The top rentaquotes of 2012

In this roundup from the Encore & Mumbrella Annual, we look back at the seven top rentaquotes  over the last 12 months.

1. Steve Allen

Media veteran Steve Allen is the go-to guy for media-related quotes. Allen has many years’ experience in the industry having worked with, for, or alongside some of today’s heavy hitters. As one Mumbrella reporter pointed out this year, “there’s a reason why people call Steve Allen”. He always delivers.

Joe Hildebrand

2. Joe Hildebrand

If there was an award for top pundit of 2012, Joe Hildebrand would surely be the key contender. The Chaser’s Hamster Wheel skewered the News Limited journalist for being on every channel across the television spectrum and rightly so. He is a regular on Seven’s Sunrise and The Morning Show, Q&A, Sky News and Paul Murray Live and has even managed to parlay his punditry into hosting his own show, Dumb Drunk and Racist, which debuted this year on ABC2. But it’s not all plaudits for Hildebrand who was prominent in a Mumbrella post this year after refusing to pay an up-and-coming freelance writer who pitched him a story for Sydney’s The Daily Telegraph newspaper.

3. Tom Waterhouse

Hey journalists and television segment producers. Got a story about sport? Or maybe a spare seat on a sport-related panel? Need someone to fill it? Tom Waterhouse is your man. As the face of new betting start-up, Tom Waterhouse, he has a view on lots of sporty stuff. Who will win the Melbourne cup? Better yet, how many people will be at the event? Odds on, Waterhouse can give you the odds.

4. Jane Caro

From Gruen to Sunrise and just about everywhere in between, Jane Caro is a media commentary staple. She has also penned two books and her writing pops up regularly from Crikey to women’s site The Daily Life.

5. Paul Howes

You wouldn’t call him publicity shy, that’s for sure. The Australian Workers Union secretary Paul Howes is not only a familiar face on our televisions, he also gets a workout in the gossip pages. Not a day goes by without his name appearing in the pages of broadsheets and tabloids alike and he’s most recently been a topic of conversation for dating Qantas spin doctor Olivia Wirth.

6. Tom Piotrowski

Economist Tom Piotrowski is best known for his work for Commonwealth Securities and those good old CommSec updates. But he’s also on call for financial related topics, particularly on the Ten network. Nine has Ross Greenwood, Seven has David Koch. It only seems fair that Ten can turn to Tom Piotrowski.

7. James Manning

Mediaweek editor James Manning is well known for his media-related podcasts where he chats to the who’s who of the industry. He also has his own show on Sky Business News where he dissects the weekly media goings on, but that’s not the only place you’ll spot him. Manning also pops up on Paul Murray Live on Sky News. Read more »

The best boozers of 2012

In this roundup from the Encore and Mumbrella Annual, we list the industry’s top seven boozers.

1. The Abercrombie, Chippendale, Sydney

Halfway between the creative precinct of Chippendale, home to the offices of Encore and Mumbrella as well as production house Cordell Jigsaw Zapruder, and the ABC’s Sydney HQ, The Abercrombie, aka The Abber, had a refurb in 2011 making it a slightly more upmarket local than neighbouring pub The Clare.

2. The Aussie Youth, Ultimo, Sydney

DDB’s Sydney office, BWM and several other agencies call this Sydney pub home. While the local changed hands this year, and several of the familiar faces behind the bar moved on, this remains one of the best adland watering holes in the harbour city.

3. The Cherry Tree Hotel, Richmond, Victoria

Melbourne pub The Cherry Tree Hotel sees agency folk from DDB, JWT, Fuel, CHE and Grey get loose on a regular basis. The establishment is so well known as a hangout for creatives that a recent campaign to promote pâtissier Adriano Zumbo, the new face of car brand Renault, was staged outside the venue.

4. The Rag and Famish, North Sydney

This heritage hotel in the heart of business district North Sydney is the preferred local of media agency Group M, among other industry types based on the north side of the bridge.

5. Union Hotel, Adelaide

Adelaide’s journos can be spotted grabbing a post-work beer most nights at the Union Hotel on Waymouth Street. The hotel is a cultural icon of Adelaide and has been operating since 1855.

6. The Shakespeare Hotel, Sydney

One of Sydney’s grottier old pubs, The Shakespeare, or “The Shakey” as it’s better known, is popular for its cheap meals and relaxed attitude. Located in Surry Hills, it’s a mecca for creative types with the staff from Time Out magazine regular visitors.

7. The Black Pearl, Melbourne

Fitzroy’s Black Pearl is a popular spot for creative folk with music journos particularly keen on the venue. This year it was nominated for World’s Best cocktail bar by bar directory World’s Best Bars. Read more »

2012 has been a year to forget for…

In this roundup from the Encore and Mumbrella Annual, we look at the people and companies who would rather forget about 2012.

