John Harlow – The brilliant misfit who changed the media world

mike wilsonIn this guest post, Mike Wilson recalls John Harlow, the iconoclast who shook up the media planning world with the launch of Naked Communications.

It’s always hard writing a piece like this, when you know that most Mumbrella readers won’t have known John personally, who was just yet another Pom leading light in the industry. It’s also hard, because everyone will also know someone, or know of someone, who has died far too young – just 45 in John’s case – and who has been devastated by alcoholism.

John and I wrote the original agreement to open Naked Australia on the back of a beer coaster, taken from the Shelbourne Hotel in Sydney’s Kent Street. Read more »

Q&A with Sunita Gloster

Sunita GlosterIn a piece that first appeared in Encore, Sunita Gloster, CEO, Australian Association of National Advertisers talks about Twitter voyeurism and why good shoes are important to getting ahead.

Who is the most powerful person in Australian media and why?

I don’t think there is anyone that has more power at their disposal right now than Kevin Rudd. He would probably agree. Read more »

Savage counsel – tackling your goals one at a time

Chris SavageEach week in Encore, Chris Savage answers your industry questions and career dilemmas. This week, he looks at tackling your goals one at a time.

Hi Chris,

I am struggling to progress at the agency where I work. I have been here for seven years and have done well, if I do say so myself. But in the past 18 months, I seem to have stagnated. I am still ambitious and I want to keep moving up the ladder but I feel like I have lost my mojo. How do you stay motivated to achieve your goals? Read more »

The Kim Williams legacy: a lesson in who runs News

Kim WilliamsFriday’s departure of News Corp Australia’s Kim Williams came about because of his failure to master the internal politics of the company and by the collapse of sales revenues, writes Nic Christensen.

Among the legacies of the Williams years at News Corp may well be the passage of two phrases, “grin fucking” and “tummy compass”, into the Australian media lexicon. Read more »

Staying in touch with the common man in a taxi to Cannes

In a piece that first appeared in Encore, Ralph van Dijk says we need to pay attention to what our intended audiences have to say, a lesson reinforced by a taxi driver in Cannes.

ralph van dijk
I always talk to taxi drivers. They’re economic barometers, radio experts and occasionally, voiceover stars. Read more »

Kung Fu Pander: a play for local audiences

Lee ZachariahWhile Americans have mastered the art of including characters from local markets as a ploy to get audiences on side, Aussie film-makers and local audiences are yet to get on board, which may be a good thing says Lee Zachariah in a piece that first appeared in Encore.

If you were one of the thousands of audience members who added to Iron Man 3’s box-office blitz earlier this year, you may well have enjoyed the work of Bingbing Fan and Xueqi Wang as Chinese doctors tasked with helping Tony Stark. Read more »

A worthy pledge or just another marketing campaign?

Chris NooneBrands can make as many promises as they like but they need to keep them says Chris Noone, in a piece that first appeared in Encore.

Fierce competition and the rise of the informed consumer are taking brands into new battlegrounds. Competing on price, service and features is no longer enough to get consumers to take notice. Many brands are now trying to differentiate themselves by being ‘good’ or ‘honest’. These catchphrases make great marketing campaigns, but what obligation do marketers have to ensure that they are actually delivering on the commitments they make? Read more »

Can Rudd cash in on the Obama effect?

Rachel MulhollandCan Kevin Rudd’s appointment of Obama’s digital team have an actual impact on the forthcoming election? In a piece that first appeared in EncoreRachel Mulholland looks at the likelihood.

Rudd’s decision to hire Obama’s digital SWAT team has upped the social media stakes in the forthcoming election. But will this have a tangible impact on the polls? Obama’s social media big guns will likely give Rudd an edge with young Australians; something he’s worked hard to build since before the ‘07 election.   Read more »

Gruen’s ten favourite episodes of The Pitch

With the return of the Gruen franchise to ABC1 next week, producer Jon Casimir shares some of his favourite contributions to The Pitch, in which agencies take a crack at selling the unsellable.

