Video hangout with PRIA deputy president Allison Lee

The deputy president of the Public Relations Institute of Australia Allison Lee joined Mumbrella on Friday in a series of hangouts with marketing industry association heads.

During the hangout Lee talked about PRIA’s goals for the year, why using the advertising value equivalent measurement was bad for the industry, and the what was needed to dispel public and marketer’s misconceptions about the industry.

Lee is an award winning PR practitioner with more than 20 years in the industry and is the founder of Impact Communications. As well as her national role with PRIA she is also chair of its Golden Target Awards committee and the Registered Consultancy Group.

Last year the association went through major changes with Mike Watson taking over the presidency from Terri-Helen Gaynor last February amid a raft of board changes. It was also revealed at its annual conference the institute had made a loss in the last three financial years, and had looked at merging with another PR industry body.

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Maxus Melbourne MD Nick Keenan departs for client role

Nick KeenanNick Keenan the head of Maxus’s Melbourne office is to depart the agency, Mumbrella can reveal.

Keenan, who has been in the role since May 2013, will be joining betting company BetEasy as its commercial director.

“I want to thank Nick for his passion and energy in helping grow Maxus into a strong market position,” said Jon Chadwick CEO of Maxus Australia. Read more »

Saatchi & Saatchi wins Bank of Melbourne from Ogilvy

Bank Melbourne Creative agency Saatchi & Saatchi has won the Bank Melbourne account from rival Ogilvy, Mumbrella can reveal.

The bank confirmed the major account move this morning with a spokeswoman saying: “Bank of Melbourne is at an exciting point in its evolution.

“After launching the brand and working with Ogilvy for almost four years we recently appointed Saatchi & Saatchi as our main creative agency to support us through our next phase. Read more »

QT Hotels appoints Edelman following competitive pitch

QTPR agency Edelman Australia has been awarded responsibilities for the QT Hotels & Resorts chain’s  below-the-line marketing efforts.

Edelman’s appointment will see them take responsibility for not only public relations but also the brand’s online influencers campaigns and its partnership efforts.

“Edelman impressed us with its understanding of the brand, and original thinking about the communications opportunities around the creative industries,” said David Seargeant‎ CEO and managing director at Amalgamated Holdings Ltd, QT Hotel’s parent company. Read more »

Seven and Nine release siege survivor promos, while downplaying risk to coronial inquest

The first big news battle of 2015 is shaping up with Seven and Nine both releasing promos highlighting their news specials with survivors of the Martin Place siege.

Both the Seven and Nine networks are understood to have paid for the interviews with survivors, which has drawn criticism amid concerns by a former coroner that they could prejudice the coronial inquest into the Sydney siege, which begins at the end of the month.

At this stage the air dates for the two rival specials is undecided and both networks have played down the risk that evidence could be tainted by the specials.

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Pizza Hut channels challenger brand mentality and pledges more marketing creativity

Pizza Hut will act more like a challenger brand in its marketing this year with more creativity and innovation as it aims to topple rival Dominos, with a new Australia Day campaign centred around a Vegemite-crust pizza the first piece in the puzzle.

The brave new campaign, the first from agency Host since it took over the account in November from M&C Saatchi, sees a series of foreign backpackers trying the Mitey Stuffed Crust pizza with verdicts ranging from “shit” to “that’s disgusting” and like “petrol”, but ending with two Aussies enjoying it.

Pizza Hut’s head of marketing Fatima Syed told Mumbrella the campaign, which is only running on social media and digital channels, was based on the insight “you’ve got to be Australian to truly appreciate Vegemite”.

She added: “If you didn’t grow up with it, you don’t understand what it is. There’s nothing more Australian than Vegemite and cheese.”

Syed said she did not find it hard to commission an ad criticising the product “because it was so true to the insight”.  Read more »

News Corp promotes Kathryn Carter to NSW sales director

Kathryn CarterNews Corp Australia has today announced the promotion of Kathryn Carter to NSW sales director replacing Nicola Lewis who left in September.

National sales director Sharb Farjami said Carter, who is currently group sales director, would be focused on driving innovation in the publisher’s advertising service.

“We are continually enhancing our product portfolio, and Kathryn’s appointment will be instrumental in delivering and positioning this to our agency and client customers,” said Farjami.
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QLD Premier Campbell Newman sues Alan Jones and radio station 4BC

Alan Jones 4BC showQueensland Premier Campbell Newman has launched legal action against talkback presenter Alan Jones and Fairfax Radio’s Brisbane station 4BC for damages as the veteran broadcaster continues to campaign against him during the state election.

Jones has been putting out a one hour show on 4BC station since the start of the year, and has taken several swings at the Liberal leader over his plans to allow a coal mine expansion in Jones’ home town.

The Queensland minister for infrastructure Jeffrey Seeney is also a named plaintiff in documents lodged with Queensland’s Supreme Court.

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Hewitt’s battling loss helps Seven to win on night of sporting drama

Tennis came through on a sport-heavy night for TV viewers last night with Lleyton Hewitt’s five-set loss to Bejamin Becker proving more compelling than the Soceroos in the Asian Cup and Brett Lee’s final game at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Seven’s night coverage of the Australian Open was the most watched non-news show of the evening with 888,000 viewers,  with 436,000 sticking with the late session on the channel.

Tim Cahill’s heroics in the Asian Cup quarter final between Australia and China had an audience of 618,000 on ABC from 9.30pm, the biggest audience so far for the tournament. Fox Sports’ live coverage got 286,000 viewers.

