How Qantas ignored the social media warning signals

IAlicia Kennedy Meltwatern this guest post Alicia Kennedy of online monitoring service Meltwater argues that Qantas failed to understand customer sentiment before launching its disastrous Twitter contest to win pyjamas.

By now, you’ve undoubtedly seen the latest social media debacle erupt over #QantasLuxury.

What started out as an act of goodwill to improve weeks of negative publicity, very quickly went south when thousands of people hijacked the hashtag to fire relentless comments about the recent Qantas grounding.

Just two hours after the competition was launched, #QantasLuxury reached ‘breaking trend’ status in Australia and was averaging approximately 130 tweets per 10 minutes.  Overnight, there were over 14,700 social media mentions not just in Australia but in the US and UK too.   Read more »

A grad’s guide to Australia’s top ad agencies

In this guest post, Lou Hayward, a student in the market for a job at an ad agency, says how well she thinks agencies in the Mumbrella Creative Agency Review are set up to take in new blood. 

In alphabetical order, she recounts her experiences after approaching 13 of Australia’s top shops.

BMF. Take a look at the long list of ‘fun’ in the ‘join us’ section of the BMF website and you’d be forgiven for thinking you were looking at some sort of holiday resort. Pinball machines, two full-time massage therapists, pilates classes, BBQs. I’m sold!

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A sexy funding solution for an age-old problem

Chris Murray proposes an ingenious plan to help fund local screen productions with the naughty dollar.

It has recently come to light that the Hungarian government has some innovative ideas for supporting their local film industry. By introducing three different taxes, our European friends plan to channel funds into local productions and ailing art house cinemas.

The first tax would apply to local porn websites; another, a three per cent tax on multiplex tickets, to funnel into art house exhibition; and finally a general 20 per cent tax break on foreign productions.

According to Variety, the latter has so far generated a US$98 million injection into the local economy via the miniseries World Without End, The Borgias and feature film 47 Ronin starring Keanu Reeves. This is on top of income from Brad Pitt’s US$125m budgeted zombie flick World War Z which is currently shooting in the Hungarian capital, Budapest. Read more »

Credit where it’s due – today’s SMH shows what it’s capable of

If you want to see why newspapers still have a point, refer to today’s Sydney Morning Herald and its report on the powerbrokers of the NSW Labor party.

First, Kate McClymont’s investigation contains the sort of detailed, legally challenging material that newspapers are among the only outlets capable of investing in researching.

And second, when I say newspapers, I mean newspapers. Read more »

Guess what we’ve been up to

Thanks very much for asking. Yes, as it happens, I have been busy.

Mainly I’ve been falling back in love with print journalism.

You see, a while back, we bought a magazine called Encore. And for the last few months we’ve been moving it closer to Mumbrella world.   Read more »

Meet the anonymous trolls of AdNews

For the seven people who are intensely interested in the activities of Australia’s marketing trade press, this one is just for you.

You may have noticed that there’s been something of a furore over anonymous comments this week. Read more »

We don’t want draconian reforms but the editors are disinclined to work together

anthony_freedmanYesterday, it was reported that the Communications Council wants the trade press to ban anonymous comments. Mumbrella editor Tim Burrowes argued that appropriate moderation is a better approach. In this guest posting, Communications Council chairman Anthony Freedman argues that the issue still needs to be addressed

It seems the article that Simon Canning published in The Australian yesterday has really put the cat amongst the pigeons in suggesting the intention of The Communications Council is to outlaw all anonymous comments.   Read more »

Am I ageist… or a realist?

In this guest post, Ben Lilley responds to ‘ageist’ comments made about him after he pronounced that the traditional ad agency model was dead.

I’ve recently been accused of being ageist. Again. This last happened several years ago, when I was running a younger agency with a handful of youth brands requiring, not surprisingly, young people to work on them.

I was a bit younger then myself – not too much though. I’ve still yet to hit the ripe old age of 40. But now that I’m back in the multinational agency realm, it’s been suggested I only want to populate my new agency with ‘young people’ all over again.

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Moderation still seems a better choice than banning all anonymous comment

Here are some comments you haven’t read on Mumbrella in the last month:

“This guy is a douche”

“Xxxxx is a prick.”

“I think we all know what she really needs.”

“Boring work.”

“Smug little suit…a nasty performance from the pommy bastard. Self-satisfaction is the order of the day!”

“Same old shit from the Xxxxxx team.”

“He was useless in his last job. He’ll be useless in this one.”


“He really is a sad, abusive, supercilious twat.”

“He seems like a little worm” Read more »

The end of News Limited being led by a journo – now it’s the man who gets paid content

John Hartigan, News LtdThe character of News Limited is about to change.

