Optus’ EPL plans will lead to short-term conversions and long-term resentment

AlexBy forcing English Premier League fans sign up to one of its packages Optus has got it horribly wrong and damaged its reputation in the process, argues Mumbrella editor Alex Hayes.

“Extortion”, “a gun to the head of fans” and “anti-competitive” are probably not the words Optus was hoping for when announcing its plans to broadcast the English Premier League.

But what did it expect when customers who currently pay $50-per-month to watch the league – and many other sports besides – are told they will have to pay at least $85 and switch to a service they may not want or be able to get? Read more »

Why commercial radio is crying out for more diversity

bethedits-head1How many industries are still being regulated by gender, race and class? In this guest post, Beth Rep argues that the reason commercial radio is stagnant is because the stations no longer understand their audience.

“Research only tells you what is, not what could be. That’s why we used to refer to it as ‘research and destroy’.

“If you wait for audiences to tell you to change, you will never get change.” This quote from the brilliant Jane Caro is about the most refreshing and exciting comment I’ve ever read in regards to market research.

Just imagine the programming possibilities for commercial radio if a program director took a similar stance? Read more »

It’s video, but not as we know it

john dawson and jack smyth newfrontsIn this guest post Mindshare’s John Dawson and Jack Smyth look at how big digital players have changed their tune and are pitching to take a slice of TV’s ad spend. 

By now you’ll have seen the headlines from day one of the 2016 NewFronts in New York. The story, in many ways, was not surprising: it’s all about video.

What made us pause – and should make you, too – is not the ‘what’ of video but the ‘how.’ Read more »

11 signs it’s time to fire a client

susan friesen head shotIn this guest post, Susan Friesen discusses the difficult decision of letting client go and how to know when it’s right for your business.

We have all had them. Especially when working in the service industry. There are some clients that you can’t charge enough to make it worth the stress, headaches and frustration they create.

I heard someone say once, “sometimes the cost of a dollar is too high”. Indeed. When you recognise that a client is more trouble than they are worth, it’s time to let them go. Read more »

Meet the communications and marketing expert taking on ex-Prime Minister Tony Abbott

160426 BS and AW - 1200 x 800In the marketing world Andrew Woodward is best known as the principal at Climate Communication – but in the wider world, he’ll soon be known as the man taking on former Prime Minister Tony Abbott in his own backyard. Speaking with Mumbrella’s Miranda Ward, Woodward explains how he’s taking advantage of Abbott’s declining brand to gain advantage as the Labor candidate for Warringah in the upcoming Federal election.

Andrew Woodward is a communications management consultant specialising in sport, major events, climate change and general counsel. With more than 20 years of industry experience under his belt, Woodward is now turning his sights to Canberra, taking a tilt at one of the safer Liberal seats of the past 20 years: Warringah. Read more »

6 Strategies for Active Social Listening


In this guest post Julie Delaforce reveals ways we can use even the simplest, free, social media data to improve our brand communication and bottom line.

There’s been a lot of media talk around the health dangers of too much sitting. When it comes to social listening, plenty of organisations are making the same mistake – by sitting on their data.

The solution is the same in both cases: Get active. Do something. Read more »

Quickflix’s cautionary tale: how to lose $40m in just five years

QuickflixWith Quickflix facing a bleak future after calling in the administrators Nic Christensen chronicles where it all went wrong for the Australian streaming service.

I remember going to the launch event for Quickflix’s streaming service in 2011. It was clear the Aussie DVD rental business had spent a lot of money on the lavish party, held at the Ivy Hotel in Sydney, designed to show it as the Netflix of Australia.

Actor and DJ Ruby Rose was billed as the headline guest. However, she never showed (claiming to be sick). It would turn out to be an apt analogy for the fledgling operation. Read more »

It’s time to look inward at how you are fostering innovation

Dr Amantha ImberIn this guest post, Dr Amantha Imber discusses why disruption should be performed inside a company to ensure best practise and a positive culture before turning to the outside market.

Agencies’ primary purpose is to come up with creative solutions to their clients’ (marketing) problems. Creative energy is directed externally and often with good results.

As an outsider to the industry but through my role heading up the team that judges the Australian Financial Review’s Most Innovative Companies list, the elephant in the room is the lack of effort toward innovation directed internally into how agencies run and how they make money. Read more »

Not quite time to stop the press

Nati-HarpazIn this guest post, Nati Harpaz argues that print is far from dead and remains a viable profit and engagement platform as long as you are prepared to adapt your model.

The struggle faced by traditional print publications such as newspapers is well documented as the industry faces increasing competition from the online world.

