Restaurant chain Urban Purveyor Group launches Oktoberfest in September

Restaurant chain the Urban Purveyor Group (UPG) is kicking off their Oktoberfest celebrations in September with a tongue in cheek campaign aimed at telling the “true story” of Oktoberfest.

The campaign, created by Channel Zero, is built around the idea that Australians are unaware Oktoberfest starts in September.

Marketing Director, Daniel Hopkirk said: “The idea behind this year’s Oktoberfest campaign was to remind consumers of the sense of fun that Bavarian Bier Café, Löwenbräu Keller, and now Munich Brauhaus carry as the leaders in everything Oktoberfest. Read more »

Kim Williams wonders what could have been if he’d stayed at ABC, criticises drama and doco output and labels print ‘doomed’

kim williams rules engagementKim Williams still wonders what might have been if he had stayed at the ABC where he could have become the boss, the media executive has revealed in his new book.

Williams – who was ousted as CEO of News Corp just over a year ago – spent three years at the national broadcaster in the early 1990s before leaving to join News Corp’s Twentieth Century Fox to create Fox Studios in Sydney. He has also slammed the ABC for not performing better in its drama and documentary output.

Stating that his time at the ABC was unhappy, he wrote: “The ABC was confronting for me as it has a strong ‘antibody’ culture to new and unwelcome intruders. However for aspiring leaders a period of being an outlier teaches you to think before you speak.” Read more »

News quietly removes Perth Now paywall

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 11.06.51 AMThe paywall for the Perth Now news website has been taken down, the first time News Corp Australia has removed a pay barrier since they were introduced to all its major newspaper brand mastheads in the middle of last year.

Mumbrella understands the paywall for the site, which houses The Sunday Times’ content, was quietly removed yesterday as part of a major refresh on the site, as it seeks to compete with the free online offerings of rivals West Australia News’ The West Australian and Fairfax’s WA Today. The move means users are no longer blocked from reading when they reach the monthly limit of free articles.

A News Corp spokeswoman refused to be drawn on the decision saying: “Shortly we will be revealing a new Perth Now design which has no impact on our current digital subscription model. Read more »

Tongue handed creative role for ARU National Rugby Championships, Ikon wins media gig

NRCCreative agency Tongue and sister STW agency Ikon have been handed the creative and media buying accounts for the new National Rugby Championship, the new competition which combines super league and local premier grade players.

The nine team competition, which kicked off last week, runs for 11 weeks with one match per round broadcast on Fox Sports. It is being billed as an “opportunity for the next generation of players to step up to the next level and mix it with the best”, with the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) hoping it will help incubate more talent for the national side.

“It’s an absolute privilege to be asked to generate ideas for one of our national sporting brands,” Tongue managing partner John Du Vernet said.

Read more »

Live blog: Friday, August 29

Welcome to Mumbrella’s live blog, our daily roundup of what’s happening in media and marketing.

Top stories:

12.44pm – AOL’s “digital prophet” has described Australia as a “mid sized audience” for its Huffington Post brand and said he does not understand why there is not more innovation going on here. Full story here. 

11:29am - Consumer group Choice has launched a campaign against government plans to push for internet filters, as the piracy debate hots up.

10:39am - TV ratings are in, and it seems once again cute animals beat bitchy humans in the viewership takes, as Ten’s The Bachelor couldn’t compete with Oddest Animal Couples on Seven.

9:24am – The IAB has launched its latest media spend report and is claiming mobile is now worth more than magazines in ad spend, whilst FMCG brands are driving video spend

8:23am - Morning all, here’s what’s been happening overnight internationally: Read more »

Shine starts to fade for mummy bloggers as study indicates interest falling away

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Australian mums are turning away from reading and writing blogs in a sign the gloss may be coming off the mummy blogger phenomenon, according to a new survey.

Just 15 per cent of mums questioned in the study are currently writing blogs, a sharp drop from the previous study in 2012 when 27 per cent said they were blogging. Of those who are blogging, seven out of 10 are doing so to promote their business with the remainder penning articles about their personal lives.

The study was conducted by social research agency Mums Now, which spoke to 1,500 Australian mothers about their social media habits and technology interactions.

In addition to the decline in writers, mums are reading 47 per cent fewer blogs while the number asking questions on forums has declined 29 per cent.

Mums Now partner Mary-Anne Amies said the findings indicate the mummy blogger boom may be over. “As with many things, when something is new everyone jumps on it but it then loses its excitement,” she told Mumbrella.

Read more »

AOL’s digital prophet: Australia is just a ‘mid-sized audience’ for Huffington Post



AOL’s digital prophet has admitted the company sees Australia as a “mid sized audience” for its Huffington Post brand and said he does not understand why there is not more innovation going on here.

Speaking at an Exponential event in Sydney last night David Shing admitted the much-mooted launch had not happened yet because “The truth is with 22m people here it’s a mid-sized audience for us,” but the Australian added “I do advocate for it”.

