Dick Smith electronics to rebrand with focus on demystifying technology

Dick Smith Sydney Central

Dick Smith Sydney Central

Australian retailer Dick Smith has unveiled the beginnings of a gradual rebrand involving a multi-million dollar marketing campaign and restructure of its media strategy.

Dick Smith will work with its new creative agency Ideaworks and seek to reposition the electronics store as one that can demystify technology for ordinary Australians.

CEO Nick Abboud spoke out about the turn-around of the $1.3bn business and 44-year-old brand for the first time since Woolworths sold the company to Anchorage in November at the opening of a flagship store Sydney Central in the Westfield Pitt Street Mall this week. Another new store was also opened at Lilydale in Melbourne yesterday. Read more »

Cricket on Gem beats Seven and Ten

The first day of the third Ashes test triumphed over Seven and Ten’s primetime entertainment last night, bringing 631,000 viewers to Nine’s digital channel Gem across the five capital cities.

Seven’s please Marry My Boy, which rated 585,000 viewers from 8-9pm, ranked 18th for the night, and Formal Wars fared even worse on Seven, rating 477,000, down from last week’s 676,000.

Ten was also eclipsed by Gem as its MasterChef Masterclass at 7.30pm had 591,000 viewers in the five cities.

The first session of the third Ashes test rated 631,000 for Gem and the second 356,000. On subscription TV The Ashes brought 347,000 and 220,000 viewers to Fox Sports 2 for the live game. Read more »

Nissan’s fake race to hospital ad gets banned a second time

pulsar ad hospitalNissan has been forced to pull an ad for its Pulsar for a second time after changes it made following a first set of complaints were insufficient.

It is one of the few occasions in this history of the Ad Standards Board that the same ad has effectively been banned twice.

The commercial features a young couple racing through the streets against the clock to a hospital. The woman appears to be pregnant, before revealing she is wearing a fake bump and they are testing themselves to see how fast they can get there.

A first version of the ad was banned by the ASB back in June after complaints that it showed dangerous driving including the female passenger urging the male driver to go faster.

Nissan then put out a re-edited version without the woman urging her boyfriend on, and with lower volume engine noise. It also reduced the squeal of brakes when the car arrived.

(Ad courtesy of Ebiquity)

However the new version – which aired on TV and was online – drew renewed complaints – including the car racing up close behind another car and the driver referring to his “personal best”. One complainant said that it celebrated hooning.

Complaints to the ASB included: Read more »

Mission Foods goes to Mexico for ad telling customers they don’t need to

Mission Foods has launched two new TV commercials promoting its Mexican meals and salsa range.

The campaign was created by Melbourne agency Mosaic Creative, and is tag lined “The Real Taste of Mexico”. It was filmed in Mexico and shows some of the colour Mexican culture and food.

The ads begin with a voiceover saying: “You don’t have to go to Mexico to enjoy the real flavours of authentic Mexican food/salsa.” Read more »

Initiative wins CPA Australia media account

Media agency Initiative has won the media account for accountancy organisation CPA Australia, following a competitive pitch involving five agencies, taking over media strategy, planning and buying across local and international markets.

The account was previously held by GroupM agency Mindshare, which has an estimated spend in the low millions.

“CPA Australia is a highly influential and effective industry body and we are looking forward to helping them achieve their business goals,” said Andrew Mudgway Initiative Melbourne managing director. Read more »

Seinfeld’s Jason Alexander to front CatchOfTheDay’s new campaign

Alexander, left, and CatchOfThhDay boss Leibovich

Alexander, left, and CatchOfTheDay boss Leibovich

Comedian Jason Alexander – George Costanza in sitcom Seinfeld – has signed up to becomes the face of online shopping site CatchOfThDay.

The comedian will lead the site’s first major brand campaign, which will run mainly on outdoor media.

“Working with Jason is literally a dream come true for us,” said Gabby Leibovich, co-founder of CatchOfTheDay. “We have always been big fans of his.”

Alexander said: Read more »

Seven’s Today Tonight staff denied new contracts as speculation on axing returns

Helen Kapalos

Kapalos: ‘The new Naomi Robson’

A number of staff on Seven’s consumer affairs program Today Tonight have not had their contracts renewed, in a development which raises new questions about the network’s commitment to the struggling show.

