SMH experiments with new brands including The Optimist, Celsius and Science Is Golden

The Optimist Celsius The editorial team of the Sydney Morning Herald is conducting a series of journalism experiments involving launching new brands across Facebook, the web and podcasting, editor-in-chief Darren Goodsir has revealed.

Science Is GoldenSpeaking at an SMH subscribers event, Goodsir revealed that new brands already quietly launched include Celsius – dedicated to coverage of climate change issues; The Optimist – which covers positive or uplifting news; and Science is Golden which aggregates the best of the SMH’s science reporting, along with content from elsewhere. Read more »

ACMA hands gambling probe to Federal Police amid restrictions of investigative powers

Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 11.16.49 AMAn investigation by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) into two overseas-based betting firms has been handed to the Federal Police amid claims the companies are flouting local laws.

Mumbrella understands the ACMA has been forced to turn its investigation over to the AFP as a complaint the media watchdog received about Ladbrokes and William Hill involved content hosted in Australia.

Under its powers and under the provisions of the The Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (IGA) , the ACMA can only investigate gambling content that is hosted outside Australia.

Content hosted locally must not be investigated by the organisation and instead be referred to the police, if ACMA deems it necessary. Read more »

Publicis Mojo CFO Stephen Meares moves to Mediacom as commercial director

Stephen Meares


The chief financial officer of creative agency Publicis Mojo Stephen Meares has joined media agency Mediacom.

The announcement comes just a week after the departure of Meares’ predecessor David Reid, along with CEO Mark Pejic.

Mediacom’s APAC boss Mark Heap, who is acting CEO in Australia until a replacement for Pejic can be recruited, said in a statement: “We are very pleased to welcome Stephen into the MediaCom family and are looking forward to benefiting from his extensive knowledge and experience. Read more »

Sydney Morning Herald editor working on plan to bring production back in-house

The Sydney Morning Herald may take its sub-editing back inhouse, editor-in-chief Darren Goodsir has revealed, saying it is always possible to reverse a “dumb idea”.

Goodsir, second from left, speaking at the SMH readers event

Goodsir, second from left, speaking at the SMH readers event

Goodsir told an audience of SMH subscribers that he was contemplating bringing production into Sydney after it was outsourced to New Zealand, initially to AAP’s Pagemasters and later to a Fairfax subbing hub.

His comments came on the same day that the New Zealand Herald, owned by NZME, revealed that it will end its contract with Pagemasters and once again “insource” its sub-editing. Read more »

Google urges travel firms to step up mobile focus or risk losing business to competitors

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Google’s Elisa Kelsall

Almost a third of marketers in the travel sector have failed to build mobile-friendly websites despite the rapid rise of consumers accessing brands through phones and tablets.

Google industry manager of travel, Elisa Kelsall, said those companies are likely to be losing sales as consumers drift away to competitors who are more mobile savvy.

Speaking at the annual general meeting of the Council of Australian Tour Operators, a 100-member trade association, Kelsall advised the industry to step up its mobile presence.

She said a Google survey identified that 31 per cent of travel firms do not have a mobile optimised site.

Read more »

Endemol Shine International sales director Lisa Higginson joins Village Roadshow



Village Roadshow has appointed Endemol Shine International sales director Lisa Higginson as sales director for Roadshow Television.

Higginson will take on responsibility for television and licensing across Roadshow’s breadth of content for Australia and New Zealand, including free-to-air TV, pay per view, pay TV and video on demand partnerships. Read more »

ABC’s The Killing Season wraps up with 979,000

Last night’s finale of the ABC’s political documentary about the turmoil of the Labor Party in the Rudd/Gillard years The Killing Season was watched by 979,000 metro viewers in the 8.30pm timeslot, up on last week’s audience of 968,000.

The show remained steady for its three part run after debuting with a metro audience of 986,000.

Meanwhile, Ten’s Masterchef pulled in 1.223m metro viewers, its highest figure this year after pulling in 1.231m viewers on launch, according to preliminary figures from OzTam. Read more »

Queensland urges residents to practice fire escape plan in new campaign

Queensland’s fire and emergency services is encouraging Queenslanders to prepare and practice a fire escape plan in a new campaign created in partnership with MediaCom’s specialist division MediaCom Beyond Advertising.

