sub-editing to New Zealand, while a further 25 came from AAP newsrooms.

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Mumbrella live blog: Friday, May 2

Welcome to Mumbrella’s live blog, your rolling media and marketing diary. For the latest updates refresh the page.

Top stories:

4:49pm – Activist organisation GetUp! are asking for those wanting to “safeguard the ABC from Tony Abbott’s chopping block” to gather in Martin Place Sydney at 11am tomorrow, with a Melbourne event also scheduled in Federation Square at the same time.

Speakers at the Sydney event include Jonathan Holmes, Adam Spencer, Wendy Harmer, Tom Ballard and Sam Mclean while Peter Combe, Dan Ilic and Erin McCallum will be speaking at the Melbourne event.

3:35pm – The parents of jailed Australian-born Al Jazeera correspondent Peter Greste say they believe the Australian Government is doing what it can to secure the release of their son and and his two colleagues, who have now spent 125 days in an Egyptian jail. The parents of Greste held a press conference earlier today ahead of Greste fronting a criminal court in Egypt tomorrow. Details here.

3:30pm – GPY&R Melbourne has taken home a grand prize for its direct marketing campaign ‘Air Force FM’ for Defence Force Recruiting at the New York Festivals International Advertising Awards.

The same awards saw The Volvo Group honoured with the 2015 Brand of the Year Award after Volvo Trucks’ ‘The Epic Split’ campaign took home the best in show award in the film category.

2:25pm –  Gatorade has launched a global campaign for the US, Mexico and Costa Rica which uses a remixed version of “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo”, the fairy godmother track from Disney’s Cinderalla.

It is the first global campaign created for the brand by Lew Lara TBWA.

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Parents of Australian journalists Peter Greste say Australian government is doing what it can

L:R Stuart Washington, MEAA, Lois Greste and Juris Greste.

L:R Stuart Washington, Lois Greste and Juris Greste.

The parents of jailed Australian-born Al Jazeera correspondent Peter Greste say they believe the Australian Government is doing what it can to secure the release of their son and and his two colleagues, who have now spent 125 days in an Egyptian jail.

In an emotional press conference, Greste’s father Juris Greste said they would not rest until their son was free. “Our feeling is that the government has worked hard and we certainly believe that everything is being done to secure Peter and his colleagues’ release,” said Juris Greste.

“By this stage, in this sad affair we have come to realise there are so many complexities and so many layers in this whole matter that it is truly difficult to know which approach might be effective in assisting the cause (of their release). We are not leaving a stone or even pebble unturned. As parents we cannot rest until Peter is out and exonerated.”

The appeal comes ahead of tomorrow’s International UNESCO World Press Freedom day, which also happens to be the day Greste and his co-accused are due back in front of a criminal court in Egypt. Read more »

GPY&R Melbourne takes home a grand prize at New York Festivals

GPY&R Melbourne has taken home a grand prize at the New York Festivals International Advertising Awards for a direct marketing campaign for former client Defence Force Recruiting, an account the agency lost to Havas Worldwide at the end of last year

The same campaign, “Air Force FM”, also won first, second and third prizes.

A number of Australian agencies also took home prizes, with Clemenger BBDO Brisbane winning two first prizes for its Nimble ‘Unexpected Happens: Breakdown‘ campaign while the Melbourne office took home three second prize awards and five third prize awards for its Melbourne Remote Control Tourist campaign for Tourism Victoria and its Australia Post “Video Stamp”

Held in New York at the New York Public Library Stephan A. Schwarzman Building, the awards honour the world’s best advertising.
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Melbourne heads of M&C Saatchi and BMF depart





Two well-known Melbourne agency bosses have left their posts.

Ricci Meldrum, managing partner of BMF, and Kenny Hill the managing director of M&C Saatchi both quietly left their respective roles in February.

BMF had failed to fire in the Melbourne market and claim significant new business wins, while last September M&C merged its operations with Samuelson, Talbot & partners, installing Bob Talbot as CEO of the operation.

BMF is understood to have a team of 16 in Melbourne, with clients including Schweppes and Ryobi, whilst M&C bolstered its numbers from 21 to 30 following the merger.

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Community radio contemplates public campaign against proposed cuts

Screen Shot 2014-05-02 at 11.09.18 AMThe industry association which represents the hundreds of community radio stations across Australia, the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA), is threatening a public campaign against recommendations to cut more than $17.5m in funding to the sector.

The Federal Government’s Commission of Audit report released yesterday recommended the government scrap funding for the Community Broadcasting Program on the grounds it already funds public broadcasters the ABC and SBS, adding there was a “limited rationale” in also providing funding to community radio. 

Jon Bissett, general manager of CBAA told Mumbrella the impact of any cuts to the program would be dramatic. “This will have a significant impact. This funding is taken by more than 150 stations around the country for various things that would be put at significant risk,” said Bissett.

“We are putting in place a campaign probably for next week. We are just waiting to hear back on a little bit more information from the minister and others. Once we get those facts we will decide if we push the button.”

The report also recommended cutting budgets for Screen Australia, Tourism Australia, and assistance for smaller businesses to market themselves overseas.

