How much do we really know about privacy on Facebook?

Michael CowlingIn this cross-posting from The Conversation Michael Cowling asks whether the recent controversy over the Facebook Messenger app shows people have reached the limit of what information they’re willing to give away to companies. 

The recent furore about the Facebook Messenger app has unearthed an interesting question: how far are we willing to allow our privacy to be pushed for our social connections? In the case of the Facebook Messenger app, the answer appears to be: “Not as far as Facebook thinks.”

For those who are not yet on Facebook (yes, there are some), the social media giant has been asking all users who want to continue sending messages to their Facebook friends on their mobile devices to download a Facebook Messenger app. Facebook is preparing to stop the chat feature on its main Facebook app. Read more »

Will instant messaging eat social networks?

Daniel Young BPD 3Instant messaging is the new digital battle ground. Daniel Young looks at what impact this battle might have for the traditional social networks. 

The social media landscape is changing, again, and the new players are demanding brands shift their mindset – from being human to getting personal. Read more »

The Woolworths media pitch: a case study on how not to treat agencies

nic christensenIn the wake of the decision by retailer Woolworths to retain Carat as its media agency, Mumbrella’s Nic Christensen asks if the much-maligned pitch for the $240m account is a case study in how clients should not treat their agencies. 

It’s funny how history has a habit of repeating itself, but you’d like to think the marketing world would occasionally learn a trick or two. Some of the decisions in the process which led to the decision by Woolworths to keep its mammoth media account at Carat certainly make you wonder what goes through the minds of some clients when they pitch.

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What I learned from debating science with trolls

Michael J I BrownIn this cross-posting from The Conversation science astronomer Michael J. I. Brown shares his experiences in debating with and challenging online trolls.

I often like to discuss science online and I’m also rather partial to topics that promote lively discussion, such as climate change, crime statistics and (perhaps surprisingly) the big bang. This inevitably brings out the trolls.

“Don’t feed the trolls” is sound advice, but I’ve ignored it on occasion – including on The Conversation and Twitter – and I’ve been rewarded. Not that I’ve changed the minds of any trolls, nor have I expected to. Read more »

Most ‘big data’ marketing is a waste of time, and here’s why

Peter SwanUsing big data to look at past trends is not the best way to work out what your customers want, argues Peter Swan of the UNSW Australia Business School in this cross-posting from The Conversation.

A passer-by happens upon a drunk searching for a lost wallet under a streetlight. With nothing in plain sight, the passer-by asks “Where did you drop your wallet?”.
“Over there,” gestures the drunk across the street, “but I’m looking here because this is where the light is.” Read more »

When newspaper managements ‘back’ themselves

tim burrowes landscapeThis has been a bad week for the newspaper industry, says Mumbrella’s Tim Burrowes   

As far as Australian newspapers go, this has been a most disillusioning week. I love ’em – but jeez, they make it hard.    Read more »

It ain’t weak to speak – how I dealt with depression

10015_10151542387598887_1383501535_nAfter the tragic news of Robin Williams’ death after a struggle with depression Oli Shawyer shares the story of his battle with the black dog, and how talking about it helped him beat it.

The news of Robin Williams rocked me to my core yesterday. I didn’t know the man personally but there is something so profoundly tragic about a comedian, someone whose job it is to make us laugh every day, suffering so intensely.

To be fair, it’s a testament to how fucked up depression really is – that it can somewhat delude a man beloved by so many people, into deciding that he is better off dead. Read more »

Digital copyright protection – some success, but mostly failure

Nicholas SheppardIn this cross-posting from The Conversation Nicholas Sheppard of Victoria University explores what measures have so far been tried, and failed, to stop copyright infringement and piracy.

There’s been a bit of talk recently about getting internet service providers (ISPs) involved in the enforcement of copyright law. The federal Attorney-General and Minister for Communications recently released an Online Copyright Infringement Discussion Paper in the belief that “even where an ISP does not have a direct power to prevent a person from doing a particular infringing act, there still may be reasonable steps that can be taken by the ISP to discourage or reduce online copyright infringement”.

Exactly what might be “reasonable steps” and how they might be funded are among the subjects up for discussion. Critics fear that it means turning ISPs into copyright police. Read more »

Which job in advertising gives the most ROI?

Darren_WoolleyIn this guest post, Darren Woolley wonders which role in an agency – creative, media, digital, planning or account management – is the most valuable to the client.

