Is it the media, politicians or consumer who’s to blame for today’s vanilla politics?

patrick o'beirneWhile many bemoan the lack of personalities in state and federal politics, Patrick O’Beirne asks whether it’s the product of the 24-hour news cycle or the media habits of consumers.

At a Melbourne Press Club  function on the eve of the Victorian state election, The Australian’s local bureau chief Chip Le Grand asked Premier Denis Napthine where the charisma has gone in Victorian politics.

The Premier, straying from his well-rehearsed script of policy commitments, shot back. Hard. “Where has the charisma gone?…I would ask you to look in the mirror. I think one of the reasons why there is perhaps a lack of charisma or lack of fun in politics is because of the coverage.”

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A return to full service? What is M&C Saatchi’s plan in supercharging its strategy unit?

M&C Saatchi now has one of the biggest strategy departments in Australia as it moves to a more ‘full service’ approach for brands. Miranda Ward sat down with the agency’s head of strategy Justin Graham to talk through the strategy behind it.

M&C Saatchi has made no secret of the fact it has been beefing up its strategy and planning department over the last 12 months, however many in the industry were surprised to hear the agency’s latest hire, Ross Berthinussen as group strategy director, had swelled the ranks of the team to 35. It’s a move which has many wondering whether the agency is looking to put the genie back in the bottle and go ‘full service’.

“If clients are coming to us to solve business problems we want to be able to solve whatever problem that may be through the lens of creativity,” said department head Justin Graham. Read more »

The Arias: red carpet winners and awards night losers on brand integration

Miranda WardThe telecast of the Aria Awards showed how good, and bad, brand integration can be argues Miranda Ward. 

Last night’s Aria Awards might not have delivered a ratings win for the Ten Network, with only 574,000 metro viewers tuning in for the two-and-a-half hour show, however its red carpet special was largely a boon for brands and network talent. Read more »

The ABC’s ‘me too’ strategy puts it on track for redundancy

Stephen KingIn this cross-posting from The Conversation Stephen King of Monash University argues pursuing a digital strategy puts the ABC at greater risk of losing its point of difference. 

Is the ABC trying to make itself redundant? Because that appears to be its strategy. Here’s why.

The ABC is expensive. In 2013 it was allocated more than A$1 billion of taxpayer funds. The ABC claims, however, that its real funding since 1985-86 has dropped by about one quarter. And the current federal government has cut further – A$120 million in the May budget and a further A$207 million over four years. Read more »

The only thing we have to fear about media reform is fear itself

mark  tzinitisIn a tongue in cheek rant Mark Tzintzis argues changing the media ownership laws will lead to more effective media planning.

It’s no secret that Australian media ownership is one of the most concentrated in the world.

Even with constraints in place such as the 75 per cent reach rule, or the 2 out of 3 media rule, we’re still way off other comparable Western democracies. The general feeling amongst articles that I’ve read is that this is a bad thing… which is ironic considering newspapers are the most concentrated medium in Australia.

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Is this the beginning of the end of the ABC as we know it?

Mark Scott ABCWhile the ABC cuts have focussed around traditional delivery mechanisms the investment in digital technology shapes the broadcaster for the future argue Brian McNair and Adam Swift in this cross-posting from The Conversation.

While Australia’s elected representatives argue over what then-opposition leader Tony Abbott meant when he promised “no cuts to the ABC, or SBS” the night before the last election, directly to the electorate, while advertising himself as a leader who could be trusted not to break his promises, the cuts are in and the announcements of what form they will take at the ABC have been made. Read more »

Has the logo had its day?

Patrick_Guererra_014patrick guerreraCorporations are constantly tinkering with their brands, but in a world with so many touchpoints should they be less concerned with having a corporate logo asks Patrick Guerrera.

In a world where personal brands, social media and an absolute plethora of content stretches into every waking moment of our lives, what role does a logo play in contemporary branding?

There are simple answers: the ongoing interdependence between corporate reputation and corporate brand is always a consideration. The logo is the trust mark that symbolises the heritage and history of an organisation and its people to all their stakeholders, not just their customers. This symbol is a living artefact and signature of the organisation, its past and all its aspirations.

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ABC managing director’s full statement to staff over cuts

Mark ScottThis morning ABC managing director Mark Scott announced how the public broadcaster plans to make a further $207m worth of savings in the next four years. Here is his statement in full.

Dear Colleagues

I have just completed a presentation to staff in ABC offices around the country, outlining a range of measures we propose to implement over the next few years. The initiatives are designed to reposition the ABC for its current and future challenges and to maintain a clear focus on our audience strategy and Charter obligations. I am aware that some of you may not have caught the address or are seeking further detail. This email is designed to provide more information about our plans. It sits alongside a statement released today by the ABC Board. Read more »

Advertising is no longer about ads. So what does that mean for agencies?

Simone BartleyWith the media and advertising landscape fragmented Simone Bartley argues the traditional agency model is no longer fit for purpose.

CMO’s have never struggled more with bigger challenges than they are today. New technology and new audience behaviour is one thing; future business strategies and innovation to stay relevant are another.

Meanwhile in ad land there has been an array of new acquisitions and agency models but what has really changed? The majority of media and creative agencies still sell and generate space and ideas for ad formats; TV, print, digital or otherwise.