The opening words used by John Hartigan when he gave the Andrew Olle Media Lecture in 2007 give the clue why:

“My name is John Kenneth Hartigan. Occupation: journalist. A journalist is what I am, who I am, and what I will always be. When you wanted to be a journalist as fervently as I did, took as long to become one as I did, and love it as much as I do – you are never anything else.”

It used to be that a key point of difference between Australia’s two behemoths was that News Limited was run by a journo and Fairfax by a suit. In almost exactly a year that has reversed.   Read more »

Coke gets content

If you didn’t have time to to get along to NineMSN’s digital marketing summit today, one of the sessions you missed was from Shubu Mitra, The Coca Cola Company’s director of connections planning, effectiveness and productivity.

Instead, I recommend investing seven minutes in watching this video from the brand – as good an articulation as any of how marketers make the most of the new media landscape.    Read more »

Should ad agencies advertise themselves?

In this guest post, James Welch wonders whether ad agencies should make ads about themselves.

In 2006 I was on a project at Patts Y&R Melbourne. The now-famous Russel Howcroft had just been appointed as MD. The receptionist asked me what project I was working on. I explained that I was working for Russel, helping them articulate today’s stories for the agency and to find ways to package them up for prospective clients. The receptionist’s summary was succinct: “You’re advertising the advertising agency!”

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Should we trust consumer research?

In this guest post, James Wright questions whether marketers buy consumer research for the right reasons.

Eighty-five per cent of all research is made up on the spot, or so goes the old joke. Pick up any newspaper or visit any news website and you will find some sort of frothy research insight into attitudes and behaviour. Recently there have been a number of investigations into how accurate consumer research is. ABC’s Media Watch recently devoted a program to looking at the behaviour of McCrindle Research and the most recent piece appeared yesterday in the Sunday Telegraph looking at research company Canstar Blue. The underlying question being, can we trust research?

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Stop making sex objects of women and kids

In this guest post, Melinda Tankard Reist calls on advertisers to stop sexualising kids and objectifying women

The ad industry has the nasty habit of using self-regulation to its commercial advantage, exploiting women’s bodies in the process. Corporate social responsibility is sacrificed on an altar of sexism.

Inadequacies in the system include a weak code of ethics, no pre-vetting of ads, the Ad Standards Bureau’s powerlessness to order the removal of ads, inadequate monitoring and no meaningful penalties.

Many people don’t know how to make a complaint. Self regulation means the industry gets to do what it wants – and pretty much get away with it.

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Whybins Sydney: Mumbrella Creative Agency Review – New business, new capabilities, ‘pretty good’ work

MCAR coverThe newly published Mumbrella Creative Agency Review examines Australia’s top 30 ad agencies. Today Robin Hicks examines how Whybin\TBWA\Sydney has fared over the last 12 months.

Whybin\TBWA\Sydney is the third most highly-ranked agency from a multinational network, after Clemenger BBDO Melbourne and Host, and is described by one panellist as “one of the most exciting shops in Sydney”.

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Whybins Melbourne: Mumbrella Creative Agency Review – Melbourne’s ‘safe bet’ secured the win of the year in ANZ

MCAR coverThe newly published Mumbrella Creative Agency Review examines Australia’s top 30 ad agencies. Today Robin Hicks examines how Whybin\TBWA\Melbourne has fared over the last 12 months.

Whybin\TBWA\Melbourne was something of a quiet achiever for much of the last 12 months, even with regional chairman and creative figurehead Scott Whybin still a regular presence in the office. Until the agency landed the biggest, if not the most prestigious, new business catch of 2011.

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The Monkeys: Mumbrella Creative Agency Review – No longer ‘drunk’, the attractive indie had a good year

MCAR coverThe newly published Mumbrella Creative Agency Review examines Australia’s top 30 ad agencies. Today Robin Hicks examines how The Monkeys has fared over the last 12 months.

Triple-digit revenue and profit growth on the back of new business including Ikea, Google, Diageo and Sydney Opera House. One of the best pieces of branded content of the year in The Ship Song Project. It is probably fair that The Monkeys – formerly The Three Drunk Monkeys – tops our survey in the most exciting category: momentum.

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The Campaign Palace Sydney: Mumbrella Creative Agency Review – Cycle needs to change for flailing ‘industry icon’

MCAR coverThe newly published Mumbrella Creative Agency Review examines Australia’s top 30 ad agencies. Today Robin Hicks examines how The Campaign Palace Sydney has fared over the last 12 months.

With Panasonic the only really visible client left, and the memories of the halcyon days of the ‘80s and ‘90s growing ever fainter, it is a sad sight to the see The Campaign Palace Sydney at the bottom of our survey with the lowest score overall.

The Palace was by some distance the poorest rated agency by our panel, with its highest rank being for creativity. They were not kind in their appraisal, one calling The Palace “an agency racing headlong into oblivion,” adding, “I can only imagine it made the top 30 on past reputation.”

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