Is it creepy that Facebook knows who I talked to on Friday night?

tim burrowes landscapeFacebook appeared to track who Mumbrella’s Tim Burrowes spoke to at an industry event, via the phone in his pocket.

So on Friday I was at the Andrew Olle lecture in Sydney.

It was a great night, mainly thanks to Kate McClymont’s wonderfully inspiring speech on life as an investigative reporter.

It was also an evening that my phone stayed in my tux all night. No Facebook check-in and I didn’t even tweet.

But something odd happened that next morning. Like a character in a movie with too much exposition-through-dialogue, I actually said the words “What the fuck?”, aloud. Read more »

Why the new APEX mobile exchange matters for the future of publishers

Nic Christensen

It’s been a long road to today’s announcement of the APEX mobile ad exchange by Fairfax and Nine Entertainment Co, but it is the first step for premium publishers in wresting back control of their own ad prices from the likes of Google, argues Nic Christensen.

We often talk about how the traditional ad-funded media business model is broken in the digital age, print dollars being traded for the digital dimes and all that.

What we don’t do is talk about what can be done in digital to raise or maintain that cost per thousand impressions (CPM), drive the sale of unsold online ad inventory and ensure that premium content providers (aka. the publishers who are investing in journalism and bringing together the audiences) can actually pay their bills or even, heaven forbid, make a profit. Read more »

Presto chango? Could free-to-air tie up help Foxtel counter Netflix?

Alex Hayes headshot 2014Celebrities and VIPs turned up in force for Foxtel’s upfronts last night, but while Chris Hemsworth and The Real Housewives of Melbourne were the star turns, it was a few of the other attendees who turned heads, writes Alex Hayes.

Lachlan Murdoch, Tim Worner and Hamish McLennan walked into a room. That’s not the start of a joke, it happened last night at the Foxtel upfronts, which has triggered speculation the Presto streaming service could be about to get seriously beefed up.

While there wasn’t much surprising in Foxtel’s announcements last night, it was more a case of what you could read between the lines and what was not talked about, Presto. Read more »

Brand purpose and why you should never trust a hippy

eaon pritchard red jelly planner stragetyWhile there are a number of articles claiming a cause-and-effect relationship between a brand’s ability to serve a higher purpose and its financial performance Eaon Pritchard asks if this really proof that the most successful brands are built on an ideal of improving lives?

The rhetoric of the ‘brand with purpose’ goes along these lines. It’s much harder to run a mission-driven company than it is to run one that is simply devoted to making a profit.

This is possibly why there was a sense of disappointment from Benjamin Harrison in his article, in which he laments the inability of many companies who adopt a purpose-driven position to actually deliver on that promise. Read more »

Seven looks to 2020, but quiet on more immediate issues

Alex Hayes headshot 2014Yesterday and today Seven West Media has been unveiling its plans for 2015 to media buyers and journalists. However amongst the glitz and glamour questions around regenerating formats, fast-tracking, streaming and HD broadcasts remain unanswered, writes Alex Hayes.

Seven West Media’s upfronts always take some beating, if there’s one thing the company knows how to do it’s put on a show. Today the sell was all about the ‘Destination 20/20′, keeping the network at number one for the next five years. And while there was plenty of good stuff, it struck me none of the executives addressed some of the major issues facing all TV networks in the next couple of years.

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Three uncomfortable truths about brand purpose

Benjamin HarrisonBrand purpose has been one of the buzz marketing phrases of 2014 with experts urging companies to stand for something more than profits. Here Benjamin Harrison argues very few brands can pull it off.

If only measured in articles, books, agencies and events espousing brand purpose – the idea driving brands through an understanding of ‘why we exist beyond making money’ or the ‘noble end’, then 2014 has been its peak year to date.

It’s also the year that Chipotle – the famously purpose-led fast food chain – reported explosive 19.8 per cent same-store sales growth in the US. By comparison, McDonald’s – a one-time stakeholder of the brand – posted a 3.3 per cent drop in the same period. Read more »

Credit Where It’s Due: John Grono


At last week’s MFA Awards John Grono became the latest inductee into the MFA Hall of Fame. We give Credit Where It’s Due to one of Australia’s leading audience measurement experts.

“If you’re looking for a research answer go to Grono. If you’re looking for a short answer, go somewhere else.” There are very few people who could talk at length, with passion and expertise about a topic like audience measurement as John Grono.

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Why the ABC does not apologise for marketing its content

Leisa Bacon Today’s edition of The Australian newspaper sees the News Corp title criticise public broadcaster for purchasing keyword search engine terms in an effort to drive consumers to its news websites. In this opinion piece Leisa Bacon, director of audience and marketing at the ABC argues that its digital advertising is no different to its other marketing efforts. 

All media outlets market their content. Billboards, newspaper advertising, back-of-bus signage, publicity and promotions on TV and radio stations are marketing tactics all of us as audience members are exposed to daily. The digital space is no different.