Last month HuffPo’s general manager Koda Wang told Mumbrella the site would be a market leader in three-to-five years here, and said it was in the process of finding a local publishing company to partner with., whilst Inception Digital Media has been appointed to head the sales function for AOL here.

However a spokesperson has told Mumbrella the sales will be headed by the launch partner for the site, adding: “ Arianna Huffington is flying to Australia next Saturday to visit Syndey and Melbourne and meet with our potential partners. We are big believers and extremely interested in the Australian market, and we are, in fact, planning to launch in Australia in 2015.”

Speculation around the site’s launch has been rife since mid-2011, although the publisher admitted last year it had delayed its plans as it focussed on high-growth markets of Japan and Brazil.

Read more »

Virgin Australia sells stake in Velocity to private equity in move to ‘accelerate growth’

velocity_frequentVirgin Australia is to sell 35 per cent of its Velocity Frequent Flyer program to private equity in a move the airline says will accelerate the growth of its loyalty division and enable it to realise its “full potential”.

The sale of the minority stake to Affinity Equity Partners will boost Virgin’s cash balance by $336 million with the deal, which values the program at $960m, expected to be completed by the end of October. It is subject to conditions, including approval by the Foreign Investment Review Board.

The announcement came as Virgin reported an underlying pre-tax loss of $211.7 million, in line with market expectations, as the airline followed Qantas in posting a grim set of figures amid tough market conditions.

Virgin Australia chief executive John Borghetti described the past 12 months as “one of the most difficult operating environments in the history of Australian aviation”. Read more »

Consumer group Choice crowd funds anti-internet filter ad campaign

Consumer advocacy group Choice will next week run a crowd funded TV ad targeting the government’s approach to internet filtering and piracy calling on them to “work smart, not hard, to beat online piracy”.

The satirical advertisement, featuring a fictitious Minister for the Internet, will run next week on WIN Television in the ACT and has also been posted on YouTube.

The 30 second ad shows the minister launching his crude hand made internet filter and is part of Choice’s campaign against proposals which it claims would make the internet more expensive without effectively addressing piracy.

“We believe the government has its policy settings wrong when it comes to combating online copyright infringement,” said Choice campaigns manager Erin Turner. “Australians are frustrated with not being able to access and pay for timely and affordable content. Read more »

Myer former marketing and brand GM Megan Foster quits

Megan FosterMyer’s former group general manager marketing and brand development, Megan Foster, has quit in another senior management change at the department store.

The company confirmed Foster’s exit saying she wanted to “pursue other interests”.

Foster spent almost three years in the marketing role before a management shake-up saw her take over as group general manager in August last year. She was also a director at Myer-owned fashion brand Sass and Bide.

Read more »

Site Tour hires former SpotXchange MD Vicki Lyon as chief commercial officer

Vicki LyonOutdoor media buying platform Site Tour has hired former APAC managing director of SpotXchange Vicki Lyon to be chief commercial officer.

Lyon was the founder of the Australian arm of Tribal Fusion and was most recently part VP of ad tech solutions at Telstra’s newly formed global applications and platforms team.

“Appointing Vicki Lyon to the position of chief commercial officer is a major step forward for Site Tour,” said Michael Scruby founder of Site Tour. “Vicki is one of the most forward thinking people in media and has worked globally driving programmatic innovation. She will be instrumental to Site Tour as we extend our product offering and expand into new markets.” Read more »

The World’s Oddest Animal Couples outperform The Bachelor on Thursday night

world's oddest animal couplesAnimal couples outperformed human couples last night on TV as Seven’s The World’s Oddest Animal Couples beat Ten dating reality TV show The Bachelor with an audience of 765,000 to 661,000.

The documentary which aired for an hour at 8pm and looked at unusual animal relationships, was one of the strongest performers on a lacklustre Thursday night which had only one program, Nine News, above the one million viewer mark according to the OzTam preliminary overnight metro ratings.

Last night saw Nine win the night on the back of strong performances for the NRL, which drew 645,000 in just Sydney and Brisbane for a match between the Bulldogs and The Rabbitohs, while in the other states The Block drew audiences of 494,000 at 7.30pm in the other three markets, up against The Bachelor.   Read more »

Video advertising spend surges on the back of FMCG brand interest

IABStrong interest from FMCG brands has helped video advertising become the strongest performer in the online advertising space with demand for the medium growing 76 percent year on year to reach $196m in the last financial year.

The surge in video advertising comes at an important time for the industry with Nine and Fairfax this week formally announcing their subscription video on demand (SVOD) business StreamCo, Seven and Foxtel rumoured to be launching their own SVOD business and the free-to-air networks next week launching its HbbTV service Freeview Plus, which promises to put catch up television in the homes of millions of Australians.

“The fusion of video advertising with mobile has been transformational for advertisers and publishers alike,” said Alice Manners, CEO of IAB Australia.  “Mobile inventory has been somewhat undervalued, but the cross platform opportunity that video advertising brings to it has unlocked considerable value and potential for both sectors.”