Our favourite ten Pitch ads? Wow, this was hard. There have been many amazing contributions across four seasons of The Gruen Transfer, two of Gruen Planet and one each of Gruen Nation and Gruen Sweat. Some have stopped us in our tracks, others have melted the office down in laughter. Many hands and minds at many agencies have gone beyond the call of duty to come up with ads for our show. We can never thank them enough. Or pay them enough, but that’s an ABC budget for you… Read more »

Murdoch and his influence on Australian political life

david-mcknight-1315983543Media mogul Rupert Murdoch has always wanted to influence political outcomes but not always for commercial reasons argues David McKnight in a post that first appeared on The Conversation

In 2007, journalist Ken Auletta spent a great deal of time with Rupert Murdoch while writing a magazine profile of him. Auletta observed that Murdoch was frequently on the phone to his editors and this prompted him to ask: “of all the things in your business empire, what gives you the most pleasure?” Murdoch instantly replied: “being involved with the editor of a paper in a day-to-day campaign… trying to influence people”. Read more »

Caught in a Bubble

Are media, marketing and entertainment Bubble-Dome-USE-THISprofessionals caught in an inner city latte-sipping bubble that’s out of touch with the rest of Australia? How can they continue to be relevant to an audience that leads a life very different to their own? In a feature that first appeared in EncoreAmanda Meade finds out.

When News Corp’s group editorial director Campbell Reid edited The Daily Telegraph and The Australian in the late 1990s he prided himself on catching public transport instead of driving his company car and parking it in the company car park.

As busy as he was, Reid insisted the daily commute with the general public kept him in touch with the readers of his papers. Read more »

Q&A with Andrew Maiden

In a piece that first appeared in EncoreASTRA 004Andrew Maiden, the CEO of subscription television industry body ASTRA, talks about his guilty media pleasure of binging on news bulletins.

Who is the most powerful person in Australian media and why?
Kim Williams because of his success over many years leading different media entities, and because News Corp has a large reach, enjoys financial success and, importantly, takes seriously its responsibility to advocate for policy reforms that expand consumer choice and encourage investment. Read more »

Devondale – advertising that works

Take a look at the picture below.

It’s Devondale Dairy Soft spread. On my kitchen table.

I’ve never bought it before.

But yesterday, I watched DDB Melbourne’s new ad for the brand. Read more »

Did Ellen really have an effect?

In March this year we trumpeted the Ellenvisit of talk show host Ellen DeGeneres to our shores predicting increased tourism numbers and a successful launch of Australian vitamin brand Swisse in the US. But did it actually happen? In a feature that first appeared in EncoreNic Christensen investigates.

It was late March of this year when Australia caught a dose of what several media outlets took to calling “Ellen fever” – an unusual condition that supposedly saw thousands of people turn out to see American talk show queen Ellen DeGeneres in person, as she filmed segments around the country for her program. Read more »

Savage counsel – securing new business

Each week in Encore, STW’s Chris SavageChris Savage answers your agency and career questions. This week he talks about the recipe for securing new business.

Hi Chris,

I am in charge of new business at a major integrated agency in Melbourne and have been in the role almost a year. Our hit rate with prospects has been pretty good, but given there seems less opportunity around, I am really anxious to ensure we win more of what we go after. In your experience, what are clients most looking for when they are reviewing agencies?  Read more »

So little time to develop social media strategy

David MaguireLabor has left it late to start a grassroots social media election campaign, argues Murdoch University’s David Maguire in a post which first appeared on The Conversation

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd set out from the election announcement to goad Opposition Leader Tony Abbott into a-debate-a-week schedule during the 33-day campaign.

The media-savvy PM and self-admitted “underdog” understands it is important to seize every opportunity to help the electorate to compare-and-contrast him directly with the main opponent. Read more »

Actually, Kyle. You’re the piece of shit

tim burrowes landscapeKyle Sandilands’ two year grudge against a young female journalist shows he has not changed, argues Mumbrella’s Tim Burrowes

Imagine, you’re a young journo.

You work for one of the big publishers, but you’re no bigwig yourself.

You haven’t got a particularly high profile, and basically you just cover your beat.

You’re just like hundreds of other journos.

Until you cross Kyle Sandilands’ radar. Read more »

A new approach to business models

Chris StephensonWhy settle for one business operating under one model? Why not spread the love across multiple models within the one business. In an opinion piece that first appeared in EncoreChris Stephenson explores the possibility.

There is no question that the media landscape is deep in the throes of its greatest period of change to date. This is no more evident than for journalism, news and print media. There is a specific danger in continuing to think of them as one and the same thing, especially as shifts in ad media revenues put pressure on existing business models. Based on the premise that journalism is of fundamental importance, how can – and should – we protect journalism as news organisation revenues continue to come under threat? Read more »

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