The news coincides with the program’s ratings falling nine per cent compared to the same time last year.

Sources say that Seven news executives are considering dropping Today Tonight in favour of a one-hour news format in the eastern seaboard cities of Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. The move was contemplated at the beginning of the year before being dropped. However, it is now back on the agenda.

“Morale is low, in part, because they’re playing games over contracts,” said one Seven insider. “People are tipping it’s because they want to make the jump to a one hour show.”

Seven began experimenting with the one-hour news format in January and has since called upon the extended bulletin for special events with mixed results. Last week’s special one hour Royal baby coverage saw the network beaten with only 1.25m viewers tuning in across the five city metro market compared to Nine’s 1.36m. Read more »

Watchdog ACMA welcomes call for the power to enforce broadcaster’s on-air corrections

Chris Chapman

Chapman: ‘Logical’

Media watchdog the Australian Communications and Media Authority  has welcomed a parliamentary report that says the organisation should be given the power to force on-air corrections.

Chris Chapman, the ACMA chairman, told Encore he believes recommendations handed down by the Joint Select Committee on Broadcasting Legislation are “sensible and logical”.

The recommendation was made last month but went virtually unnoticed as it came out during the Labor leadership spill.

“The committee recommended that we be given the power to require the broadcasting of our findings,” said Chapman. “That is an entirely sensible and logical recommendation.”  Read more »

Ex-BMF CEO Jeremy Nicholas takes on a role in the US

Jeremy Nicholas

Former BMF CEO Jeremy Nicholas is to move to California as Visa’s new global head of soccer sponsorship marketing, Mumbrella’s sister title Encore has revealed.

Nicholas was one of the most respected planners in Australia, and successfully led BMF’s planning team during much of the agency’s decade of success after joining in 2001. He was the planner on the Tooheys Extra Dry celebrated “tongue” TV ad.

He was also chairman of the Account Planning Group, part of industry body The Communications Council, and vice-chairman of the Comms Council. However, his stint as BMF’s CEO, which began in 2010, was less stellar, as the agency lost steam following the acquisition by Photon Group, now Enero. Splitting the agency into three separate units failed to deliver growth and BMF lost its lucrative below-the-line account for Commonwealth Bank. Read more »

Street press publisher to rebrand iconic titles under national masthead The Music

music drum mediaOne of Australia’s biggest free street press publishers has unveiled a radical revamp of its portfolio which will see its various city-based titles replaced by a single, editionised brand.

Street Press Australia will unite all of its titles under the single The Music brand which already exists online.

Mastheads being replaced are The Drum in Sydney and Perth, Inpress in Melbourne and Time off in Brisbane.

The new look title will hit the streets in just under a fortnight. The move will also signal a widening of the titles’ focus into more general lifestyle coverage including food and culture..

SPA director Craig Treweek claimed the move was “the biggest evolution of street press to date as we combine the heritage of over 100 years of combined street press to create one single title”. Read more »

X Factor and Essendon special report win Seven the night

Seven’s X Factor topped the ratings again on Wednesday while the network’s special news report on the Essendon doping inquiry drew huge audiences in Melbourne.

The special report featuring portions of Luke Darcy’s interview with Essendon high performance manager Dean Robinson scored 410,000 viewers in the city, making it the third most watched show in Melbourne, and 17th program overall across the five capital cities with a total of 691,000 viewers.

The Seven Special Report panel program hosted by Bruce McAvaney,  featuring Mark McVeigh, Leigh Matthews and Cameron Ling, among others, had 389,000 viewers in Melbourne giving the show a total of 610,000 viewers across the five cities and making it 19th in the list of top programs of the night.

Seven’s X Factor from 7.30pm was the top program across the five cities for the third night in a row with 1.49m viewers, following 1.51m on Tuesday night and 1.633m for its first outing on Monday. Nine’s Big Brother from 7pm to 8.30pm had an average metro audience of 1.03m in the five cities, while Ten’s MasterChef from 7.30 to 8pm had 714,000. Read more »

News Corp shifts staff into Surry Hills

News Corp has announced to staff a radical shift of its bases in central and greater Sydney which will see a concentration of virtually all staff in Surry Hills.

The move will see most of the publisher’s staff based  at the company’s Holt Street headquarters or nearby Newspoll House in what the company is describing as a “media precinct”.