With the aim of saving lives and ensuring everyone in a household knows what to do in an event of a fire, the campaign, which consists of two interactive videos, aims to help Queenslanders recognise the consequences of a household fire and the importance of having a prepared fire escape plan. The campaign’s key message is ‘Get out, fire about!’.

Read more »

Cricket legends join together to promote osteoarthritis tablets for Chemist Warehouse

Chemist Warehouse is pushing Bio Organics osteoarthritis tablets in a new campaign tied into the upcoming cricket Ashes series, recruiting former West Indies captain Vivian Richards and former Australian fast bowler Dennis Lilliee to front the ads.

According to Chemist Warehouse, the TV ad, created by Quattro Group, was the first time these two former rivals have spoken since a rift erupted between them in 2003 on the eve of the third test in Barbados.

Quattro Group CEO Peter Quattro said in a statement: “Working on a TVC where you bring together two of games legends to re-enact a scene where these arch-rivals face off was a great moment. The icing on the cake was to secure Bill Lawry for the TVC commentary. Our client Chemist Warehouse and brand, Bio Organics totally embraced the idea from the get go. However, what we didn’t know when the idea was conceived was these guys hadn’t spoken since their rift! As you can image it meant walking a very fine line up to the shoot date”. Read more »

Morning Update: Snapchat Joins Daily Mail and WPP Agency to launch Truffle Pig; Volvo Trucks’ ‘Epic Split’ wins at Cannes

AdWeek: Think You Won’t Like Newcastle Brown Ale? Newcastle Thinks You’re an Idiot

If you’ve never had the pleasure of drinking a Newcastle Brown Ale you might well think it’s a heavy, bitter beer. You would also be dead wrong, Newcastle says—and the brand isn’t afraid to call you on your bollocks opinion.

The beer maker’s latest 30-second spot, created by Droga5 N.Y., debuted Monday and relies on that sharp, sarcastic Newcastle voice that fans have grown to love and expect. This time around Newcastle confronts anyone who thinks the beer is too heavy and not drinkable. People with this misconception are, in Newcastle’s humble opinion, “ignorant a**clowns.”

Read more »

Saatchi & Saatchi Sydney pick up Silver Lion for effectiveness for OPSM’s Penny the Pirate

Saatchi & Saatchi Sydney have picked up a Bronze Lion in the Cannes Creative Effectives Lions category for Luxottica’s ‘Penny the Pirate’ campaign as M&C Saatchi Sydney and Fuel Communications were the only contenders to pick up a Gold Lion overnight.

Australia did better in the PR category, with M&C Saatchi Sydney and Fuel Communications taking home one Gold Lion and one Silver Lion for Optus’ Clever Buoy and Whybin\TBWA Group Sydney and N2N Communications picking up a Silver Lion for Airbnb Stay with Pride.

Read more »

Huckleberry loses its biggest client as Medibank moves $20m account to sister agency Carat

MedibankDentsu Aegis has retained the media account for Medibank Private, with the business to move from Huckleberry to sister agency Carat.

The move is a major win for the agency group, which fought a rearguard account to retain the account but sees full service Huckleberry lose its biggest client.

In a statement issued this afternoon Tamalin Morton, Medibank general manager of marketing and brand said: “We are delighted to announce our new partnership with Carat, and look forward to working with them on both our Medibank and ahm brands. Read more »

Julia Gillard: News Corp and Fairfax Media are like elderly, sniping neighbours

Julia_Gillard_Telegraph Mumbrella

Gillard’s comments come as her overthrow of Kevin Rudd is retold in the ABC’s The Killing Season | Pictured: How The Tele covered it at the time

Newspaper publishers News Corp and Fairfax are like elderly neighbours sniping at each other across the fence, former Prime Minister Julia Gillard has said.

In an extract from a new chapter of Gillard’s autobiography published by The Guardian, she also expresses concern at the concentrated media ownership in Australia, with the two companies’ newspapers dictating the daily agenda as TV journalists follow up on the morning’s headlines. She writes: “It is still the case that the early-morning workers in the newsrooms of radio and television stations compose their bulletins based on what they read, which tends to be from one of our traditional media players. The impacts of this concentration are diverse and all undesirable. Above all, it means bias matters more, simply because there is less capacity to contest arguments and less diversity of commentary.”

