Stutchbury: The Oz’s ‘incompetent’ claims are ‘disappointing’

Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 12.46.54 PMEditor-in-chief of The Australian Financial Review Michael Stutchbury says he is “disappointed” at personal attacks” levelled at him and senior journalist Neil Chenoweth in today’s The Australian, over a story which News Corp had received $882m tax windfall from the tax office.

On Monday the Financial Review reported News Corp Australia, which publishes The Australian, had received one of the largest cash payments ever made by the Tax Office after the Federal Court allowed  the publisher to claim a $2 billion deduction.

In the wake of the article, The Australian has responded with a series of articles including an opinion piece by business editor Geoff Elliott, a news story critical of the original story and also a fierce editorial which denounced Chenoweth as “deranged” and Stutchbury as “incompetent”.

The editorial today calls on Fairfax Media CEO Greg Hywood to remove Stutchbury and concludes with a paragraph: “Stutchbury, who was considered incompetent by staff of this newspaper before his removal as editor, and his senior editors should be held to account for publishing Chenoweth’s blatantly dishonest reporting.”

“Personally I am disappointed at The Australian’s personal attack on myself, which its editors know to be incorrect,” said Stutchbury, who is also a former editor of The Australian, and moved to the AFR in 2011.  Read more »

Dan Ilic turns to crowd-funding to turn A Rational Fear into a satirical comedy hub

Dan Ilic is turning to crowd-funding to transform his ABC Radio National show A Rational Fear into a digital comedy hub.

Ilic, and the rest of the team behind A Rational Fear, want to produce Australian satirical comedy web content for an internet audience over a period of ten weeks, with the group asking Australian comedy fans for financial support to make it happen via a Pozible campaign.

In the video Ilic points out the ownership of the commercial TV networks is prohibitive of an open satirical comedy show, while the public broadcasters do not have the cash to fund it.

“It’s much more than a site – it’s a digital comedy brand,” creator Dan Ilic told Mumbrella. “We’re going to be creating content with a strong editorial edge, with a strong point of view that we will put out first through but also we’ll be posting it to Facebook, Twitter and Google+, for the six people on Google+.”

“They’re mostly Google employees and they’re very influential,” quipped head writer Lewis Hobba.

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Transport NSW continues musical campaign to discourage drivers using mobile devices

Transport NSW has followed up its musical campaign ‘Get Your Hands Off It’, which promotes not using mobile devices while driving, with another three musical ads each in a different music genre all covering the dangers of using a mobile device while driving.

The online campaign launched yesterday.

The rock, country and hip-hop themed ads feature Derek who also appeared in the first version of the campaign.

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The Iconic hires marketing director and head of customer retention

Sally Bonner


Online fashion retailer The Iconic has appointed Sally Bonner as marketing director and Clare Zacka as head of customer retention

Bonner is a former senior marketing manager at Westfield while Zacka joins from rival online shopping club BrandsExclusive where she headed their marketing function.

“The Iconic has already redefined the way Australians shop and, with online rapidly becoming the new norm, I’m excited to be part of The Iconic shopping revolution,” said Bonner in a statement. Read more »

Siimon Reynolds joins Accelerator as director



Photon Group founder Siimon Reynolds has returned to the advertising industry as the director for Independent Melbourne-based agency Accelerator.

The appointment coincides with the agency’s brand relaunch as it aims to take a more “extroverted stance”.

Accelerator joint MD Phil Huzzard said in a statement: “We’re thrilled that Siimon has re-joined the industry with us. It’s an affirmation for our team of the hard work that’s been put in to evolve the business over the last 12 months. Siimon will be invaluable in helping us take the next step in growing the business, which will be a focus of his role with us.”

Reynolds joins the agency after a number of years working as a business mentor and most recently as Chairman for the Inabox Group. In the past he has worked for OMG for two years as an executive chairman and he was also the co-founder and executive director of The Photon Group for seven years.

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Legal pitfalls of copyright, social media and new privacy laws to be tackled at CommsCon conference

stephen von muensterAgencyland’s best known lawyer Stephen von Muenster is to present a question-and-answer workshop at next month’s CommsCon conference aimed at helping communications professionals keep their brands out of trouble.

The founder of von Muenster Solicitors & Attorneys, will address topics including legally safe social media engagement, how changes to privacy laws will affect brands and the current copyright crackdown on PR agencies’ use of newspaper and magazine cuttings.

