Margaret Zabel to leave Communications Council for role at McDonald’s

margaret zabel

The Communications Council CEO Margaret Zabel has stepped down after three and a half years in the role to accept the VP marketing role at McDonald’s.

In a statement she said: “It has been a privilege to lead The Communications Council and work with our Chair Sudeep Gohil and the Board.

“It is an important organisation for both members and the industry as it helps establish professional standards, best practice and an effective self-regulatory system. It likewise is important in establishing continuous professional standards for the industry and the partnership with the IPA lays the foundations on a global level. I am grateful to have built a deeper understanding of marketing communications working with advertising agencies and production companies and plan to contribute ongoing to the betterment of our industry.”

Zabel is set to leave at the end of December, with the Communications Council Board commencing a search for her replacement immediately.

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Sound Alliance creates separate division to handle native advertising

Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 10.12.58 AMYouth-targeted publisher Sound Alliance has formed a dedicated division to manage all of its native advertising after a surge in revenue over the past 12 months.

The Native Studio by Sound Alliance, which will have six full time members of staff, will handle native advertising from its creation to measuring its success.

“Almost every media brief we’re now receiving asks for content in some form,” Sound Alliance chief executive Neil Ackland said. “The launch of Native Studio allows us to continue to perfect the process so that everyone wins – the audience, the publisher and the brand. The conversation is now starting to shift towards measurement and accountability, and we’re leading in this space.” Read more »

Ten reduces losses but still $170m in the red

TenTen has posted a loss of almost $170m in the 12 months to August 31, as TV revenue dipped more than four per cent and costs climbed four per cent.

But the result was a 41 per cent improvement on last year when losses sunk to $285m, the company said today.

Shares in Ten climbed 2.63 per cent to 19.5 cents on the back of the result.

Television revenue fell 4.2 per cent to $601.7m with the company reporting TV earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of $79.3m.

Ten said television costs were 7 per cent more than last year, but one percentage point lower than previous guidance. This excludes $55m for broadcasting the Winter Olympics in Russia and the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

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Audiences down again, The Chaser’s Media Circus wins timeslot

On a night where audiences were again down across the board, with no show breaking the one million viewer mark, The ABC’s new Chaser Series, The Chaser’s Media Circus won in the 8.30pm timeslot, drawing an audience of 817,000.

The new Chaser format, which sees the news turned into a game show hosted by Craig Reucassel and ‘fact-checker’ Chas Licciardello, beat Seven’s Criminal Minds which was watched by 757,000 and Nine’s Big Brother which drew an audience of 560,000. Big Brother was the most popular show in the 16 to 39 demographic.

Seven did manage to win the night with an audience share of 20.7 per cent, with Nine just behind on a share of 19.6 per cent.

Home and Away on Seven from 7pm to 8pm was the most watched entertainment program of the evening, with an audience of 947,000. The long-running soap was the most watched show amongst the 18-49 and 25-54 demographics.

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Morning update: Virgin America’s six-hour pre-roll; More cats than you can shake a diet coke bottle at; HBO standalone streaming service

Morning all, welcome to our morning update and a smattering of news which happened overnight around the world

Mashable: HBO to offer standalone streaming service in the US in 2015

HBO chairman and CEO Richard Plepler has announced that the popular premium cable channel will offer its streaming platform as a standalone service in the U.S. in 2015.

The move brings HBO closer into competition with other streaming companies like Netflix. Currently, HBO Go, the company’s streaming offering, is only available to those who pay through expensive cable subscriptions.

Speaking at the Time Warner investor meeting on Wednesday, Plepler emphasized the chance to reach new customers as motivation for the move.

“That is a large and growing opportunity that should no longer be left untapped. It is time to remove all barriers to those who want HBO,” he said.

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MEC wins $60m Nestlé media pitch

logo-nestle-234x181Media agency MEC has won the $60m media pitch for the Nestlé media account.

The decision is a significant loss for incumbent ZenithOptimedia which has seen reviews on Nestlé as well as Qantas and NT Tourism which are currently also out to pitch.

“The decision to move to a Groupm agency model was driven by a closer alignment to Nestlé’s strategic imperatives for the future,” said Antonia Farquhar, Nestlé’s head of media and digital. Read more »

Steamy X Factor cover wins Maggies for Who

Who Maggies 2014 cover of the yearWho Magazine’s ‘Sexiest People 2013′ cover has taken home the grand prize at last night’s Maggies Awards, while Marie Claire won in the fashion and beauty section for its cover featuring a pregnant Megan Gale.

