The media consolidation is coming – and the deals have probably already been done

tim burrowes landscapeThe coming wave of media consolidation could push Ten into the arms of News Corp, Seven into bed with Fairfax Media and Nine with WIN, predicts Mumbrella’s Tim Burrowes

A long while back, I had lunch with the father of an English Premier League footballer. He confided that his son would be replacing my club’s top striker.

None of this had appeared in the transfer-obsessed tabloid sports pages. And nor did it for several months. But the transfer eventually unfolded in exactly the way he told me it would.

It was eye-opening to realise just how far in advance top level deals are stitched up. Read more »

Banning booze ads will just make marketers more creative

As the calls for stricter regulation of alcohol advertising to protect children heat up Mike O’Rourke argues changes to advertising will do nothing without changing behaviour at home.

Hi, my name is Mike O’Rourke and I ask my kids to pass me beers. I drink alcoholic beverages at home, and yes, I have also been guilty of asking my kids to go to the fridge for me. And when we have guests I angst about what wine we’ll serve as much what food we’ll eat. And the rhetorical discussions with my son over whether I should get 2 bags of ice or just the one (the answer’s always two).

Like most Australian families, alcohol plays a large part in my home life. Read more »

Why stupid is normal – when smart people make dumb choices

Gary Wilkinson and Ashton BishopAshton Bishop and Gary Wilkinson argue how the actions of former BP chief Tony Hayward during the Gulf of Mexico oil crisis should be a wake up call to stressed marketers and those that work with them.

In 2010 after over 455 million litres of oil had already poured into the Gulf off the Louisiana coast and millions of litres more continued to escape every day, Tony Hayward, the CEO of oil giant BP, and the public face of the environmental disaster, decided to take part in an exclusive yacht race off the Isle of Wight. There was outrage. Social media, already heavily critical of BP’s poor response to the catastrophe, got worse. Read more »

What is the most effective method for charity fundraising?

Recent pieces on Mumbrella around charity street fundraisers have stirred debate about the pros and cons of the practice. Here Angela Brooks looks at what the statistics show is the best way of fundraising. 

Following Mumbrella’s recent stories on the pro’s and con’s of ‘chuggers’, I thought it may be of value to reveal what the statistics show is the best fundraising strategy for charities and how to secure more out of the Australian hip pocket. The results will surprise many. Read more »

Answering Adam: Why advertising spin does harm consumers

In response to Adam Ferrier’s article on whether advertising spin is actually OK, TV luminary Nick Murray argues it is not.

As Adam Ferrier correctly points out in his wonderfully provocative article the ABC’s consumer affairs show The Checkout takes aim at brands which charge more for products marketed by preying on desires and fears in nearly every episode. I make TV shows including The Checkout, so I thought I’d give a non marketer’s perspective.

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Analysis: Where has it gone wrong for Ten?


After starting the year with improved ratings and an air of optimism audience shares have declined severely for Network Ten. Megan Reynolds spoke to industry insiders to find out where it went wrong.

Secrets and Lies was one of the most anticipated dramas of the year, which has already been picked up by production companies in the US and UK, launched to 403,000 metro viewers on Channel Ten last night. While those numbers may be disappointing for executives in the Pyrmont offices, they are higher than it has been getting for established reality show The Biggest Loser and the revived So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD).

In the week after the Winter Olympics Ten’s total network audience share dropped from 18.8 per cent, to 14.4 per cent. This included the main channel’s worst-ever rating night, where it took just 6.4 per cent of the audience.

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Answers for Adam: Is advertising spin actually good?

In his regular column Adam Ferrier poses a question to the industry. Today he asks is advertising spin as bad as it is made out to be?

Advertising is bad right? We coerce people into buying stuff they don’t need. Further, as TV show The Checkout points out (most weeks) we sometimes just put a descriptive word like ‘Baby’, or ‘Premium’ on a certain product, and then charge more for exactly the same thing. For example, all shampoos are basically made of the same stuff – so why are some priced at $3.00 a bottle whilst ‘Premium Salon Quality’ alternatives (at product parity) cost $30 (or more)? Read more »

Mumbrella360 – how you can be involved

tim burrowes landscapeThe industry is once again being asked to get involved in this year’s Mumbrella360. Mumbrella’s Tim Burrowes explains how

This is the fourth time we’ve done this. It’s the moment to fire the starting pistol on Mumbrella360.