Questions for von Muenster can also be submitted by delegates in advance by emailing event producer Denise Jinks

CommsConCommsCon – aimed at PR and communications professionals – takes place in Sydney on Thursday March 20. The draft program for the event can be seen via this link, with discounted early bird tickets available until the end of next week. Read more »

Arnold Furnace aim to re-position Rest Industry Super in new brand campaign as ‘fund for life’

Arnold Furnace has unveiled a new brand campaign for Rest Industry Super which aims to position the brand as the “fund for life”.

The campaign, which runs across TV, out-of-home and digital, features a young couple making typical teenage “questionable” decisions before following them through the 70’s and 80’s to present day where the couple’s “questionable” decisions are revealed to have been some of the best they’ve ever made as they are seen to begin enjoying their retirement.

Arnold Furnace ECD Tom Spicer said in a statement: “The campaign draws a parallel between the couple’s decision to choose Rest when they were young with the other good decisions they made early in their lives. Chloe and Archie’s campaign is a fresh approach that repositions Rest as a fund for life by showing that some of the decisions we make in our youth actually can turn out to be our best.”

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Snail mail banking features in new ANZ ad

ANZ has launched a new ad campaign that encourages its customers to opt for online statements as an easier way to do banking.

The ad, developed by marketing agency Cubed, lists a number of common problems associated with paper statements, such as weather and animal damage, before providing a step-by-step guide to electing online statements on the bank’s website.

Senior manager of communications strategy for ANZ, Kirsty Tucker, told Mumbrella the option made it easier for customers to switch paper statements off. Read more »

Red Agency hires Nigel Hickey to head up experiential unit ‘Red Guerilla’

Nigel Hickey and James Wright

Nigel Hickey and James Wright

The Red Agency has renamed its experiential unit as Red Guerilla and has appointed Nigel Hickey to lead the division.

Hickey joins from experiential agency Traffik where he was Sydney business director and has more than a decade of advertising and marketing experience.

James Wright managing director of public relations specialist Red Agency said in a statement: “Over the past six months we have been mapping out our assault on the traditional PR agency structure and implementing a new model that better represents what our clients are looking for from us, one that is more agile and specialised. Nigel’s appointment is a key pillar in that investment.”  Read more »

Campaign empowers young people in care with hip-hop track

A campaign by Life without Barriers and The Precinct Studios to give young people in care a stronger voice has seen the production of a hip-hop track by Australian artists Urthboy and Pyke receive more than 12,000 hits on YouTube.

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Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority wins Avant Card’s Postcard of the Month

Screen Shot 2014-02-17 at 10.49.01 AM

Frost Design has awarded the January Postcard of the Month competition with its effort for the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority ‘Calling All Lovers’.

The heart-shaped postcard, part of Darling Harbour’s ‘Month of Love’ campaign, was chosen for its advertising strategy and creativity in the Avant Card competition.

According to Frost Design, the postcard did “a great job communicating the idea of love and an event. In terms of creative, it has interesting shape, nice type, and is well made with clear communication.”

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My Kitchen Rules ‘bad girls’ rise again as The Biggest Loser posts skinniest figures yet

My Kitchen Rules bad girls Chloe and Kelly helped the show win more than 1.8m metro viewers last night while The Biggest Loser recorded it’s lowest ratings of the series so far for Ten, losing more ground to its rivals in the 7.30pm timeslot.

Chloe and Kelly had helped My Kitchen Rules smash through the 2m metro mark for their previous cooking performance, and helped Winners and Losers to 1.04m metro viewers to beat Nine’s the Big Bang Theory which dropped to 995,000.

The Bevan Lee-created Packed to the Rafters had dropped to 930,000 last week when Nine launched The Big Bang Theory to 1.104m. However last night it regained the audience it has held for two of its three previous episodes this season while up against the latter half of the new Big Bang Theory, on from 8.40pm, followed by a repeat episode which averaged 919,000 and two episodes of 2 Broke Girls.

Ten’s The Biggest Loser had its lowest audience yet for the series with just 323,000 metro viewers on Channel Ten from 7.30pm to 8.30pm, leading into an audience of 378,000 for its evening coverage of the Olympic Games in Sochi.

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Southern Cross Austereo profit up to $45.9m for first half of year

Southern Cross Austereo logoSouthern Cross Austereo has reported increased revenues by 1.3 per cent and profit by 1.8 per cent after tax to $45.9m in its financial results for the half year to December 31.

Earnings from TV were up $1.4m for the period to $112.4m, and radio saw a $4.8m upswing to $219.5m.

The Southern Cross Media Group (SCMG) also confirmed successful re-financing of its $650 million debt facility on “more favourable terms”.