1. Ten

From ratings bombs Breakfast, Everybody Dance Now, The Shire and I Will Survive to the departure of 16-year programming veteran David Mott and a round of voluntary redundancies for the network’s journalists announced in October, it hasn’t been the best year for Ten. There were moments of hope in the program schedule with dramas Puberty Blues and Underground, The Julian Assange Story well received, but it’s expected to take CEO James Warburton three to five years to resurrect the network.

2. Fairfax and News Limited

It was a tough year for the two major media companies as many established journalists took home a large white redundancy envelope. Rumours continue that the weekday editions of flagship titles The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age will cease if the move to tabloid size does not succeed, while the merging of the weekday and weekend newsrooms at News Limited is still a work in progress.

3. Tina Alldis

In one of the most commented on opinion pieces on Mumbrella this year, public relations executive Tina Alldis shared her thoughts on how redundancies at News Limited and Fairfax would make life easier for PRs. In hindsight, the day after the first round of redundancies at the media companies wasn’t the best day to do it.

4. Campaign Palace

Once one of Australia’s most respected ad agencies, The Campaign Palace folded into JWT in June this year. The agency had been in decline for some time and in the 2011 Mumbrella Creative Agency Review, it came last in a pool of 30 agencies. Recent years saw a revolving door of management departures with clients including Bonds, Target and Domino’s heading for the door.

Alan Jones

5. Alan Jones

The 2GB shock jock Alan Jones may not think so, but in the eyes of many, he had a year to forget. His comments about the death of Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s father got him into strife with the radio network’s advertisers who jumped ship under a attack from Change.org supporters. Then he was sent back to school to learn the Commercial Radio Codes of Practice with industry watchdog, the Australian Communications and Media Authority, insisting his comments were fact checked by the station’s producers before going to air.

6. The group buying sector

It’s fair to say the group buying bubble has burst with recent months seeing the leaders of the major players exiting the space including Billy Tucker, the former CEO of Cudo, who called it quits at the end of 2011. Over at Spreets, the company Yahoo!7 purchased for $40m at the start of 2011, founders Dean McEvoy and Justus Hammer moved on in June. Technology analyst firm Telsyte says the industry has stabilised after three quarters of declining revenues. Mark Britt, boss of Mi9, owner of Cudo, predicts consolidation but it’s the tarnished reputation of the sector that’s causing the most grief with Tucker recently telling the AFR: “There are too many emails, too many deals, too many service issues and too many unused vouchers.”

7. DRAFTFCB Melbourne

The doors closed at DraftFCB in September after the agency lost its biggest client, Honda, to Leo Burnett’s Melbourne arm. Several clients, including youth depression charity Headspace, were left in the lurch by the closure. Read more »

Rinehart and Singleton announce alliance to target Fairfax Media

Fairfax Media looks set to face another year of ownership turmoil with Gina Rinehart and John Singleton announcing that they plan to work together.

Rinehart – whose fortune comes from the mining industry – has so far been rebuffed from a place on the board of the media company despite building a holding which reached around 15% of the company before she reduced it.

Meanwhile, Singleton’s attempt to buy Fairfax’s radio assets last year, eventually failed. Singleton is one of the owners of Macquarie Radio Network which owns Sydney’s number one talk station 2GB.

Now Rinehart’s company Hancock Investing and the Singleton-led Gutenberg Investments will work together. A formal announcement will be made to the ASX on Monday. Singleton has accused the board of having a “lack of direction”

According to the announcement: Read more »

The most underwhelming teaser campaigns of 2012

In this roundup from the Encore and Mumbrella Annual, we look back at seven of the most underwhelming teaser campaigns from the last 12 months.

1. Blackberry ‘Wake Up’

Speed boats with banners, a flashmob outside the Apple Store and a video blog by Nate ‘Blunty’ Burr. This was the teaser of the year. The reveal? Wait for it… a landing page. BlackBerry’s rivals sat back and laughed. Naked boss Mike Wilson described the strategy as pre-digital age. Ouch. Wake up indeed, BlackBerry.

2. Canadian Club ‘Beer Fairy’

Only slightly less oddball than The Works’ effort for Jim Beam was the creation of a sweaty, smelly, fat, balding bogan bloke with wings in an unbranded video for Canadian Club.

3. Jim Beam ‘It’s time’

Tarzan calls, monkey noises and cries of the wild were let out over loud speakers around Sydney. Was it a trailer for a Jim Carrey film? No. It was an annoying teaser for Jim Beam’s ready-to-drink alcopop.

4. Mazda ‘Cheetah’

A video clip of a cheetah sprinting through the streets of Brisbane was a triumph of visual effects. And it takes a ballsy car maker to make any sort of ad without their car in it. Just a shame this beautiful animal had to transform into a very ugly car.

5. Commbank ‘Can’t’

The problem with the much-dragged-out ‘Can’t’ campaign was that when the reveal eventually came, most people had stopped caring who was behind it.