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Kmart refreshes campaign with new song, ‘Bom Bom’ replaced with ‘The Clapping Song’

Kmart has continued its strategy of using a catchy song in its campaigns with the discount retailer moving on from ‘Bom Bom’ by Sam and the Womp to a revitalised version of ‘The Clapping Song’ by Shirley Ellis.

Created by BWM, the ad continues in the tradition of the ‘Bom Bom’ spots with a series of models dancing, however it changes from the ‘Bom Bom’ focus on what does a dollar amount look like at Kmart to what Kmart fashion feels like.

It communicates this idea with the models in the Kmart clothes originally against a white background before it changing to reveal a scene to match what the clothes feel like.

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ABC forges into new media space with launch of longform tablet App ‘The Brief’

The BriefThe ABC has launched its ambitious longform tablet app The Brief today as the first multimedia tablet publication to be developed by a public broadcaster.

Angela Clark, head of ABC Innovation, has driven the creation of the app with editor Matt Buchanan, a former news editor at Fairfax Media’s Sydney Morning Herald, joining as editor in February to work alongside associate editor Julia Baird of ABC’s The Drum and a small team of just four permanent editorial staff, including one designer.

Clark says the app is the first of its kind to be developed from a broadcast perspective, and draws from the ABC’s archive of footage from television and radio broadcasts to enhance and expand the depth of its stories be they news, features, reviews, commentary or analysis.

As a weekly publication Buchanan said it will not be their goal to break news, but rather explore current affairs in more creative ways, giving the reader and viewer a chance to look back at events that occurred throughout the week and get a clear overview with the opportunity to also explore stories more deeply. Read more »

Former AFR editor heading ANZ Blue Note wins Citi Journalism Award

Citi Journalism AwardThe brains behind one of Australia’s biggest branded content plays to date, Andrew Cornell, has won a Citi Journalism Award in the economy category.

Cornell, a former associate editor of the Australian Financial Review who launched ANZ Blue Notes earlier this month, was commended for his series of articles on agriculture and the role of foreign investment published in the AFR in February and October last year.

In his new role for ANZ he now leads its publishing arm providing news, analysis and video under the ANZ brand,

ABC economics correspondent Stephen Long won the top prize of the night, the Citi Journalism Award for Excellence as well as the broadcast category for the March 2013 show ‘A betrayal of Trust’ exposing a Ponzi scheme marketed to international investors. Read more »

So You Think You Can Dance final gets 495,000 for winner announcement

Ten’s final episode of So You Think You Can Dance got 495,000 metro viewers for the announcement of the winner and 443,000 for the final episode, preliminary overnight metro ratings from OzTam show.

The series final was less popular than the first outing of the show which launched to 466,000 on February 10 and has seen audiences decline even after it was moved to the less competitive Thursday night timeslot.

Meanwhile Nine had 1.071m for a repeat episode of The Big Bang Theory in the 7.30pm timeslot against the start of the shiny floor dance show, and the new episode of The Big Bang Theory that followed had 1.253m, making it the most popular program of the night.

Seven’s House Rules was second in its timeslot with 987,000 at 8pm, as Nine had 1.071m for a Big Bang Theory rerun on at 8pm. Read more »

Prime Media founder Paul Ramsay dies

Prime7The former chairman and founder of Prime Media Group Paul Ramsay has died after reportedly suffering a heart attack whilst on holiday.

Ramsay’s decision in February to sell out of the media industry in the year it is expected ownership laws will be lifted and a number of lucrative acquisitions will take place raised eyebrows in the industry, but the 78-year-old at the time cited a desire to focus on his other business interests, which included Ramsay Health Care, Australia’s largest private hospital group.

The Australian reports he suffered a heart attack whilst on holiday in Spain, and was airlifted back to Australia and passed away at his home in Bowral, NSW, last night. Read more »

Expedia promotes ‘pay now or pay later’ with spot featuring a man dressed in a grass skirt

Expedia is promoting its ‘pay now or pay later’ policy with an ad featuring a middle-aged man dancing in a grass skirt while on holiday in Polynesia.

The ad slowly pans up the mans skirt with him calmly narrating the scene before it reverts to him at home with his wife in the background using a blender as he considers a hotel booking, thinking ‘if I book a hotel on Expedia I can chose when I pay.

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Morning Update: The Simpsons get Lego-fied in upcoming episode; BBC under pressure to sack Jeremy Clarkson over N-word claims

This is our Morning Update, rounding up international media and marketing news from while you were sleeping.

Creativity-Online: The Simpsons Get Lego-fied in Upcoming Episode ‘Brick Like Me’

“Our favorite animated family The Simpsons, who turn 25 this year, kicked off its celebration in January with an announcement that they would be partnering with Lego –which, of course, has had its share of the spotlight with the launch of The Lego Movie in February.

Around that time, the toy brand also released special Simpsons-themed construction sets, which would coincide with an upcoming episode, of the popular animated show. Fox just released the trailer to the upcoming show, “The Simpsons Lego Spectacular,” which debuts (Yay!) this Sunday on Fox.”

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KFC encourages people to share something real in ad for hot rods

KFC is continuing with its ‘stop and smell the chicken’ positioning in its latest ad for its hot rods product, which suggests it is time for people to stop and share something with another person.

Created by Ogilvy Sydney, the spot features a montage of people hanging out juxtaposed against narration asking ‘when was the last time you really shared something?’, suggesting it is ‘time to share something real.

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