In benchmarking the cost of an ad agency’s staff, you generally find that the rate a client pays is commensurate with the experience or seniority of the resource. But the question of value goes beyond just cost to determining the return on the investment. So in considering the value we need to balance the cost of the resource against how much they contribute to the ROI. Read more »

Calling bullshit on John Oliver’s attack on native advertising

richard parkerYesterday satirist John Oliver launched a blistering attack on native advertising describing it as “repurposed bovine waste”. In this guest post, content marketing specialist Richard Parker calls bullshit on Oliver’s argument.     

I’m usually a big fan of John Oliver. What’s not to like? The lefty credentials? The anti-Fox news stance? The fact that he’s from Birmingham? But his latest piece vilifying native advertising leaves me a bit cold. Read more »

Andrews’ media accusers have some explaining of their own to do

TapegateIn recent days ‘tapegate’ has consumed much of the Victorian political news cycle. In this cross posting from The Conversation academic Mark Pearson looks at legalities around journalists recording sources. 

It is a sad day when senior political figures steal a journalist’s recording device and destroy its contents, as we have been told happened at this year’s Victorian Labor Party conference. But it is an even sadder day when we hear a major newspaper – The Age – justifying a senior reporter secretly recording their conversations with sources. Read more »

Why Creative Effectiveness is the Cannes Lion you really want to win

Phil Johnston 2With controversy over the criteria of entry for some Cannes Lions categories Phil Johnston argues the Creative Effectiveness category is the most rigorous ‘effie’ in the world.

Don’t worry. I’m not entering the debate on whether some Lion winners are scam. There are enough voices on that.

And my starting point isn’t even creativity. Because let’s not forget that creativity is just a means to an end. What is that end? Meeting our clients’ objectives, whatever they may be. That’s what I’m here to do. Read more »

The Scam Lions? Count me out

tim burrowes landscapeMumbrella will no longer attend the Cannes Lions. Mumbrella’s Tim Burrowes argues that the scam in Cannes has become too much…   

I love everything about the Cannes Lions experience. So I’m sad that I’m probably never going to get to do it again.    Read more »

Brandis’ leaked copyright proposals are unrealistic


In this cross-posting from The Conversation Nicolas Suzor and Alex Button-Sloan from the Queensland University of Technology look at why the leaked plans to change copyright laws could lead to a lot of unintended problems for consumers.

The Australian Government has proposed Internet Service Providers (ISPs) monitor and punish Australians who download and infringe copyright.

In a discussion paper circulated by Attorney-General George Brandis, and leaked by Crikey last Friday, the government proposes a sweeping change to Australian copyright law. If implemented, it would force ISPs to take steps to prevent Australians from infringing copyright. Read more »

Why Nine’s investment in Quickflix makes it tougher for Netflix to launch in Australia

quickflix-logoLast week Nine Entertainment Co made a $1m investment to buy eight per cent of streaming company Quickflix, whilst preparing to launch its own operation StreamCo. Here Nic Christensen looks at the underlying reasons for Nine buying into a rival.

In the world of video streaming last week’s investment by Nine into rival Quickflix did not go unnoticed, but as always with these deals the devil is in the detail. In this case, a series of warrants and covenants that came with this batch of shares.

Read more »

With awards the more you get, the more you get

eaon pritchard red jelly planner stragetyFollowing recent controversy surrounding entries to the Cannes Lions awards Eaon Pritchard argues until we have a better way to evaluate the merits of  agencies than awards all agencies will be highly incentivised to do whatever it takes to win .

Advertising’s outcomes are notoriously hard to measure. Which is why in advertising agencies, we love to measure outputs instead. Read more »

Why aren’t more media companies offering job sharing to get experience back in the door?

Lucy Formosa MorganWith the media industry churn and talent drain a constant issue Lucy Formosa Morgan asks why more companies aren’t open to job sharing.

There’s rarely a shortage of applicants for coordinator positions however when it comes to recruiting experienced middle / senior level people, the talent bank seems to dry up. Agencies can struggle to fill vacancies for months or end up having to recruit from overseas. So if we have plenty of juniors that we’re devoting time and money to training up, where are they going? Why is there such a shortage of good talent out there? Read more »

Marketers are the ones whose reputations are most at risk if they are complicit in scam advertising

woolley 2With questions being raised over the integrity of some awards entries in recent weeks, former creative director Darren Woolley says scam can be as damaging for marketers as the agencies involved.

Scam awards entries have come to industry attention again, following the most recent Cannes Lions Awards. In the process, several high profile advertisers have been associated with their agencies’ entries. But what are the implications for the advertiser?

It is a standard response that advertisers are not really interested in creative awards. But the fact is that marketers are human and those that have healthy and close working relationships with their agencies actually enjoy seeing them being recognised, especially for work they may have created together. Read more »

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