6. NAB ‘Stand-Ins’

NAB staff auditioning to work for people who would have to go in on AFL grand final day was an interesting use of corporate sponsorship. Next to the brilliance of NAB’s ‘Break up’ campaign, it was a bit of a let down.

7. John West ‘Fisherman’

What a juicy brief. Take a classic ad character, the John West fisherman, and bring it up to date. But the reveal to the teaser, well, just wasn’t funny. Read more »

The industry’s nicest

In this roundJohn Mescall

In this round up from the Encore and Mumbrella annual, we celebrate the nicest people working in the industry.

1. John Mescall, ECD, McCann Australia

When was the last time you cried watching an ad? Mescall was behind The Impossible Orchestra – a 24-hour musical tribute to the 2.6m Australians who take care of sick or disabled loved ones – which got the audience blubbing. It was a campaign with heart, and that’s what Mescall (who devotes lots of his time working with charities) is all about. A genuine, bullshit-free bloke with bags of talent.

2. Mark Coad, CEO, PHd Australia

Unassuming and mild-mannered, Coad is not your typical big-talking CEO. And yet he could not have turned around former agency OMD without making some tough decisions. One of the most accomplished media operators in Australia, the Melburnian leads with an assured lack of fuss.

3. Suzie Shaw, MD, Host Sydney

It can’t be easy having agency founder Anthony Freeman breathing down your neck. And yet Shaw manages to run Host with a kind, nurturing touch. Loved by clients and staff alike.

4. Barry O’Brien, Chief Sales Officer, Network Ten

One of the most popular people in media, Barry O’Brien was a smart hire by Ten – as much to bring in favours owed to him during his agency days as his undoubted friendliness and likeability.

Peter ‘Biggsy’ Biggs

5. Peter Biggs, CEO, Clemenger BBDO Melbourne

Biggsy is proof that you don’t have to be hard-nosed to run a successful business (that role, you could argue, is filled by Clems executive chairman Robert Morgan). Does it help that the eloquent Kiwi trained to be a priest for seven years? Probably not. But it just might have given him a sense of fairness and justice, says one of his colleagues. “He treats everyone from James McGrath to the cleaning lady the same,” they say. “He makes time for everybody and has no hierarchical hang ups.”

6. Justin Drape, Creative Partner, The Monkeys

While The Monkeys boss Mark Green gives the agency its harder, competitive edge, creative partner Justin Drape is someone who’d put down his latte to help a granny cross the road. His boy-next-door demeanor is all too rare in Sydney’s aloof creative circles.

7. Al Crawford, Planning Director, Clemenger BBDO, Sydney

Crawford has the air of eccentric academic, and is quite possibly the brainiest planner in Australia. And he’s also a chilled, reliable, assured type – the sort of bloke “you might call if you got caught at a Mexican airport with a suitcase full of drugs”, says one of his admirers. Read more »

The top TV hits of 2012

In this roundup from the Encore and Mumbrella Annual, we revisit the year’s biggest TV hits.

1. The Voice

With at least three singing shows having come before it on Aussie TV, The Voice was going to have to do something spectacular to deliver a ratings hit. The show debuted with 2.177m viewers with the finale attracting an average metro audience of 3.098m according to OzTam. No other show on the box this year came close to matching the overall performance across the series with most episodes hovering around the 2m viewer mark.

2. Puberty Blues

Ten may have had a year to forget but one shining light in the network’s line-up was Southern Star-produced drama Puberty Blues. Whether it was the story, based on the 1970s novel of the same name, the performance of the cast or attention to detail that made this show a hit, it consistently delivered around one million views.

3. The Olympics

Issues with Eddie McGuire and Nine’s obsession with swimming aside, the two weeks of wall-to-wall sport were a ratings boon for Nine with evening sessions of the games attracting around 2m viewers each night.

4. HOWZAT! Kerry Packer’s War

Who knew a combination of cricket and Kerry Packer would result in top-quality drama? Clearly Nine and Southern Star did as the two-part series dominated its Sunday night timeslot.

5. Go Back To Where You Came From: Series 2

The first series picked up an award at the Rose d’Or Festival in Lucerne, Switzerland, and the second series turned up the heat with a cast of prominent Australians including ex-radio shock jock Michael Smith and musician Angry Anderson. Still gripping viewing.

6. The Block

The reality renovation show The Block, in it’s fifth season, continued to deliver for Nine. The winning duo of miner Brad and his girlfriend Lara took home a cash prize of more than $600,000 and a whopping ratings victory of 2.7m.

7. Gruen

Gruen continues to do well on the ABC and collected the Encore TV series of the year award based on a public vote in September.

 

 

Read more »

The most image-conscious agencies of 2012

In this roundup from the Encore and Mumbrella Annual, we look at the seven most image-conscious agencies.

1. Droga5

There is probably no agency in Australia with as strong a brand as Droga’s. It’s just hard to pin down why. Critics say the flashy Sydney shop is all smoke and mirrors, style over substance – a hurricane Sandy of big talk and hyperbolic press releases. But now the agency has won some big accounts (Woolies, Kraft etc), and the work is looking better, the Droga name is beginning to live up to the hype. But shhhh. Don’t mention the New Zealand office.