It is the second year Who has won the cover of the year award after picking up the gong last for for it’s 20th anniversary edition featuring Nicole Kidman.

The cover also won in the Weeklies category after having two shortlisted entries.

Of the winning cover, which features the celebrity judging panel from Seven’s X Factor, Magazine Publishers Australia executive director Mary Ann Azer said: “Behind WHO’s enduring popularity is a unique blend of quality, high impact art direction and its strong editorial integrity. This year’s winning cover caught our eye, and the attention of the voters, with a cheeky, fun, celebrity-packed concept that was executed brilliantly.”

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ACMA releases second video warning children of cyber world pitfalls

Media watchdog, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), has produced a series of short films targeted at under 12s as it continues to warn children about potential dangers of the cyber world.

Its new cybersafety video, #Game On, which launches today (Thursday), features five stories tackling issues surrounding cyberbullying, excessive gaming, sharing passwords, free downloads and online friends. #Game On follows a group of school friends who find themselves in situations that catch them off-guard and the illustrate the consequences of making poor decisions online.

It is the second short film made by ACMA as part of its Cybersmart program, following the release of Tagged in 2011 which targeted 14 year olds and over.

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Telstra launches customers information push to educate on scammers

Telstra scam leafletTelstra has kicked off a community awareness campaign aimed at preventing customers from being misled by scammers after the telco reported a four-fold increase in the number of attempts by scammers to trick consumers into disclosing sensitive financial information.

The telco will send consumers an information flyer, ‘Is it really Telstra calling?’ to six million customers in the lead-up to Christmas, with it being direct mailed to customers with their bill. It will also be available online at and via Telstra’s social media channels.

The flyer provides examples of what telemarketers and scammers who impersonate Telstra staff say to customers on the phone, with the flyer clearly identifying what authorised staff will say to customers when they call.

Telstra’s director of cross-company complaints Steve Banningan said: “We know our customers receive phone calls from people impersonating Telstra staff, who try to switch them to another telephone company, or try to gain access to their personal information. The conduct of these people makes it difficult for customers to tell the difference between a call made by an authentic Telstra representative, and a call made by someone impersonating a Telstra representative.

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Fairfax Radio GM Shane Healy quits 3AW and Magic 1278 after 25-year career

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 12.47.18 PMThe general manager of Fairfax Radio’s 3AW and Magic 1278, Shane Healy, has quit after a decade in the role, and admitted the stations “need to be refreshed and have new ideas”.

Healy joined the network 25 years ago as sports director, and also called AFL football with Rex Hunt for six years during the 1990’s. He was appointed general manager of 3AW in 2003 and led the station to the number one position in the Melbourne market.

National news director Rob Curtain will step in as acting general manager while a replacement is recruited.

“I have enjoyed more than 10 years in the role as general manager of two great stations,” he said. “After this period of time, it’s right that the business needs to be refreshed and have new ideas, so it’s time for me to pass the baton to a new leadership.

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Qantas names Emma Kearns as new head of marketing after two-year stint at Jetstar

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 10.28.19 AMQantas has named former Jetstar head of corporate communications Emma Kearns as its head of marketing in another reshuffle at the airline, Mumbrella can reveal.

Kearns replaces Tanya Bulkin who has moved across to the loyalty division where she will head the marketing for Qantas Frequent Flyer, reporting to chief marketing officer Stephanie Tully.

In her new role, Kearns will report to executive manager, group brand and marketing Tim McColl Jones who in turn reports to Olivia Wirth, group executive – brand, marketing and corporate affairs.

The senior appointment comes as Qantas pitches its $20m media account, with incumbent ZenithOptimedia on alert and an outcome of the process expected by the end of the year.

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Compare the Market’s meerkats busy with spring cleaning in new campaign

Insurance website Compare the Market’s meerkats are getting their Spring cleaning out of the way in a spot that continues on from their cinema experience detailing how Aleksandr’s family arrived in Russia as the brand promotes its home and contents insurance comparison tool.

Created by VCCP, in conjunction with production house Passion Pictures, the ad sees Aleksandr telling the audience that “his “ancestors did not journey oceans or get splinters in their little paws” to help people find a good deal on their insurance while his sidekick, Sergei dusts and cleans in the background.

Compare the Market spokesperson Abigail Koch said: “ is one of the only comparison websites that allows you to compare products and obtain quotes for home & contents insurance. We’re delighted that we’ve been able to bring this useful service to the attention of homeowners through another funny and engaging television commercial.”

