The Sapphires leads AACTA nominations

The Sapphires has led the Academy of Australian Cinema and Television Arts Awards nominations being nominated in 12 categories.

Awards will be handed out over two events, with an awards luncheon, focused on craft categories on Monday January 28 and the main event on January 30. Both events will be held at the Star Event Centre, the first public events for the venue.

The Sapphires, distributed by Hopscotch/eOne has been nominated for Best Film, Best Direction for Wayne Blair and best adapted screenplay for Tony Briggs and Keith Thompson as well as Best Lead Actor and Actress for Chris O’Dowd and Deborah Mailman, and Best Supporting Actress for Jessica Mauboy. Read more »

Twentysomething’s second season receives Screen Australia funding

A second series of ABC sitcom Twentysomething has received funding from Screen Australia as part of the agency’s Multi-Platform Production Program.

Created and written by Jess Harris, Twentysomething episodes will be directed by Harris and Mika Tran and is produced by Lowdown’s Nicole Minchin of High Wire Films.

The first season aired last year on ABC2. This season will pick up with friends Jess, played by Harris, and Josh, played by Josh Schmidt, returning from abroad as thirtysomething looms. Read more »

ABC’s head of comedy joins Matchbox

Debbie Lee joins Matchbox Pictures

Former ABC head of comedy Debbie Lee has moved to production company Matchbox Pictures.

Lee moves to the production company behind The Slap and The Straits in the new position of director of scripted development.

In her role as head of comedy, and prior, as commissioning editor, entertainment and comedy Lee greenlit A Moody Christmas, Laid, Lowdown and Angry Boys. Read more »

Peter Rowe replaces Erica Smyth as ScreenWest chair

Peter Rowe is to chair West Australia’s screen agency ScreenWest.

Rowe replaces outgoing chair, Erica Smyth who steps down after six years.

The agency has added an additional ninth member to the board in its new round of appointments. Read more »

Qantas suspends in-flight wi-fi citing lack of demand from passengers

QantasQantas has announced that it is suspending the trial of in-flight wifi connectivity due to what it claims is a lack of customer demand.

The service was offered to passengers travelling on A380 aircraft flying to Los Angeles and London between March and November 2012. It was offered for free for an initial six week period and then switched to a paid service model.

The airline claims that over the commercial period of the trial, less than 5% of consumers used the service on average, and the fact that most A380 services operate at night meant many travellers preferred to sleep. Qantas was one of the first airlines in the world to offer wifi on long haul flights. Read more »

Santa surfs with ham in Christmas ad for Aldi

Discount retailer Aldi has created a Christmas TV ad that features an army of Santa Clauses who go surfing.

One Santa catches a wave while holding a large chunk of ham. A jingle mixed from classic surf anthem Hawaii Five-0 and Santa’s ‘Ho, ho, ho’ laugh plays in the background.

The ad, which attempts to position Aldi as part of “The perfect Aussie Christmas”, was created by BMF. Read more »

Bonus for TV networks as government waters-down content quota recommendations

The Government has cut the free TV networks’ licence fees and chosen not to apply tough new quotas for Australian local content on digital channels which were recommended by the Convergence Review.

The early Christmas present for the TV networks was slipped out on the last sitting day of parliament by media minister Stephen Conroy. The ruling was condemned by industry body Screen Producers Association of Australia.

The Convergence Review had recommended that as part of their licence requirements, broadcasters should be able to count Australian content on the multichannels. However, the Review also suggested networks must increase local drama, children’s and documentary investment by 50% across their three channels.

But instead, the Government has handed down a total Australian content quota, which can include news, sport and reality, across entire commercial networks, and ignored the more expensive drama and documentary aspect of the Review’s recommendation. Read more »

Lenard’s in ‘cost effective’ refit by Ideaworks

Chicken chain Lenard’s has launched what it described as “a cost-effective retro fit-out”.

The refit was led by creative agency IdeaWorks whose GM is Chris Searles. According to an announcement from the brand: “Due to Lenard’s extensive national franchise model, Mr Searles said that the store renovations had to be both cost effective and achievable in the current economic climate.”

The fitout includes the removal of posters and balloons.


Lenards before


Lenards after Read more »

Vodafone rolls out vbook ads around cricket sponsorship

Vodafone has launched the next instalment of its vbook campaign.