2. Naked Communications

Is it a PR agency? A strategy firm? A creative agency? Who cares, it’s Naked, a company that is more in love with its own brand than any in adland. Fledgling start-ups, watch and learn how to ride your own publicity wave.

3. The Monkeys

Behind the nice-guy image lies a fiercely competitive streak to The Monkeys, who are lightening quick to pick up the phone if a story in the trades doesn’t go their way.

4. Saatchi & Saatchi Sydney

Ambitious new CEO Michael Rebelo is determined to restore Saatchi’s reputation – which was on the floor before he arrived last year. He did it with Saatchi’s in London. The signs are good for the Sydney office, but one of adland’s youngest CEOs has a way to go to bring back the good times to 70 George Street.

5. The Works Sydney

Probably the smallest agency in Australia to hire its own communications director, can former B&T editor Tim Addington help The Works punch above its weight?

Enero’s Matthew Melhuish

6. BMF Sydney

A talent exodus, client losses and at times questionable work. All is not well at Enero’s jewel in the crown, which is proving hard to swallow for its bosses. No-one wants BMF to improve more than Enero boss Matthew Melhuish, the M in BMF. Squeaky bum time for an agency supposedly ‘on a journey to become a globally influential company’.

7. McCann

At pains to point out that things have changed for the better a year after the reverse takeover by Smart. Yes, things have improved a bit, haven’t they? Dumb Ways to Die has most certainly helped. Read more »

The best outdoor ads of 2012

In this roundup from the Encore and Mumbrella Annual, we look back at the top outdoor ads from 2012.

1. Pedestrian Council of Australia – Girl

A girl lying on the ground with blood in the shape of earphones gives maximum impact in this ad for the Pedestrian Council of Australia from DDB Sydney. Part of a campaign to raise awareness about listening to music near traffic, the execution is clever in its simplicity, backed by the tagline ‘don’t tune out’.

2. Virgin Australia – AUS to USA

Swiping a well-deserved Gold Outdoor Lion at Cannes, this play on words hit home for Clemenger BBDO Sydney.

3. St Vincent de Paul – Steve

A great tactical idea that puts a face on homelessness for charity St Vincent De Paul from GPY&R Sydney. The painted shadow of a homeless man gets you to stop.

4. Cooper’s – Life After Dark

This campaign uses the outdoor advertising medium to its fullest. A white billboard with a bottle of Cooper’s beer stamped on it becomes a glowing comic-book illustration when the sun goes down. From KWP! Advertising, it’s a graphic and artistic nod to Melbourne’s underground ‘after dark’ graffiti culture.

5. Specsavers – Should Have Gone to Specsavers

A poster showing an image of a man who mistakes the side of a bus shelter for an ATM with the tagline ‘should have gone to specsavers’ is an engaging use of outdoor furniture with added comic value.

6. Sony Pictures Releasing – Enter the Underworld

A sidewalk optical illusion is not the typical format to market a film, but in this case it did the trick. Launched to promote the release of the fourth Underworld installment, Underworld Awakening, and drawn by artists Anton Pulvirenti and Rudy Kistler, the giant 3D image of two men balancing on a tightrope over a pit of danger is surprisingly realistic.

7. Ice Break – Billboard Drag Race

Overseen by creative heavyweight, Micah Walker, ad agency The Monkeys took two billboards advertising coffee flavoured milk Ice Break, put them on wheels and staged a drag race.


2012 – The year in newspapers

In this roundup from the Encore and Mumbrella Annual, we look back at the year in newspapers.

In January, writer, editor and publisher of women’s website Mamamia.com.au, Mia Freedman, joins News Limited as a syndicated Sunday columnist jumping ship from Fairfax. In November, 10 months into a two-year contract, Freedman is unceremoniously dumped for “business reasons”.

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News Limited’s new boss Kim Williams announces a merging of the company’s newspaper and digital sales teams. It is the first of many announcements from the News camp in 2012.

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February begins with a release of the latest figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations. The Sydney Morning Herald is the hardest hit, losing 12 per cent of its weekday circulation, with newspaper circulations atrophying by four per cent overall.

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In March, Melbourne’s News Limited tabloid the Herald Sun switches on a paywall, adopting a freemium model.

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News Limited closes Sunshine Coast paper the Noosa Journal along with the Maroochydore and Caloundra editions.

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n March, Sydney’s Sun-Herald newspaper relaunches, radically altering the structure of the paper. A month later, the cover price increases by 30c to $2.30. The paper sees a further 10.8 per cent decrease in circulation when the next round of figures from the Audit Bureau are released in May.

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Seven West Media, owner of The West Australian newspaper and Pacific Magazines, withdraws from The Australian Press Council in a potential blow to self regulation of the media.