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OMD boss Peter Horgan: I pushed my staff too hard

The CEO of media agency OMD has described the aftermath of losing the media account for Westpac in 2011, conceding that he made a mistake in the year that followded by pushing staff “very hard” to try to win new business to replace the $70m account.

In an interview with the Australian Education Times, which uses children as its interviewers, Peter Horgan speaks openly and honestly about the impact the account loss had on the business.

“The failures I look back on are where I let people down,” Horgan says in the video. “You become too focused on a new business target or a client demand and you push your team too hard and you forget the human side of the teams that are working for you and are doing their best.

“I think I could look back to a time in 2012 and we had lost a piece of business and we were pitching very hard to try and replace that big piece of business. And I would say we lost sight of looking after the humans at OMD, and things like culture, people and their work life is a very important thing to the make up of this company.” Read more »

Foxtel gears up for video-on-demand channel BoxSets launch with campaign starring Joanna Lumley

Foxtel has begun promoting the launch of its BoxSets channel, a newly announce add-on for Foxtel customers to be able to stream TV content on demand, with a campaign replicating Sky’s On Demand service campaign in the UK with Absolutely Fabulous star Joanna Lumley the face of both campaigns.

The add-on, which will set back consumers $10 a months and give them access to TV series such as Game of Thrones, The Sopranos, Big Love, The Newsroom, Rome, Band of Brothers, Entourage and Wentworth, comes as the Australian video-on-demand market continues to get more crowded, with Netflix confirming interest in entering the local market sometime in 2015 and Nine’s StreamCo also set to launch in 2015.

BoxSets will compete with existing offerings Quickflix and Presto. Read more »

Town crier roams Sydney CBD as Christchurch looks to spread the word

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 11.44.49 AMTourism leaders in Christchurch have launched the latest phase of their marketing push – by employing a town crier to roam Sydney’s CBD and spread the word about the Canterbury region of New Zealand’s South Island.

Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism has put together seven itineraries as it looks to promote the region as a short break destination from Australia.

The suggested trips are hosted on a micro site,, with the tourism body putting a “modern day twist” on Geoffrey Chaucer’s famous collection of stories by branding the campaign “Canterbury Tales yet to be told”.

The town crier will be in Sydney this week, along with a jester and a courtesan, handing out a paper ‘chatterbox’ which helps Sydneysiders gauge which is the ideal break for them.

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TAC and Melbourne Victory’s 10th year partnership focuses on road toll

Victoria’s Transport Accident Commission (TAC) is urging Melbourne Victory supporters to embrace the ‘Towards Zero’ vision which aims to see zero deaths and serious injuries on the state’s roads in a new campaign which marks the 10th year of a partnership between the organisation and Melbourne Victory.

A video, which will be played at all Melbourne Victory home games, online and through partnership avenues, sees Melbourne Victory fans asked what an acceptable road toll would be before showing them with real people standing on a soccer pitch after which the fans are asked again what an acceptable toll would be.

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Twitter confirms self-service ad platform to small to medium businesses

TwitterTwitter has confirmed it is targeting small and medium businesses with the social media platform dropping its $5000 minimum spend on its self-service ad platform in Australia.

The move the first announced last week at Mumbrella’s BEfest conference with Twitter Australia’s Cindy Burke confirming the launch was imminent.

“It is happening soon,” said the senior account executive when asked about it. “We actually hired someone to launch that. I’m sure they will be announcing it with an official launch.” Read more »

TV audiences down but Dancing with the Stars back to 946,000 as Mark Holden meltdown sparks complaints

Seven’s reality show Dancing with the Stars has stabilised its audience modestly, after its audience dropped away last week. The show, which aired from 7.30pm to 9.30pm saw 946,000 viewers tune in, up from last week’s 882,000 but still down on its debut audience of 1.04m.

The show saw viewers last night take to social media following contestant, and former Australian Idol judge, Mark Holden’s performance questioning if he was drunk, with many viewers angry when he was not eliminated from the contest.

On a night when audiences were down across the board, with no audiences over a million, DWTS was the most watched non-news program of the night, helping Seven to win the night with an audience share of 20.3 per cent, compared to Nine’s 18.9 per cent.

Nine’s Big Brother, was placed in the 7.30pm timeslot for the first time, saw its audience drop away slightly to 628,000 compared to 677,000 last week when it was in the later 8.30pm timeslot. Read more »

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