Little Birdie Studios launches new branded content creation service based around comedy

A Sydney film studio has launched an online content creation service for brands based around a comedy channel called ‘At The Internet’.

The new venture from Little Birdie Studios is tapping into a number of Australian comedians and producers, and claims it will be resourced so it can react in “real time” to breaking news events.

As part of the launch, the team has produced a one minute video entitled “How to speak advertising”, where they mock many of the industry’s idiosyncrasies and buzzwords ending with the claim “the best way to cut through the bullshit is with comedy”.

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Virgin Mobile calls creative, PR and social pitch, as it emerges the telco’s media is also in play

Virgin MobileMajor telco Virgin Mobile is pitching its creative, public relations and social accounts, Mumbrella can reveal.

The creative pitch is understood to have come up at the same time that it emerges Virgin Mobile media’s is also in play with parent company Singtel having decided to roll the $10m media account in with the existing $50m Optus pitch.

Starcom is the incumbent media agency on both telcos while Havas, One Green Bean, Dynamix and Future Buro are all creative roster for Virgin Mobile.

“We are in the initial stages of pitching of creative, PR and social,” said Nicole Bardsley, director of Virgin Mobile brand and communications.  Read more »

Andrew Lamb departs Mediabrands’ Initiative

Andrew LambAndrew Lamb has left media agency Initiative after a year in the role of client partner, Mumbrella understands.

Lamb, who was previously a long serving managing director of independent media agency The Media Store, is understood to have left last month. Read more »

Mi9 sales boss Emma Jane Owens to depart as Nine restructures its sales operations

Emma Jane OwensNational sales director of Mi9 Emma Jane Owens is to depart the company after a restructure within the digital sales division made her role redundant, Mumbrella can reveal.

Owens has been in the role for two and half years with staff at Nine’s digital division being informed yesterday afternoon.

“My leadership team is being reshaped,” Peter Wiltshire, group sales and marketing director of Nine Entertainment told Mumbrella.

“Emma-Jayne Owens’ position of national sales director, Mi9, has been made redundant, with the responsibilities of this role split between myself, Michael Stephenson and Matt James. We will clarify this in due course.”  Read more »

Cummins & Partners apologises to AFL for plagiarising Multicultural Round campaign

Cummins & Partners has apologised to the AFL after the sporting code had to concede that its new multicultural round campaign was too similar to the work of an Adelaide-based designer Tyson Beck.

AFL multicultural round

Cummins & Partner’s design for the AFL Multicultural Round

LeBron James - Face of Cleveland - Artwork by Tyson Beck

LeBron James – Face of Cleveland – Artwork by Tyson Beck

Chris Jeffares, Cummins & Partners CEO, told Mumbrella the agency is “working very closely” with the AFL after the Herald Sun revealed the multicultural round campaign bore a striking similarity to a design of NBA star LeBron James created by Beck.

“As soon as we found out what happened we contacted the artist and apologised. He’s been very complimentary about the process and we’re compensating him,” Jeffares said.

“He’s also acknowledged that inspiration comes from multiple sources and indeed this particular print style montage occurs in many forms around the world and has done so for many years. However, in developing our mood bulletin reference we acknowledge this was way too close a representation.” Read more »

ESPN uses graffiti artist in new campaign as sports rights battle shows no sign of slowing

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 3.24.53 PMESPN is preparing to launch it first locally-produced campaign for four years as it aims to cement growing interest in American sport among its core young male demographic.

The sports network is working with content agency Now We Collide to create a 90-second video which merges pivotal sporting moments from the world of basketball and American Football with murals drawn by graffiti artist Russell Fenn, better know as Sofles.

The network hopes the time-lapsed amalgamation of sports and street art will create a social buzz among the 18 to 34-year-old demographic and prompt them to share the content across their networks. Read more »

LGTBI magazine Archer expands distribution to USA as it aims to give industry a ‘shake-up’

Archer MagazineAustralian magazine Archer Magazine, which describes itself as the “world’s most inclusive publication about sexuality and gender”, has expanded its distribution footprint to the US.

The print magazine is now to be stocked in cities, across the US, including New York, Austin, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Seattle.

Amy Middleton, editor of Archer Magazine, told Mumbrella the title was “never destined to remain solely focused on Australia” however the expansion to the US does not see the publication create different versions for each market.