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Melbourne’s Herald Sun finds itself at the centre of a media upset after breaking an embargo and publishing the results of the Logie awards. The editor, Simon Pristel, claims Google accessed the paper’s internal systems to get hold of an ‘unpublished’ story which Google denies.

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In April, Fairfax Media shares slump to an all-time low of 69c.

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In May, Garry Linnell is promoted to editorial director of the company’s metro media division. His remit is to spearhead the company’s Editorial Review Project and drive what Fairfax calls a ‘fully integrated newsroom’.

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Fairfax announces that it will outsource production of its regional newspapers to New Zealand. Fairfax journalists go on strike. Despite talks involving the journalist’s union, Fairfax continues with its plans to outsource. The company’s share price drops to a new low of 56c.

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In June Fairfax announces The Age and SMH will go tabloid in nine months’ time and that 1,900 jobs will be cut. The Sydney Morning Herald editor-in-chief and publisher Peter Fray exits the company as does editor Amanda Wilson and The Age editor Paul Ramadge. Sean Aylmer takes the reins of the SMH with Darren Goodsir taking on the role of director of news for the paper. In October, Fray joins news agency AAP, launching a service offering freelancer copy from a stable of high-calibre writers.

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News Limited CEO Kim Williams explains in a video address to staff how News will reorganise itself from 19 divisions to five. Redundancies are expected but the number of jobs that will be lost is not confirmed.

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Editor of Melbourne’s Herald Sun Simon Pristel leaves the paper to head up Melbourne’s Seven news division. He is replaced by Damon Johnston.

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Kate Cox becomes the third editor in three years of Sydney’s struggling Sun-Herald.

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In August, Fairfax Media posts a $2.7b loss. The value of newspapers including The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian Financial Review plummet from $3.25bn to $1.29bn, due to write-downs. The company’s share price drops to 46c.

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September begins with News Limited outsourcing copy editing for its community titles to Pagemasters.

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The Australian is named newspaper of the year at the PANPA Newspaper of The Year Awards.

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Neil Breen resigns as editor of Sydney’s The Sunday Telegraph. A month later he announces his move to television to produce Nine’s Today show. He is replaced by Mick Carroll.

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Figures released in November by the Audit Bureau of Circulations see the Sun-Herald drop 21 per cent in the quarter from July to September. The Age is the worst hit daily paper dropping 16.9 per cent with SMH falling 15.9.  Read more »

The best networking events of 2012

Melbourne’s PRinks

In this round up from the Encore and Mumbrella annual, we look at the best networking events of 2012.

1. Fourth Estate Domain

Driven by recruitment agency La Volta, FED, which takes place in Sydney and Melbourne, sees senior speakers from the digital world interviewed on the couch, while the audience enjoys drinks before, during and after.

2. Social Media Club

For anyone interested by the likes of Twitter, Facebook and the wider digital world. Sydney’s SMC, started about four years ago, was quiet in recent months but has had something of a resurgence. SMC Melbourne is still going strong.

3. Young Minds

Held about once a month, this is where the emerging talent of the publishing industry gets together to hear from bigwigs and have a drink. Organized under the banner of Publishers Australia.

4. Inforum

Senior level networking lunches, accompanied by top-end-of-town speakers, in front of a predominantly female crowd. Daily Addict describes it as “the network we cannot live without”.

5. Prinks

Popular with PRs but open to all communications professionals, PRinks started in Sydney but has also run in Melbourne. With the emphasis on informality, it’s a chance to chat to peers over a beer, or more likely, a glass of something sparkling.

6. Networx

Held in Sydney and Brisbane, Networx focuses on the intersection between public relations and journalism. Generally a panel of three speakers take questions in a bar somewhere. The conversations really get going once the formalities end.

7. Brisbane Advertising Association

Every city has its own advertising gatherings. But Brisbane’s BAA is special. The annual Christmas lunch is legendary. Read more »

The most disliked on-air personalities of 2012

In this roundup from the Encore and Mumbrella Annual, we look back at the seven most disliked on-air personalities from the last 12 months. 

1. Kyle Sandilands

While the public don’t seem to like Kyle Sandilands all that much, his Sydney breakfast radio show remains number one among the FM commercial stations.

2. Matthew Newton

Broadcasters and producers have stayed away from the troubled Matthew Newton who has been diagnosed with a mental illness and is living in the US. It looks unlikely he will return to our screens any time soon.

3. Sam Newman

Newman is no stranger to public backlash and has been hauled over the coals for sexist and racist on-air comments. In May he angered anti-drug advocates when he pretended to smoke a bong on TV.

4. Ben Cousins

The good-looking Ben Cousins should be perfect talent but he has struggled with drug issues in the media spotlight and, as recently as April this year, was charged with cannabis possession.

Brynne Edelsten

5. Brynne Edelsten

Socialite Brynne Edelsten stepped into the spotlight in 2011 in Seven series Dancing with the Stars before fly-on-the-wall reality series Brynne Edelsten, My Bedazzled Life aired this year delivering mediocre ratings.