News Corp publishes national newspaper The Australian along with a daily metro tabloids in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide, while Fairfax publishes the Australian Financial Review along with the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

News Corp and Fairfax’s hatred of each other leads to them working against the wider interests of the press, argued Gillard. She wrote:  Read more »

Netflix wins the streaming battle with 1m users – ten times more than rivals Presto and Stan

More than a million Australians have access to Netflix, according to the first major consumer survey since the service launched at the end of March.

roy morgan streaming

Number of Australians in May 2015 with streaming TV subscription service Source: Roy Morgan Research, May 2015

netflix_australiaAccording to Roy Morgan Research, 1.039m Australians now use Netflix – more than ten times that of its nearest rival.

According to the research carried out in May, Presto – the joint effort from Foxtel and Seven –  is in a distant second place with 97,000 users, just ahead of Nine and Fairfax Media’s joint venture Stan, with 91,000. Read more »

ASTRA predicts piracy traffic could halve after new laws despite ‘concern’ over VPN loophole

seven piracy proof photoThe new piracy regulations passed last night, coupled with the Dallas Buyers Club court ruling in April, will help offset the threat of virtual private networks (VPN) being used to illegally access content on pirate websites, pay-TV industry body ASTRA has said.

New regulations passed in the Senate have given the all-clear for rights holders to go to court to block overseas websites such as The Pirate Bay, that contain or give access to copyright infringing material.

One major production house, Cordell Jigsaw Zapruder told Mumbrella it would be “lining up at the front doors of the court”.

However, the legislation stopped short of covering VPNs which, while used for a range of legitimate purposes – such as to create secure connections – are also commonly used by pirates to circumvent any system designed to prevent illegal downloading.

Technology industry observers described the VPN route to accessing illegal content as a “major loophole” in the law.

Read more »

We Magazines to cease publishing Birdee just months after closing The Hoopla

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 11.48.55 amIndependent publisher We Magazines is to cease publishing Birdee, a news website and quarterly newspaper aimed at teenage girls, in a move that comes just months after it closed its women’s news and commentary site The Hoopla. 

In a statement on its website editor Hayley Gleeson today wrote: “It brings me great sadness to tell you that Birdee will be ceasing publication for now.

“In the months since We Magazines announced the closure of The Hoopla, we’ve been searching for a solution to keep Birdee in the air… But we’ve exhausted all our avenues to date and until a more sustainable publishing model can be found (we’re all ears if you’ve got any ideas), we’re putting our pens down. We’ll be publishing a few more stories this week before wrapping things up on Friday.” Read more »

BBC launch new content marketing agency locally called BBC StoryWorks



BBC Worldwide has announced its new content marketing agency BBC StoryWorks, appointing sales and marketing coordinator Jelena Li as content solutions manager ANZ who will be responsible for implementing the content proposition locally.

The new BBC StoryWorks team, which sits within BBC Advertising, will span the globe “offering clients solutions built on compelling narratives that will engage audiences”, according to the statement.

Li joined BBC Worldwide in June last year and previously worked for Australian Radio Network in Brisbane as the advertising sales coordinator. She has also worked for both Beltz Publishing and Peter Myer Publishing.

Read more »

ABC admits ‘error in judgement’ in allowing former terrorism suspect to join Q&A audience

The ABC has admitted last night’s Q&A program “made an error in judgement” in allowing former terrorism suspect Zaky Mallah to join the Q&A audience and ask a question in a statement issued by the ABC this morning.

In last night’s episode, which was debating proposed changes to citizenship, Mallah said Coalition statements, such as those made by MP Steve Ciobo, were the reason young Islamic people were preparing to leave Australia and fight for Islamic State, after raising a question on what might have happened if politicians, not courts, had decided his case when he was charged and confined under Howard government terrorism laws in 2003.

Mallah later tweeted: “I would pay to see that Minister dumped on ISIS territory in Iraq”.

ABC Television director Richard Finlayson admitted the program “made an error in judgement” in allowing Mallah to join the audience of the the show, saying the circumstances of his appearance will be reviewed by the ABC.

Read more »

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