The vbook helps cricket fans wanting to watch live cricket get away with a book with a special cut-out section inside big enough to fit a smartphone. They can watch the test series – which is sponsored by Vodafone – via the Cricket Live Australia app. Read more »

Woolies turns to scented media to lure Christmas shoppers

An ad that smells of strawberries and cream

Woolworths has turned to scented press advertising to entice customers into its stores as Christmas approaches.

It is doing so through News Limited’s commuter paper mX, and Reed Pacific Media – a scented media firm and publisher that was in the news in May for abruptly axing its entire editorial team. Reed Pacific Media also drew allegations for not paying staff and business partners.

Woolies will run press ads in mX that smell of strawberries and cream, and later in the week, of Christmas cake. Read more »

Ratings year sees Seven win overall audience battle and Nine win key advertising demographics

sevennine logoNine and Seven have shared the honours in the 2012 ratings year which officially came to an end at the weekend.

Nine won the year in the key advertising demographics of 16-39, 18-49 and 25-54 while Seven won across total viewers.

Because of lower ratings over the summer and during easter, the networks agree to only officially do battle for 40 weeks of the year. Read more »

Whybins tops B&T Awards

Whybin\TBWA was named agency of the year at the B&T Awards on Friday night. Meanwhile, CumminsRoss won the Victorian agency of the year and M&C Saatchi was NSW agency of the year.

UM was named media agency of the year and One Green Bean was named PR agency of the year. Read more »

KFC’s Summer Session radio show presented by Meatfree Monday supporter Pat Cash

meat free monday facebook

A chicken-related message on the Meatless Monday Facebook page

Days after appointing former PETA supporter and vegetarian Benji Madden as its spokesman, KFC is to have its sponsored radio show co-hosted by tennis legend Pat Cash who is campaigning for the public not to eat meat on Mondays.

Cash, the former Wimbledon champion, is to co-host the KFC Summer Session drivetime show on Triple M.

The announcement of Cash for the KFC-sponsored show comes shortly after he was named as a celebrity supporter of Meatfree Monday – a campaign to persuade people to eat less meat. Read more »

QUT hunts for grads to be ‘heroed’ in its ads

QUT graduate James Tilbury

Queensland University of Technology is searching for alumni to front a recruitment ad campaign next year.

The uni wants recent graduates from its courses who have gone on to have “inspiring and interesting careers” in a range of sectors, to be ‘heroed’ in a TV campaign. Read more »

Strike Bowling offers to rescue Aussie companies from terrible Xmas parties

Offices around Australia have the chance to win a Christmas party at Strike Bowling – if they tell the company why their Christmas party needs saving.

The campaign comes off the back of a social media competition that ran earlier in the year that asked Australian businesses to name their worst Christmas party experiences – which have been made into a 60-second film. Read more »

KFC’s Madden story changes

KFC So Good MaddenKFC’s position on Joel and Benji Madden’s past connections to vegetarianism and animal rights group PETA appears to have changed again, with the brand now saying it was only assured that the Good Charlotte members were not “currently” involved.

Last week, when Mumbrella revealed that the duo were fronting a new summer campaign for the chicken brand, a 2009 video quickly emerged of an interview with Benji Madden speaking about his conversion to vegetarianism.

He then tweeted that he hadn’t been vegetarian “for years” and that he had un-affiliated himself from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).

His tweet appeared to contradict a statement to Mumbrella issued at the same time by KFC:

“Prior to entering into our agreement, they advised us they have not been PETA activists or vegetarians.”

However, today’s Australian Financial Review contains a new comment from KFC: Read more »

TV1 is now ‘Always great’

Pay TV channel TV1 has a new slogan – ‘Always great’.

A rebrand sees the station dump its ‘television’s greatest hits’ tagline, and embrace a new positioning, ‘Great Drama. Great Comedy’, which it will be using as a sales platform.

The rethink comes just two months after TV1’s parent company overhauled the management teams of TV1 and SF, making a number of redundancies. Shannon Most emerged as the group’s head of marketing. Read more »

REA Group appoints Microsoft’s Lisa Hickson as marketing head

Lisa Hickson

REA Group has appointed a new head of marketing.

Microsoft marketer Lisa Hickson joins to Jo Whyte, who left in June, as general manager of brand, communications and insights at the property group.

Whyte is now brand marketing manager at Australia Post.

Hickson joins from a role as marketing director consumer and online at Microsoft Australia. Read more »

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