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Q&A with Goodby Silverstein & Partner’s co-founder Jeff Goodby


Jeff Goodby sat down with Miranda Ward on the sidelines of the Reset conference in Sydney this week to talk about whether Goodby Silverstein & Partners should have opened an office in Sydney when it won the Commonwealth Bank account in 2007, what he makes of the state of creativity locally and how if he were starting an agency today it would specialise in social media amplification. Read more »

Spurr vs New Matilda case pits privacy against public interest

Barry Spurr new matildaIn this cross-posting fromThe Conversation University of Canberra’s Bruce Baer Arnold examines the issues at stake as Barry Spurr takes on New Matilda over the publication of emails.

Don’t be distracted by theatrics about political correctness, the boundaries of bad humour and professorial impropriety. The real excitement in the “Spurr Affair” has been occurring in the Federal Court. It is excitement about the shape of privacy in Australian law and about legal recognition of “public interest”. That interest is a compelling “right to know” as a basis of the liberal democratic state, rather than just public curiosity. Read more »

Responding to Goodby: Deeper client knowledge gives better results

Kate SmitherEarlier this week advertising legend Jeff Goodby told a conference agencies should ‘unlearn’ everything they know about clients. Here Kate Smither argues deeper business knowledge displayed by agencies creates better marketing results.

If advertising agencies are not bringing new thinking to their clients then they are really not doing their job and the industry will die. In fact the industry should die. Read more »

How the newspapers paid tribute to Gough Whitlam

Headline writers, cartoonists and journalists all had very different ways of handling the tributes to former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam in yesterday’s papers. Industry body The Newspaper Works has gathered them here.

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Whybin\TBWA’s incoming ECDs talk talent, reputation and why limited budgets are a good thing

Hawes and McCreadie

In August two of the most decorated and celebrated creatives in Australia, Dave Bowman and Matty Burton, announced they were leaving Whybin\TBWA Sydney, the agency they had helped to turn around, for a startup. The two men tasked with replacing them sat down with Miranda Ward on a visit to Australia last week to talk about their ambitions for the agency, and their views on Australian creativity.

With the departure of acclaimed creative duo Dave Bowman and Matty Burton to Lindsey Evans’ The Special Group Sydney Whybin\TBWA boss Paul Bradbury knew he had big boots to fill. His answer was to look abroad, and bring in an established creative duo from one of the most revered agencies in the world as executive creative directors.  Read more »

Credit Where it’s Due: The Australian’s interactive obituary for Gough Whitlam

creditLogoFNl-234x102On a day when media outlets have been rolling out pre-prepared obituaries for Gough Whitlam The Australian’s interactive effort is head and shoulders above the competition.

The news of the death of Gough Whitlam at the age of 98 has had all of the mainstream media running extensive coverage of the life of the former Prime Minister. But standing out above the pack was The Australian’s interactive special. Read more »

Jumping the fence isn’t as easy as it looks

Ben OliverMaking the switch from the solitary profession of journalism to the team sport of PR was tougher than imagined, writes Ben Oliver.

Whether deleting emails with zeal or bitching to colleagues in the newsroom, pouring scorn on the erratic, misguided or plain bizarre PR pitches was always a fun sport.

But having now worked in agency for two years after nearly a decade in journalism, I can say without hesitation that not only do I now fully appreciate the pressures of agency – it’s a hell of lot harder than what I used to do. Read more »

Have we already reached the bottom of the well on price?

Eric FaulknerAmid debate around elements of the client agency relationship, Ebiquity’s Eric Faulkner asks if both clients and agencies have both unwittingly conspired to destroy each other.

Earlier this week Mumbrella’s Nic Christensen, writing as a ‘hypothetical’ CMO, wrote what many in the industry had long been thinking on the topic of agency pitches.

“For anyone wondering about the race to the bottom, in this market, I reckon you hit it about three years ago. Not that anyone seemed to notice,” his ‘hypothetical CMO’ wrote.

It’s rather like the climate argument — if you’re going to wait until we’re all under water, well, its a bit too late then, isn’t it.

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How HbbTV can save community television

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 4.42.25 pmBrightcove Australia and New Zealand vice president Mark Blair looks at how new IPTV platform HbbTV could potentially save community television.

Community television is facing the axe — again.

The stations have been earmarked for eradication from our screens after Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull suggested removing the stations’ broadcast spectrum licenses, to be put to use elsewhere.

It shouldn’t be a surprise. Free-to-air television has always been a challenge of practical limitations. The rarity of broadcast spectrum — the radio waves over which TV is transmitted — as well as the cost of doing business, means broadcasters have always faced a choice of what they air, how they air it and when.

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Why we need to understand the truth about procurement

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 10.33.26 pmProcurement is always a hot button issue in agency land. Navigare’s Jeff Estok argues that clients and agencies need to understand the different types of procurement and to nail down the detail of their expectations.

We all know there are three sides to every story. Your side; their side; and the truth, which often sits somewhere in between. Read more »

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