6. Pauline Hanson

Famous fiery redhead Pauline Hanson showed her human side during last year’s premiere season of Celebrity Apprentice but according to Encore’s survey of the public in June this year, it wasn’t enough to endear Aussies to the politician.

7. Brendan Fevola

Brendan Fevola had been off air since 2009 when he appeared drunk during Nine’s The Footy Show. He competed on Dancing with the Stars this year. Read more »

2012 – The year in outdoor

In this roundup from the Encore and Mumbrella Annual, we look back at the year in outdoor.

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In January The Standard Media Index reports a 5.4 per cent increase in outdoor advertising spend for 2011.

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In February, milk brand Big M builds a giant pair of fully functional headphones out of 40,000 empty milk cartons for the St Kilda Festival in Melbourne.

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Pierce Cody, founder of billboard offering Cody Outdoor, resigns from the board of umbrella company APN News & Media due to concerns over its governance. The same day APN announces it will sell half of its out of home division, APN Outdoor, to Quadrant Private Equity in a deal that sees it bank $190m.

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In March the Advertising Standards Bureau bans a graphic billboard petitioning against animal testing. The ad shows a deformed woman with mascara being forcibly applied to her face by a dog paw and is ruled ‘unnecessarily violent’.

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Ten announces it is looking to cast off outdoor arm Eye Corp after a strategic review of the business. This follows news of the exit of Eye’s CEO of Australia and NZ Mike Tyquin.

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Figures released in April show the outdoor ad industry has grown four per cent in the first quarter of 2012. Revenue from sales is up from $112m to $117m.

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Across the ditch, Adshel NZ claims an industry first and brews beer inside a billboard as part of the ‘Wellington in a pint’ initiative, which asks the public to describe what they think Wellington would be like if it was a beer.

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In May, APN Outdoor retains the advertising contract for Adelaide’s buses and trams, and wins the train business. Worth an estimated $7m to $12m over five years, the contract is a significant win for the media company.

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June signals the start of awards season and this year 15 Australian agencies are shortlisted in the outdoor category at Cannes, including Ogilvy for Share a Coke and Clemenger BBDO Sydney for Virgin Australia. Seven agencies secure trophies, bringing home two gold, one silver and four bronze.

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APN Outdoor continues its winning streak and successfully retains Australia’s biggest out of home contract for Sydney buses, worth $100m over five years.

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July sees the launch of a Minority Report-style outdoor campaign for Qantas, as part of its ‘You’re the reason we fly’ re-brand. Via a smartphone app, a digital billboard at Sydney’s Town Hall senses when a consumer is nearby and projects their image on to the screen.

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Ten Announces the sale of Eye Corp to oOH! Media for $145m after months of speculation. Ten’s CEO James Warburton says: “Successful completion of the transaction will be good news for Ten.”

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Early October sees Ten’s Eye Corp sale fall over after prospective buyer Outdoor Media Operations – umbrella company for oOH! Media – terminates the contract. Three weeks later, Ten announces the Eye Corp sale is back on with OMO placing a bid for $110m, $35m less than its original offer.

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Embattled Ten Holdings agrees to sell Eye Corp for the reduced price of $113m. The deal includes $98m in cash with a further $15m to follow. The Eye name will disappear from the media landscape, with all assets to be branded as oOh!.

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The best Dr Mumbos of 2012

In this roundup from the Encore and Mumbrella Annual, we take a look at the seven best Dr Mumbo posts from the last 12 months.

1. When McDonald’s signage goes rogue

This rogue piece of signage at Wynyard McDonald’s in Sydney requires no words…

2. Angels and Devils

Confusing being in advertising, isn’t it?

 

3. Media Watch’s new slogan: ‘We don’t do last minute’

On the day Fairfax Media announced a vast restructuring, the Twitterati predicted it would be a hectic afternoon for the staff of the ABC’s Media Watch as they prepared that night’s show. Not so, revealed host Jonathan Holmes, as his new slogan was unveiled: “We don’t do last minute.”

4. The Sydney Mining Herald

With Gina Rinehart on Fairfax Media’s shareholders’ register, comedian Dan Ilic created The Sydney Mining Herald.


5. A non-heteronormative mole with throbbing eyelids writes…

When Sasha Burden did work experience at Melbourne’s Herald Sun, she didn’t have much fun. Writing a piece for student publication Farrago as “The Hun Mole”, she said: ”Throughout the week, I was consistently subjected to patronising attitudes, being referred to as ‘Little Bud’, ‘Champ’ and ‘Kidlet’. Men were also continuously and unnecessarily sexist, waiting for me to walk through doors and leave the elevator before them.” The pigs. And: “Basic fact checking would have refuted many of the heteronormative, white, elitist opinions expressed in that building.”