Staff on the move include those based near Hyde Park on Liverpool Street, who mainly worked for News Corp’s digital offerings, most staff based in News Corp’s large office at Macquarie Street in Parramatta; and staff in magazine and lifestyle division NewsLifeMedia currently based in Alexandria.

The announcement to staff from group director of people and culture Janine Stewart said: Read more »

World Movies launches banned films promos

Foxtel’s World Movies channel will tonight launch two promos for its season of films banned around the world which it will be airing for the first time on Australian television.

As the only channel in the country permitted to play films with an R18+ rating on national television, World Movies will broadcast the ‘Films that shocked the World’ from August 19-23.

The promos were produced in house.

Read more »

Ten to give So You Think You Can Dance another go

Dance competition reality show So You Think You Can Dance will return to Channel Ten in 2014 following a four year break and the ratings disaster of Everybody Dance Now.

The fourth season of the show based on the award-winning American series will be produced by Shine Australia following a deal with co-creator of the show Nigel Lythgoe, executive producer and a judge on the US show now in it’s tenth series.

The Australian version of the show started out strong in 2008, with ratings averaging 1.8m per episode, and had an average audience of 1.279m for the second series in 2009.

Read more »

Ten COO Jon Marquard departs network as Stuart Thomas joins

Jon-MarquardTen’s chief operating officer Jon Marquard has stood down after less than two years with the company.

Marquard, who joined Ten in 2011 originally as commercial director, is the latest senior departure as its CEO Hamish McLennan works to put his stamp on TV network.

A former Fox Sports COO Marquard was involved in Ten’s recent sports negotiations for the crickettheir securing of the Big Bash League and also their acquisition of the Sochi Winter Olympics. 

His departure was preceded three weeks ago by other senior departures, including the departing chief sales officer Barry O’Brien and also of chief marketing officer Tony McMaster, who left days after McLennan’s arrival at the network back in February.

“We thank Jon for his contribution to the company,” said McLennan in a statement. Read more »

Promotions for Hemphill and Christensen

Brooke Hemphillnic christensenMumbrella’s parent company Focal Attractions has made two promotions, with Encore managing editor Brooke Hemphill becoming editor, and senior journalist Nic Christensen becoming deputy editor across both Mumbrella and Encore.

The promotions for the pair come the same week that Guy Johnson joined as the company’s commercial director, replacing Sean McKeown who is moving to Singapore to launch the company’s Asian sales operation.

Annabel Crabb’s Kitchen Cabinet sees off Masterchef and Great Australian Bake Off in Tuesday’s ratings

Annabel Crabb’s ABC1 show Kitchen Cabinet was the surprise winner of the battle of the cooking shows on Tuesday night, seeing off Masterchef and The Great Australian Bakeoff.

Crabb, left with Heffernan and Ley

Crabb, left with Heffernan and Ley

Crabb’s show, which ran from 8pm to 8.30m and featured her cooking with politicians Bill Heffernan and Susan Ley, rated 751,000 metro viewers – 13th for the night.

It beat The Great Australian Bake Off on Nine, which rated 722,000 from 8.30pm to 9.30pm and was 15th according to the preliminary overnight  ratings from OzTAM.

And Ten’s Masterchef, from 7.30pm to 8.30pm fared even worse, rating 616,000 and 19th for the night.

Meanwhile, in the main commercial battle, the second episode of Seven’s The X Factor comprehensively beat the second episode of Big Brother on Nine. Read more »

Former 2UE talkback host Michael Smith takes regular spot on 2GB

Michael Smith 2GBFormer 2UE talkback radio host Michael Smith has taken up a regular spot with the station’s rival station 2GB to discuss news and issues of the day with Ben Fordham on Sydney Live.

Smith fell out with the Fairfax Radio Network’s Sydney station after management declined to broadcast his interview with Victorian Australian Workers Union boss Bob Kernohan allegedly linking Prime Minister Julia Gillard with union fraud 16 years before.

As he continues to push the story, Smith has featured as a guest on the Macquarie Radio Network’s Sydney station 2GB and he will now be a regular guest on Sydney Live with Ben Fordham in a 10 to 15 minute slot every Thursday from 4.30pm. Read more »

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