“Our mission statement is to represent diverse attitudes to sex and sexuality, and the broader the scope, the more diverse our content becomes,” Middleton said. Read more »

Jonathan Chadwick to launch new GroupM venture, Mark McCraith to run Maxus



Jonathan Chadwick is to depart media agency Maxus, moving to lead a new venture within the holding group GroupM.

Newly returned COO Mark McCraith will take over as CEO of Maxus, replacing Chadwick, the company has announced.

“It has been a truly rewarding three years at Maxus, we have grown significantly, built a great culture and it’s now time for the team to evolve into the next stage of development,” said CEO of Maxus Chadwick in a statement.  Read more »

APMA chairman lashes culture of procurement saying ‘creativity only survives against all odds’

Dave Lo speaking at the Star Awards

Dave Lo speaking at the Star Awards

The chairman of the Australian Promotional Marketing Association (APMA) Dave Lo has taken a huge swipe against the use of procurement processes by businesses to hire agencies saying it is  creating an environment where “everything is costed and yet nothing is valued”.

Lo, founder of Zoo Republic, made the remarks in his opening address at last night’s Star Awards which honour the best of experiential and promotional marketing, on a night dominated by Leo Burnett Melbourne which took home six Gold awards and the Grand Prix for its work with SPC Ardmona and Honda.

He said: “We are being asked to do more with less and many businesses underestimate the commercial power and impact of a truly great commercial idea. Read more »

Australia’s Ashes collapse beats The Bachelor to be most watched non-news show of the night

Courier MailThe slaughter of the Australian cricket team on day one of the fourth Ashes test in Nottingham drew 848,000 viewers on Nine’s digital channel Gem last night.

Gem was the second highest rating channel of the night as Australians tuned in to watch their side capitulate in the first innings from 8pm, a performance that has dominated headlines nationally this morning. 

Gem had a 14.7 per cent share – higher than Seven’s main channel which had 14.6 per cent and Ten which had 12.8 per cent, beating The Bachelor which had 794,000 to be the most-watched non-news show of the night. Read more »

Morning Update: The ultimate Old Spice ad?; Cord cutters cut media share prices; Beer market bubbles as MillerCoors parts with WPP

Creativity: Old Spice Pits Terry Crews Against TMYMCSL in Latest Ad

Old Spice and Wieden & Kennedy Portland pit the brand’s most outspoken spokespersons –The Man Your Man Can Smell Like (Isaiah Mustafa) and Terry Crews — against each other in this new spot showcasing the brand’s different scents, Timber and the strangely-named Bearglove.

Directed by go-to Old Spice helmer Tom Kuntz of MJZ, the ad opens with TMYMCSL in a familiar setup — barechested, wrapped in a towel and standing in a bathroom. He proceeds to take the viewer on another journey of his amazingness — through the woods, into a jewelry store and rowing on a river — all while promoting Old Spice’s “Timber” scent, billed as “power for your body, soul and jet-powered chainsaw, if you happen to use one.”

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ABC board moves Q&A to news division following Zaky Mallah controversy

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 5.45.48 pmThe board of public broadcaster the ABC has confirmed it will move political discussion show Q&A under the purview of the news division.

The widely expected move, which sees the show come under the more rigorous rules of the news division, comes after an ongoing public controversy surrounding the appearance of former terrorism suspect Zaky Mallah who asked a question from the studio audience in June.

In a board statement the ABC confirmed: “Based on the information provided, the Board considers both the program and the wider ABC would benefit by an orderly shift of Q&A into the ABC News Division. Read more »

Press Council chair vows to fight for press freedom and disclosure standards for native ads

David-Weisbrot-234x234The chair of the Australian Press Council David Weisbrot has pledged to fight for press freedom and create a new model for defamation laws to help protect freedom of speech in Australia following the passage of recent terrorism Bills through Parliament.

Speaking to an audience at the Melbourne Press Club today, Weisbrot, who has headed the APC since March, said “times have changed” and the APC’s role “in advancing freedom of the press” cannot be “largely restricted to its complaints-handling function”.

“Freedom of speech and freedom of the press may have a strong cultural hold in Australia, but they rest on flimsy legal foundations,” Weisbrot said, in an address in which he also outlined plans for disclosure requirements around native content.