In fact, just recently, this discussion was reignited after Fairfax’s chief executive, Greg Hywood, commented to investors that the company was willing to cut print editions of major mastheads, if publishing profit continued to spiral. Read more »

24 Hours With… Justin Hind, CEO of With Collective

24_Hours_With_logo_teal24 Hours With… spotlights the working day of some of the most interesting people in Mumbrella’s world. Today we speak with Justin Hind, CEO of With Collective, a Sydney-based advertising agency Justin co-founded with his wife, Dominique Hind (Dom).


4:30am: The first thing I do on waking up is reach for my phone to see if anything urgent has come in overnight.

We’re attempting to secure a major American talent for a new brand campaign, and there’s an email from Lisa, our talent scout with the latest developments. It’s looking positive, but there are still lots of logistics to sort out. Read more »

The master marketer returns: can Mark Buckman’s magic strike thrice?

Foxtel rolled the marketing dice this week in announcing the return of Mark Buckman to lead its customer experience. Simon Canning discusses why Foxtel chose the man who has reshaped two of Australia’s biggest brands.

Mumbrella Awards 2013 Mark BuckmanThe return of Mark Buckman to Australian shores two years after he headed to the UK to try his hand will be one of the most closely monitored marketing moves in recent times. Read more »

Having the experience and confidence to challenge a client

antony_gowthorp-5340With sales and marketing anointing ever-younger staff as account executives, the need for confident, empathetic and conversationally astute communication – and staff training – is more vital than ever, says Ant Gowthorp, in this guest column.

Account directors and waiters never used to have so much in common.

One was an experienced, hard-working media professional, highly practiced at her craft and realistic about her client’s goals and expectations. The other was an order taker, charged with wrangling the kitchen and making the customer experience as pleasant and obliging as possible. Read more »

Six months on – How Woolworths screwed up a perfectly good loyalty card scheme

tim burrowes landscape

Today marks six months since Woolworths made one of the poorest decisions in Australian loyalty marketing history by ditching its Everyday Rewards scheme. The disastrous move to near-impossible-to-acquire Woolworths Dollars has removed many of the incentives for customers to spend more – and left them with virtually no reason to share their data with the supermarket, argues Mumbrella’s Tim Burrowes.    

I’ve been on strike for a while now.

Virtually every night I stick it to the man.    Read more »

Exit interview: Mark Scott on digital innovation, media maelstroms and the future of the ABC

ABC managing director Mark Scott steps down this week after a decade which has left the public broadcaster transformed. He spoke to Nic Christensen about leading that change, dealing with critics ‘hijacking’ the conversation and the lessons commercial media can learn from Aunty.  

Mark Scott ABC

“I do regret the public discourse on the ABC,” says outgoing managing director, Mark Scott, as we begin the interview.

After 10 years in the role Scott is in a reflective mood and appears eager to admit that he is also slightly perplexed at why, at times, under his stewardship the ABC has been so hammered by sections of the press. Read more »

Waging war on millennial memes

tym yeeGen Y loves their memes and both millennials and marketers are using them more and more to connect to younger audiences but we are propelling a false and negative stereotype? Tym Yee asks do we need a war on meme?

We can’t afford houses. We’re over educated. We spend money. The job market is an asshole.

Yes, we millennials face a depressing lot in life. Read more »

The battle for audiences as free-TV viewing continues its decline

Marc ScottIn this cross-posting from The Conversation, Marc C-Scott looks at the growing battle for eyeballs as TV audiences continue to decline. 

It’s not been a good year so far for Australia’s traditional television industry with reports that prime-time audiences are down almost 5% amid competition from internet streaming services. Read more »

Mumbrella Asia is three. We’ve told you what we’re against; Now we’ll tell you what we’re for

Robin HicksMumbrella Asia turns three years old today. How is it doing? Mumbrella Asia editor Robin Hicks talks about the past few years and what he sees as a time of unprecedented disruption for marketing and media in Asia.   

We are three. Some people, including many of our friends, have since told us they didn’t think we’d make it this far. But here we are, 7,101 articles, three million page views and five live events later. And I think the industry is now beginning to realise we’re in it for the long haul. Read more »

60 Minutes kidnapping fiasco comes down to the question: who signed off on the money for the ‘child recovery operation’?

Nic-Christensen-234x151-234x151-234x151The fate of the 60 Minutes crew, who were stuck in a Beirut jail facing kidnapping charges, has dominated headlines for weeks. Nic Christensen looks at the questions Nine’s management team now faces and the questions whether anyone will be held to account.

The plight of journalist Tara Brown, Brisbane mother Sally Faulkner and the 60 Minutes crew has, rightly, kicked off a public debate about the ethics of chequebook journalism.

But the key questions here are: what did Nine think it was paying for? How did they think it was okay to make a $115,000 payment to ex-soldiers to grab children from their grandparents in the middle of Beirut? And finally who signed off on all this?

Read more »

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