The fact is advertising is no longer about ads.

Advertising is now about content, participation, conversation, experiences and utility. Based on that agencies need to continue to evolve to deliver to this new definition.

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Foxtel’s price drop is not a defensive move, it’s an attack

Ian Perrin PhotoIn this guest post ZenithOptimedia boss Ian Perrin argues Foxtel’s recent move to halve its basic package prices is not just to defend it from the threat of new streaming services.

There has been much made of the substantial reductions in Foxtel pricing announced recently. It appears that most of the sentiment suggests that this is a defensive move, designed to take on the multiple streaming services ready to hit our shores. This may well be the case, but my belief is that it’s the opposite. Read more »

So what is the future of journalism?

Rakhal EbeliAhead of a session at tomorrow’s Publish conference on whether native advertising will be the saviour of publishing Newsmodo founder Rakhal Ebeli sets out where how he sees the relationship between brands and editorial playing out..

There are so many question marks hanging over the future of the industry. Will print be extinct? Will journalists be endangered? Will publishers have evolved into a new, unrecognisable species? Here’s how I see it developing.

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Taming the anaconda: Aussie businesses can beat Amazon at the e-commerce game

Mark Troselj netsuiteWith Click Frenzy kicking off tonight and amid warnings over the state of Australian e-commerce Mark Troselj says there are some simple things local businesses can do to beat international pure-plays like Amazon at their own game.

Warnings by GroupM’s digital boss last week that Amazon has the potential to crush Australia’s e-commerce market “like an Anaconda” should not be written off as hyperbole. Too many Australian businesses have been slow to grasp the enormity of the wholesale transformation of the global retail sector and have procrastinated at the expense of market share and current and future revenue streams. Read more »

The media industry is small – but we do need to attract talent from other disciplines

Linda WongRecently undergraduate Jacob Hkeik penned an opinion piece about a lack of awareness of media agency careers amongst students looking for careers. Here Linda Wong from the Media Federation Australia responds. 

Two weeks ago we read an article by MGrad graduate Jacob Hkeik, saying media offers some of the most interesting career opportunities to graduates, but most of them don’t know media agencies exist.

The fact is, the MFA and our members put a lot of work in to educating lecturers and students about the opportunities in our industry and our most recent survey shows that in actual fact, more than 60 per cent of new recruits to the industry came from MFA-accredited universities. Read more »

‘The one weapon we have has Australia written on the blade’

Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 2.40.53 PM During the Hector Crawford Memorial Lecture at the Screen Forever conference, writer, broadcaster and film maker Phillip Adams called for a repeat of the Government largesse of the 1970s and for the “cultural and political idealism” of the Whitlam administration to save Australia’s film industry. Read his full address here.

Hector Crawford. Named for the Trojan prince. Presumably his parents also considered other classical heroes – Rome’s Horatio, the Carthaginian Hannibal or Hercules, son of Zeus.

On balance I think Hercules might have been a better fit given Hector’s herculean efforts to get local drama onto Australian television.

I first met Hector in the mid-fifties, hours before television was introduced to this country and years after the Americans and British had managed to crush what was left of an Australian film industry through their ownership of Hoyts and Greater Union.

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Letter to the editor: Network Ten defends programming schedule

neil shoebridge tenNetwork Ten’s director of corporate and public communications Neil Shoebridge has penned a letter to the editor in response to an opinion piece by Alex Hayes on Friday on Ten’s upfront presentation the previous evening. 

Dear Alex,

The column you posted on November 14 described Network Ten’s 2015 programming slate as “frugal”, “lean” and “minimalist”. That description is inaccurate, misleading and puzzling.

At our Upfronts 2015 presentation on November 3, we laid out a full 12-month schedule, including eight new local productions: Read more »

Network Ten: Acquisition ready

Alex Hayes headshot 2014The frugal programming slate unveiled by Ten last night is that of a network ready for an injection of cash and programming from new owners, writes Alex Hayes.

There’s a saying that necessity is the mother of all invention, and Network Ten certainly got inventive at its upfronts last night. Read more »

How Netflix could help save the local media industry

Kevin DillonWhile many predict the official arrival of global streaming giant Netflix in Australia will damage local media players Kevin Dillon argues it might actually end up being a boon for the savvy ones. 

I first encountered the notion of online DVD rental between pints of Sierra Nevada at the Black Watch (a dive bar in Los Gatos, California). It was late 1999, and my friends and I were toasting my two years survival in Silicon Valley. Those were halcyon Internet bubble days in the Bay Area. Notable successes (Amazon) were emerging. Others (webvan) burned brightly but briefly. Most wouldn’t see the other side of the 2000 tech wreck. Read more »

Nissan content chief Dan Sloan on the art of brand storytelling

Dan SloanDan Sloan, a former broadcast journalist for Thomson Reuters, is editor-in-chief of Nissan’s Global Media Center in Yokohama. He oversees a team of brand journalists who produce multi-media content, known as “kotozukuri” or storytelling.

In this cross-posting from Mumbrella Asia editor Robin Hicks spoke to Sloan about how an in-house content house works, the ROI of content, and the impact of the brand-side content creation concept on agencies.

So how do agencies get involved with the Global Media Center? Read more »

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