6. QR codes are the future

This Tumblr account says everything we need to know about the real-world usefulness of QR codes…

7. Planned spontaneity

Through the joy of the accidental cc, the following internal agency memo reached Dr Mumbo…

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The best lunch spots of 2012

In this roundup from the Encore and Mumbrella Annual, we remember the seven best lunch spots we visited over the last 12 months.

Machiavelli, Sydney

1. Machiavelli, Sydney

Located in Sydney’s CBD, Machiavelli is the Italian restaurant that means business. It’s the place where Sydney’s business barons come to see and be seen. Favoured by Kerry Packer in his day, the Clarence Street locale maintains an enduring popularity with today’s movers and shakers.

2. Print Hall, Perth

The Print Hall is located in Perth’s Newspaper House on St Georges Terrace. With four levels to choose from, three separate bars and a restaurant, the establishment is a haven for local media agency folk and the odd Perthonality, a somewhat disparaging term for Perth’s own celebs. But ironic hipsters beware, the venue found itself in a spot of bother in October after kicking out a man with a mullet.

3. Chiswick, Sydney

Newcomer Chiswick has fast become THE spot to be seen lunching in Sydney. From TV personalities to the wives of media moguls, one-time MasterChef judge Matt Moran’s casual dining spot in the posh suburb of Woollahra is a magnet for industry players and their hangers on.

4. Neild Ave, Sydney

At the table to your left is a group of magazine editors. To your right, reporters from a high-rating current affairs program. Welcome to Neild Ave, located in the rather unsalubrious backstreets of Rushcutters Bay. Despite the unusual positioning, this lunch venue is top notch, which is to be expected from restauranter Maurice Terzini, best known for Icebergs and North Bondi Italian.

5. Chianti Classico, Adelaide

A regular haunt for Adelaide’s media elite, Chianti Classico on Hutt Street is a top spot for lunching with locals of importance or visiting guests.

Otto Ristorante, Sydney

6. Otto Ristorante, Sydney

A favourite with local residents including John Laws, who calls the wharf in Woolloomooloo home, Otto’s waterfront spot is a paparazzi favourite as many of Sydney’s media identities migrate here when the weather is good.

7. Aria, Sydney

A hop, skip and jump from the Opera House, Aria boasts one of the best views in Sydney. It’s also just up the road from Alan Jones’ residence so you may spot the shock jock grabbing a bite to eat. Read more »

2012 – The year in film

In this roundup from the Encore and Mumbrella Annual, we look back at the year in film.

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With George Miller’s Happy Feet Two opening on Boxing Day, Mumbles the penguin and his friends are still doing a roaring trade at the box office throughout January, taking $11.08m in total.

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Hollywood director James Cameron opens an Australian office of his company Cameron Pace Group in mid-January to be run by managing director Andrew Wight, producer of Sanctum. Wight sadly dies in a helicopter crash in early February with ocean cinematographer Mike deGruy.

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The Australian Film Institute launches the new-look Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards with Red Dog winning best film. Justin Kurzel picks up a gong for best direction for Snowtown. Legendary cinematographer Don McAlpine receives the Raymond Longford award for lifetime achievement.

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Director Alex Proyas’s Paradise Lost, due to shoot at Fox Studios, is scrapped due to a budgetary dispute. Proyas is tied to John Polson and Gary Hamilton’s project Sydney Unplugged alongside Kieran Darcy-Smith and David Michod. The project faces legal action from the producer of Paris I Love You, claiming a breach of its intellectual property.

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In late-February graphic novel adaptation I, Frankenstein, directed by Stuart Beattie and starring Aaron Eckhart, begins shooting in Melbourne for Hopscotch Features and Lakeshore Entertainment.

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In South Australia, Adelaide Studios struggles as Wolf Creek Two and sci-fi series Resistance, which were slated to use the facilities, are put on hold.

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In April, organisers of the IF Awards announce the event will no longer run due to a lack of sponsorship.

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The Australian government invests $12.8m to secure the production of the Hugh Jackman-produced film The Wolverine.

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Internet service provider iiNet has a win against 34 companies who argue the ISP isn’t doing enough to stop online piracy.

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In May, Kieran Darcy-Smith’s tense thriller Wish You Were Here takes $279,500 at the box office with a $7,356 screen average as fellow Blue Tongue Films member David Michod signs Robert Pattinson and Guy Pearce for new picture The Rover. The project’s international rights are acquired by FilmNation.

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Goalpost Pictures-produced film The Sapphires receives a standing ovation at its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival before securing international distribution through The Weinstein Company. The film opens in August to become the highest grossing local picture of 2012 bringing in more than $14m.

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In June, production begins in Redfern, Sydney, on Around The Block, a feature film written and directed by Sarah Spillane and starring Christina Ricci.

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In August, Deluxe acquires Omnilab brands Iloura, Digital Pictures, Cornerpost, Boffswana and PAX Entertainment.

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Fuel VFX goes into administration but is saved by Animal Logic.

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Matthew Deaner, former manager of strategy and research at Screen Australia, moves to head up the Screen Producers Association of Australia, replacing Geoff Brown.