Meanwhile fast-bowler Lee’s dramatic farewell to his home ground in the Big Bash League, which saw his Sydney Sixers side beat rivals Sydney Thunder with the last ball of the match, could only pull in 441,000 for the first innings from 7.30pm, and 524,000 for the second innings, according to OzTam overnight ratings. Read more »

Morning update: Terry Crews marries himself for Old Spice; Buzzfeed creates first ad – with cats; Weight Watchers crashes the Super Bowl

Creativity Online: Terry Crews Is Married to Himself in Latest From Old Spice

Old Spice is back with another zany spot featuring Terry Crews, and a lot of yelling. This time, Mr. Crews has a nightmare in which he keeps seeing his double — on the street, and even in the marital bed. The spot, by Wieden & Kennedy Portland and directed by Fatal Farm, is a follow-up to last year’s Get Shaved in the Face ad for the brand’s line of electric shavers, which showed Crews getting shaved by his mini-me. If you like it loud and crazy, this is for you.

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Video streaming service Stan to launch on Australia Day

Stan logoFairfax Media and Nine Entertainment’s join streaming venture Stan is set to launch on Australia Day after offering some members of the public a preview run on the service earlier this week.

Access to Stan’s content library which consists of TV and movies will set users back $10 a month after completing a 30-day trial. Speculation suggested it would be launched around February 8, when its flagship show Better Call Saul goes to air in the US.

Stan CEO Mike Sneesby said: “We know there’s been some speculation around Stan’s launch date, and while we’ve had to keep it under wraps we’re really proud to be able to announce that Australia’s new streaming service will launch on Australia Day.”

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Video hangout with AMI chief Lee Tonitto

The CEO of the Australian Marketing Institute (AMI) Lee Tonitto joined Mumbrella for a video hangout on Thursday.

Tonitto was appointed head of the marketer body last August succeeding Mark Crowe who held the position for 11 years. She had previously been chair of the board for the organisation for three years.

In a wide-ranging interview she set out the goals for the traditionally publicity shy body, including attracting substantially more members and reaching out to people working in non-marketing roles that had elements of marketing functions.

She also supported the idea of companies paying agencies for their time during pitch processes. Read more »

Quickflix founder increases stake in struggling company, says capital raising is ongoing



The founder and chief executive of troubled DVD rental and online streaming company Quickflix Stephen Langsford has signalled that the market should not assume it is done with its capital raising.

The declaration comes after last year’s capital raising, which aimed to bring in $5.7m and fund an extensive below the line marketing effort to ward off intensifying competition, brought in just $650,000 from investors.

“On the capital raising we completed the first part of that just prior to Christmas,” Langsford told Mumbrella. “That was the rights issue among shareholders where we signalled if there was any shortfall then it would be available for the company to look for other shareholders.

“The process continues, so I wouldn’t draw the conclusion that the capital raising exercise is yet complete.”

The comments come as Quickflix’s shares today hit a record low of  $0.002 giving the company a market capitalisation of just $3.63m, well down on the $16.2m the company was worth 12 months ago when the share price was at 0.014 cents.

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Vevo launches new radio show on Today’s Hit Network to expand the brand

Vevo PlanetVideo hosting service Vevo is taking its brand to the radio with a new show set to hit the airwaves nationally this weekend, Mumbrella can reveal.

Southern Cross Austereo’s recently rebranded Today’s Hit Network, Planet Vevo will be hosted by 2DayFM breakfast team Dan & Maz.

Authentic Entertainment, who represent Vevo in Australia, is also set to launch two other new shows across the network, with the first called The Drop to be be hosted by Marty Smiley and 2012 Big Brother contestant Michael Beveridge. Read more »

Art Gallery of NSW promote pop art exhibition with outdoor selfie campaign

The Art Gallery of NSW is promoting its summer exhibition Pop to Popism with an outdoor campaign that allows the public to turn a selfie into a pop art image.

The gallery partnered with JCDecaux Innovate and UM in the campaign which uses outdoor panels to take photos of members of the public who are then able to select which filter inspired by three pop artists – Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and Martin Sharp – to apply to the image.

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Big W tweaks ‘This is the house that Jack built’ rhyme for Back to School campaign

Big W has been promoting its Back to School sale with an ad created by Saatchi & Saatchi with narration playing on the childhood rhyme ‘This is the house that Jack built..’

The campaign, which is running in a  30 second execution as well as three 15-second spots, sees children using items for school while narration explains them and where they were bought in a version of the ‘This is the house that Jack built’ rhyme.

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Fairfax partners with journalism schools to encourage digital innovation

Fairfax Media Fairfax Media will run a trial program with two universities, Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and RMIT University, which is aimed at getting students and journalists to collaborate on newsroom innovation and digital story telling.

The program, called “Innovation in Modern Journalism”, has been created by editor-in-chief of the Brisbane Times Simon Holt and will see more than 60 Fairfax staff involved in the unit, which if successful will become a permanent fixture of the journalism curriculum of the two schools from 2016.

It signals a move back to investing in career development for budding journalists by news providers, with News Corp also re-opening its cadet program, as they seek to train up students for the day-to-day rigours of the newsroom. Read more »

Comms Council boss Tony Hale says payment for pitches adds discipline to the process

New CEO of industry body The Communications Council Tony Hale has said he is keen to promote the practice of paying agencies to participate in the pitch process as it “adds discipline” to the process.

In a wide ranging conversation with Mumbrella editor Alex Hayes in the first of a series of video hangouts with the heads of marketing industry bodies, Hale discussed the function of the Comms Council, scam ads, female leadership in the industry, possible industry body mergers and agency churn rates.

On the issue of paying for pitches Hale said: “I’m a great advocate for payment for pitches because I think what it does do is recognises the advertiser is serious, it covers some incidental expenses for agencies.

“But I will also hasten to say any payment for pitches, unless clearly stated, doesn’t involve the IP of the ideas that go out. They should remain the ownership of the agencies unless there is a separate negotiation underway.”

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