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APN set to buy out ARN, announces profit despite business write-downs

APNAPN News and Media has confirmed it is set to buy out US partner Clear Channel from its 50 per cent share in the Australian Radio Network for $246.5m, giving it full ownership of the network.

The news comes as the media firm, which owns a number of regional newspapers and an interest in outdoor company Adshel moved back into the black with a net profit of $2.6m after writing down the value of some of its assets, while the company also announced a $132m capital raising to finance the radio deal, in its full year results to December 31.

Before the write downs, which included cutting the value of  APN Outdoor, which it sold its remaining stake in in January, by $23.6m, and BrandsExclusive which it divested last week for $2m by $24.5m, profits stood at $59.5m, the company’s best result since 2007.

CEO Michael Miller said: “This was a very satisfying result, which saw APN return to growth and has positioned the company for further improvement. The acquisition of our Australian and New Zealand radio businesses is part of our efforts to streamline APN’s operating structure. We have reduced the number of part-owned businesses from seven to two.  Read more »

Aggressive push to develop local content will protect Seven’s revenue



Channel Seven is taking an aggressive push to increase the amount of local content to protect its most lucrative revenue stream, as online access to international content has driven down the value of third party deals.

Tim Worner, CEO of the Seven West Media group, said the number of hours Seven showed its own content increased by 15 per cent this year and more than half of its primetime shows are the network’s own productions.

At yesterday’s half-yearly results presentation he claimed this sets Seven apart from its free to air competitors at Nine and Ten, and will support the launch of Hybrid Broadband Broadcast Television (HBBTV) in May.

“We see an important part of our future is being in control of our own destiny and that is producing more and more of our own content,” he said. “It grew 15 per cent in that period, and we will be looking at doing the same thing again.”

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Morning Update: Vanilla Ice goes Ninja; Brooks to begin her defence at phone-hacking trial; Girl from 1981 Lego ad resurfaces

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

Mashable: Vanilla Ice Goes Ninja, Reveals Radical TMNT Mac and Cheese

“Kraft Macaroni and Cheese releases a new delicious noodle shape every year, and this year, it’s in the shape of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Now if this cheesy turtle collaboration hasn’t already hit close to home with childhood nostalgia, Kraft also enlisted Vanilla Ice to perform “The Ninja Rap” which, along with Ice, appeared in the film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze.”

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Mumbrella live blog: Tuesday, February 18

Welcome to Mumbrella’s live blog, your one stop shop for all the important links you need to stay in the know. Refresh the page regularly for the latest updates.

Highlights: Telstra beats Optus in court battle over misleading ads | Police raid Seven’s offices over Schapelle Journo union says police’s raids ‘heavy handed’ |Seven says police action overkill, police say they acted reasonably | Tall poppy syndrome crippling Aussie innovation says Deloitte marketer

5:33pm – Seven CEO Tim Worner has issued a statement denouncing the police raids today, adding: “A raid on our offices at Pyrmont and at Pacific Magazines and at our lawyers’ offices involving around 30 police and eight squad cars to find information we have already provided seems like overkill to say the least.”

5:08pm – An Optus spokesman said after the ruling: “What Telstra is really afraid of is a discussion on price”.

4:57pm – Optus’ ads showing network coverage figures of it and Telstra as part of a bill shock campaign were misleading, a judge has ruled. See more here.

4:40pm – Is there a tall poppy syndrome holding back innovation in Australia? Deloitte’s marketing director says there is. That plus more from a panel this morning here.

4:19pm – More from Schapelle gate as police issue a statement saying they acted appropriately before this morning’s raids, and denying the Proceeds of Crime Act is a restriction to freedom of speech. See it here.

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Victorian Supreme Court rules with Telstra that Optus misled public with ads

Optus misled Australians over the strength of its mobile network in a series on TV and online ad campaigns, the Victorian Supreme Court has ruled this afternoon.

The telco was taken to court by rival Telstra earlier this month after running a series of ads around bill shock which features a map of Australia with figures for Telstra and Optus in it.

(Ad courtesy of Ebiquity) 

Telstra claimed Optus’ campaign misrepresented the network coverage and the ads misled customers into believing Optus and Telstra’s mobile networks covered 98.5 per cent and 99.3 per cent of the Australian landmass respectively.

However Optus claimed it stated in the ad’s voiceover and fine print that the figures represented population and not geographic coverage.

Justice Elliot ruled against Optus and in favour of Tesltra, saying that any ordinary or reasonable person would have believed it to mean geographic coverage.

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