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Hopscotch Films founder Frank Cox departs the company.

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Wolf Creek Two gets a welcome injection of production funding from Screen Australia.

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Kath & Kimderella opens at Australian cinemas taking a total of $2m at the box office.

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Australian/Singaporean co-production 3D shark film Bait fails to find a local audience. In October it opens in China taking more than $20m.

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In November, Andrew Traucki’s The Jungle begins a crowdfunding campaign.

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Director Matthew Saville begins shooting Felony, a tense police thriller written by Joel Edgerton.

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The biggest social media blunders of 2012

In this roundup from the Encore and Mumbrella Annual, we remember the seven biggest social media blunders from the last 12 months.

1. Seven News

When Seven News deleted a comment with 32,000 likes on its Facebook page from Linda Goldspink-Lord accusing the network of intrusive reporting of her 13-year-old daughter Molly Lord’s accidental death near Wollongong, NSW, social media uproar ensued, forcing the network to make a public apology.

2. Bruno Bouchet

Proving that it’s not just companies that can find themselves falling victim to the perils of social media, radio producer Bruno Bouchet was fired by 2DayFM after making jokes on Twitter about the tragic shooting massacre in Colorado. Bouchet’s defence was weak: “I didn’t realise how serious it was and I had had a few drinks”.

3. Ugg Australia

Infrequent Facebook monitoring landed shoe brand UGG Australia in hot water after a user posted a pornographic image on the brand’s page. More than 11 hours later the picture was still live.

4. York Butter ‘Pussy’ Factory

After tweeting ‘Techs are the pussy of the start-up scene. Fill the club with them and the business guys will follow’, technology work space the York Butter Factory trended on Twitter for all the wrong reasons. The blatantly sexist comment caused a backlash against the company which received so many hits to its website that it crashed.

5. Coles ‘Finish this sentence’

Coles triggered a predictable social media shit storm after it invited its followers on Twitter to finish the sentence: “In my house, its a crime not to buy…” Responses included: ‘food from markets while Coles exploits mental illness via pokies’. Its move was all the more foolish given rival Woolworths had fallen into the same trap the month prior when it asked Facebook fans to finish the sentence: “This weekend, I can’t wait to…”

6. Kangaroo Island cash for Tweets

Media Watch took the South Australian Tourism Commission to task over an email that outlined their plans to pay prominent figures $750 per tweet to promote Kangaroo Island. Matt Moran and Shannon Noll were among those paid and it tarnished an otherwise well-received campaign for the island destination.

7. Target’s ‘Trampy’ togs

Another brand guilty of lacklustre Faceboook management, Target found itself in trouble after a comment on the retailer’s brand page suggesting their clothing range made children ‘look like tramps’ picked up more than 53,000 likes and 300 comments. It took Target three full days before they responded to consumer anger. Read more »

Top agency dogs

In this roundup from the Encore and Mumbrella Annual, we look at the top agency dogs.

1. ‘Dweezil’, Task2

Dweezil was a stray puppy wandering the streets of Blacktown before he was rescued by Monika’s Doggie Rescue, which is where Task2 director Leanne Pyne found him. From there, Doggie Rescue became Task2’s client, and Dweezil is now the star of Monika’s ad campaigns. He has worked as office manager at Task2 for nine years.

Dweezil

2. ‘Billi’, Clemenger BBDO Melbourne

A rare talent in office dogs is acrobatics. This skill doesn’t come in handy in agency life much, except at Clemenger BBDO Melbourne. Billi, the office pooch belonging to Ellie Henderson, who’s executive assistant to creative chairman James McGrath (who brings his own dog, Scooby, into work), likes to shoot hoops at lunch time.

Billi

3. ‘Barney’, Spinach Advertising

Barney the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is chief morale officer at Spinach. He has a talent for business acumen. “As much as we hate to admit it, Barney is not a human, so he needs to be very good natured and friendly. But not too friendly. Sometimes he needs to make himself scarce. The right sort of dog can read the play and act accordingly,” says Spinach’s Ben Willee.

Barney among friends

4. ‘Lulu’, Core Sydney

Making this list for her looks alone is Lulu, half labrador and half ridgeback, she’d brighten up any reception desk. Less gifted than her peers, however, her talent is eating coffee cups.

Lulu

5. ‘Tully’, Inside Out PR

If the folks at Inside Out PR are short of transport, then the temptation must be to take a ride on the back of their magnificent and massive bernese mountain dog, Tully.

Tully

6. ‘Tilly’ and ‘Stella’, BRIO Group

Tilly the blue heeler and Stella the cocker spaniel are a part of the stress management team at Queensland’s Brio Group. Stella even helps out with the cleaning.

Tilly and Stella

7. ‘Hudson’, The Concept

Hudson is 15 years old – that’s 105 in dog years. Brainstorming sessions would be creatively barren without his experience, says creative director Alison Fowler.

Hudson

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