“Unfortunately, the traditionally fine balance has been tipping steadily against freedom in recent times. We’ve had 40 ‘anti-terrorism’ laws passed, often with insufficient Parliamentary scrutiny of the potential effects on free speech and press freedom.” Read more »

Seven loses court bid to get Nine’s The Hotplate taken off air over copyright infringement

Hot Plate

Seven Network has failed in its bid to have rivals Nine Network take reality show The Hotplate off-air with a court today dismissing an application for an injunction against the show.

This afternoon in the Federal Court Justice Nicholas ruled Nine did not have to take the show off air ahead of a full hearing as to whether it infringes on the copyright of Seven’s flagship show My Kitchen Rules.

Seven launched the action after its own Restaurant Revolution format failed to fire in competition with The Hotplate, which has been pulling primetime audiences in excess of 900,000 a night, forcing the TV network to find new content as it moved the show to Thursday nights.

However, Seven says it intends to press ahead with a full trial in the case claiming it needs to “protect not only the MKR format itself but also the distribution rights in many overseas territories” adding: “Given the importance of the matter, Seven has asked the court to deal with the matter as an urgent hearing. “
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Cannes Lions refuses to disqualify VML campaign entered without client approval

Blindspot BeaconsDigital agency VML Sydney has escaped disqualification and possible suspension from the Cannes Lions Advertising Festival, despite entering a campaign that did not have authorisation of the government client, used the logo of another public body without permission, and made a misleading claim about the work.

In June client Transport for NSW told Mumbrella it had not given permission for the Blackspot Beacons campaign to be entered into the Lions festival, despite rules stating awards must have client sign-off or face disqualification.

But five weeks after launching an “investigation” organisers have now released a statement saying they will allow the public safety campaign to be withdrawn and not disqualified, despite a rule stating “entries cannot be cancelled or removed from the competition after 15 May 2015“.

“Across 40,000 entries there will always be requests and clarifications required pertaining to work entered. In this instance we accepted a position from the entrant company as being bona fide and allowed the work to be withdrawn. We now consider the matter closed,” Cannes Lions CEO Philip Thomas told Mumbrella in an emailed statement overnight. Read more »

Droga5 invests in startup scheme as it looks to tap into different ways of thinking about tech

Sudeep Gohil

Sudeep Gohil

Droga5 has invested funds into startup incubator Startmate as it looks to tap into new creative and technological expertise and “shake the agency out of its comfort zone”.

CEO Sudeep Gohil is also putting his own money into the scheme, which aims to turn “nerds into CEOs” by offering investment and mentoring for a select number of businesses each year.

While Droga has been allowed to invest in a bid to help “sharpen” the communications for the companies Gohil told Mumbrella the agency was also gaining access to a different way of thinking.

He also said unlike some recent campaigns the agency’s use of technology would be used to solve business problems for clients, rather than as hooks for marketing campaigns. Read more »

NRL marketing boss admits it has ‘a lot to do with our brand’ as code aims for 300k members

The head of marketing for the NRL Lewis Pullen has admitted the biggest challenge he faces in building better relationships with fans is being “disintermediated” with them.

In a talk at the Association of Data Driven Marketing’s (ADMA) Global Summit yesterday Pullen admitted there is “a lot to do with our brand” in highlighting some of the challenges faced by the code, and suggested streaming may play a bigger part in the next round of rights negotiations which are now underway.

“It’s not all about TV any more as we all know, there’s the rise of streaming and we can all see what’s happened with Netflix which has disrupted the market,” he said. “There’s an indication our rights value will increase significantly.”

His comments come after Mumbrella revealed, earlier this year, that the NRL had approached Google, who owns online streaming giant Youtube, about lodging a potentially multi-billion dollar bid for the broadcast rights for the code.
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Australian Olympic Committee launches simplified Olympic logos ahead of Rio Games

The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) has modernised its branding to bring multiple groups together under one banner.

The updated designs feature simplified depictions of a kangaroo and an emu, along with the star that represents the states and territories of Australia. The iconic references sit above the Olympic rings, and will be used to combine the committee with the team and fans.

The redesign was prompted by new guidelines introduced by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) reducing the number of marks a National Olympic Committee can use. The latest green and gold design will be worn at the Rio Games next year. Read more »

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