Read more »

Live blog: Thursday, August 28

Welcome to Mumbrella’s live blog, our daily roundup of what’s happening in media and marketing.

Top Stories:

3:32pm- Mike Carlton has returned to writing, penning his first column since quitting Fairfax in a storm of controversy for Crikey. And it’s about Gaza.

mike carlton screen shot crikey column

1:15pm – Nine boss David Gyngell has slammed the government’s failure to act on media ownership rules, ruled out a merger with Fairfax while it still has print assets, and questioned why Seven and Foxtel would do a deal

11:44am - Qantas has posted some pretty hefty losses, but has decided to keep hold of its loyalty division in the main company as its most profitable part of the business.

11:02am - Yahoo!7 CEO Ed Harrison has been elected chair of digital industry body the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

10:13am - TV ratings are in and it’s a mixed bag for Ten, with the Bachelor boosting, but Wonderland dropping again and Extant being beaten by Eleven’s repeats of The Simpsons. Nine won the night with new and The Block.

9:54am - Nine Entertainment Co has posted improved profits for its first report since its stock market float in December, with profits up 5 per cent and TV revenues up 10 per cent. Events business Nine Live also saw a 33 per cent surge in earnings. Read more »

Southern Cross shuffles new ventures roles after Songl closure

Southern Cross Austereo logoSouthern Cross Austereo stalwart Grant Tothill has been handed a new role with the media company as director of joint ventures and music partnerships following the closure of the Songl streaming service.

Tothill, who has been with SCA for more than a decade in a number of roles, has been managing SCA’s involvement with the DMD partnership which included Sony Music and Universal Music, and managed the soon to be defunct Songl service.

It was announced on Monday Songl was to be wound up, with subscribers to be moved to the Omny service, and the company being renamed Songl Solutions shifting to a business to business focus, including creating branded streaming solutions for partners.

SCA’s chief content officer Guy Dobson said: “Grant will be an integral part of the content team that will see SCA lead the charge into new music initiatives as well as managing our various joint ventures. These new endeavours will deliver music firsts and leading content creation for our clients and audiences. We’re excited about the new move and Grant is the man for the job.”

Read more »

Mike Carlton pens first column for Crikey since quitting Fairfax

Mike Carlton picFormer Fairfax columnist Mike Carlton has written a column for Crikey today on the end of the conflict in Gaza.

It is understood to be the first column Carlton has written since he quit Fairfax earlier this month over claims he had abused Jewish readers in emails and on social media, following some strident complaints about a column he wrote for the Sydney Morning Herald on the conflict between Israel and Gaza.

Carlton this afternoon told Mumbrella the column “was jut something I wrote last night and offered it to Crikey”, adding it was not a paid-for piece, and he had no deal in place with the independent publisher.

In the preamble for the piece Carlton is described as a “former ABC war correspondent and naval historian”, with no mention of his time with Fairfax. Read more »

Gyngell slams Government over stalled media reforms, no merger with Fairfax while it is in print


Gyngell during today’s investor call

CEO of Nine Entertainment Co David Gyngell has admitted the company is frustrated by the stalling of media reform and has declared he has no interest in a merger with Fairfax Media while it still has major print assets.

During an investor call on today’s end of year results today Gyngell also questioned the logic of a much-speculated tie up in video streaming between Seven West Media and Foxtel, saying such a deal would “destroy some value” in the pay-TV operator’s business.

His comments on media reform come a week after Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull admitted there would be no changes to the laws on media ownership, including rules limiting companies to owning just two of either print, TV or radio assets in one market, until there was greater consensus between executives from the major companies.

“You never know. You go in on the day and they say they are going to change it,” said Gyngell. “But you are still 50/50. With the rhetoric going on at the moment nothing seems to be getting through. I don’t know what the priorities are for the media reforms, but it could be an embarrassment if they don’t get through.”

Read more »

Ooh Media won’t reinstate controversial pro-Palestine billboard arguing it could incite hatred

Ooh Media has said it will not reinstate the controversial free Palestine billboard which was taken down in Melbourne at the end of last week, citing commentary from political leaders who suggested it could incite hatred and concerns over the safety of contractors working at the site.

A statement released by the outdoor company this morning said: “The advertisement generated significant concern and an emotional response from two differing points of view. It has also been subject to commentary from political leaders who publicly stated their objection to the advertising being displayed, with a Government MP warning that it could incite hatred.”

The billboard was placed by Australians for Palestine with an intended run of 28 days, but was taken down after just three days, with the group describing the removal of the ad as a breach of its freedom of expression, however Victorian Multicultural Affairs Minister Matthew Guy told The Australian: “This type of advertising achieves nothing except to cause more friction in our community.’’

Ooh Media Palestine Billboard

Samah Sabawi, a volunteer for Australians for Palestine, has accused the company of breaching its contract, which had a clause saying there has to be seven days notice given to remove the billboard, however Ooh has rejected this claim, saying it was “within its rights to have taken the course of action it has”.

Read more »

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