In the next few days we’ll be announcing at least one big new thing for Mumbrella360. But the most important thing remains the same – once again we’re inviting the industry to join us in curating the conference. You’re reading that invitation right now. Read more »

Why the new DrinkWise campaign is a fail

A new campaign by DrinkWise aimed at encouraging people to drink responsibly actually does the opposite, argues Joel Egan.

Clemenger BBDO Melbourne’s new campaign, ‘Drinking – do it properly’, is stylish, cool and well executed which ticks all the boxes for them. But I can’t help thinking that DrinkWise could be left picking up the pieces. Read more »

Reinventing the news model in the digital era

MalcolmOn Friday night Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull launched Morry Schwartz’s The Saturday Paper at a function in Sydney. This is an abridged version of his speech. 

Just a few years ago in 2008 the president of France Nicholas Sarkosy said: “democracy can not function with a press permanently on the edge of an economic precipice.” Read more »

Can Big Data predict the Best Picture Oscar winner?

With many struggling to provide insights from Big Data Bryan Melmed puts his money where his mouth is by using it to predict the winner of the Best Picture Oscar.

Can big data insights predict the winner of Best Picture at Sunday’s Oscars? We think it can and we are betting the farm on 12 Years a Slave. And this is how we figured it out. Read more »

Building Chinese relations with kids TV

A new co-produced children’s TV show between the ABC and Chinese state TV may show where the future of co-production lies.

Filmed over six months across freezing winter and the heat of summer on a set the size of a football field, located outside the city of Zhou Zhou two hours south of Beijing Hoopla Doopla posed a number of challenges for the Australian and Chinese production teams working on it, not least the language barrier.

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Personality differences: Trolls and cyberstalkers aren’t the same

In this cross posting from The Conversation Troy McEwan looks at what motivates bad online behaviour, and the best ways to handle it.

The recent death of television personality Charlotte Dawson and the possible role that online abuse played in her struggles with depression shows how damaging this behaviour can be. Read more »

The challenges of reporting on Myanmar

In this interview with Mumbrella Asia editor Robin Hicks, Melbourne-born journalist Jessica Mudditt talks about the challenges of reporting on a country that is – in fits and starts – loosening its grip on press freedom after decades of oppression.

What’s the hardest thing about reporting on Myanmar?

For me, it’s the lack of data available. Previous military regimes appear to have had zero interest in obtaining information about the people of Myanmar (other than for intelligence purposes!). A census hasn’t been conducted in more than 30 years, so even something as straightforward as the total population of Myanmar is merely an estimate, and the estimates vary quite a lot from organisation to organisation. And because Myanmar was a closed country for so long, the research that would normally have been amassed by civil society groups such as INGOs simply didn’t exist until recently. Read more »

Charlotte Dawson: A media death but a normal illness

The death of Charlotte Dawson says a bit about the media spotlight but more about the realities of mental illness, argues Mumbrella’s Tim Burrowes.

It was a strange, sickening feeling this afternoon watching Charlotte Dawson on video. I hadn’t seen it since we published the interview just over a year ago.

Read more »

Howcroft: Beautiful athletes and lack of brand hoardings makes Olympics spectacular

Great casting and a lack of intrusive branding at the sports venues makes the Olympics more of a visual feast than other sports, argues Russel Howcroft.

Casting….it’s pretty important in the television game, which is why it was interesting to read a tweet by Virginia Trioli regarding how good looking Winter Olympians are. They do make for some very attractive television. Read more »

A sceptic’s week with Google Glass

With some tipping Google Glass to further evolve change our day-to-day experiences, creative technologist and Glass sceptic Tim Devine found some surprising results after a week with the device.

In a kind of tribute to Steve Mann, the father of wearable computing, and so that I might have at least something of an informed opinion on the subject, I wore Google Glass for a week — everywhere, all the time. For thirty years Mann has worn far less sophisticated versions, so I figured it couldn’t be that onerous, and if I was to give Mann and Glass proper shrift nothing less than full immersion would do. Read more »

The data is finally in. Newspapers aren’t going to get enough digital subscribers

Friday’s audit numbers are the strongest signal yet that paywalls will not make up for lost print revenues, argues Mumbrella’s Tim Burrowes.

We’ve been talking about it for five years, but there is now finally enough data on paywalls to call it. Digital subscriptions will not save the newspaper business model.

While this has been the view of the pessimists for some time, it feels that only now is enough evidence dribbling out to reveal what those inside the publishers must have been seeing for the last few months. Most likely, they are never going to get there; at best it’s going to be a long, hard road. Read more »

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