Opinion | Features
- With several of Australia's biggest media accounts coming up for tender and many changing hands this year Chris Walton looks at what is causing so many client-agency relationships to fracture. A cursory glance at the recent stories, opinion pieces and comments in the trade press present an image of significant rumblings of discontent in our industry. A quick count of media relationships that are or have recently been reviewed is evidence of this - Woolworths, Federal Government, Lion, Diageo, Nestle and CBA are a few accounts that fall into this category.
- As the government considers changes to national security legislation Keiran Hardy looks at what today's proposals would mean for the media if implemented, in a cross-posting from The Conversation. The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) will publish its report on the National Security Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2014 (Cth) sometime during this sitting of parliament. The bill, introduced in the last sitting of parliament, has attracted significant criticism for the potential impact of proposed offences on media outlets. The main fear, fuelled by the fallout from the WikiLeaks and Snowden affairs, is that journalists could be imprisoned for reporting intelligence abuses or mistakes revealed by a “whistleblowing” intelligence officer, even when doing so would be in the public interest.
- With publishers struggling to monetise digital and marketers unable to achieve cut through John McLean argues it's time to ditch banner ads and get collaborating. In a medium infatuated and necessitated by innovation, display advertising has been criminally bereft of it since it’s inception 20 years ago. The first banner ad appeared in Wired Magazine in 1994* and little has changed since around 2000 when rich media placements became more common due to better connection speeds.
- With Buzzfeed pushing to be recognised as a news site Ciaran Norris looks at why it matters for new online media outlets to be seen as serious. Every morning on its News Breakfast show the ABC runs through the major stories on the front pages of the day’s newspapers, covering everything from the Sydney Morning Herald to The Age, the Daily Telegraph to The Mercury. But it has also, for some time, included the homepage of the Australian version of The Guardian which differs from the rest of the organisations included because it has no printed version.
- In 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.
- Instant 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.
- In 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.
- In 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.
- Using 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.”
- This 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.
- After 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.
- In 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.
- In 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.
- Yesterday 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.
- In 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.
KFC launches The Double – the sandwich that replaces bread with chicken
KFC is to launch its controversial Double Down snack in Australia on Wednesday.
The snack launched in the US last year where it was dubbed “the unhealthiest sandwich ever” but was also a major marketing success with a planned six week shelf life extended on the back of strong sales.
Featuring no bread or salad, it sandwiches two types of cheese and bacon between two pieces of chicken.
The product – renamed for Australia as The Double, rather than Double Down, is being marketed as “the ultimate manfood”. It will be backed by a month of marketing activity targeting KFC’s mile customer base labelled “The month of mantime”.
A mailout went to KFC’s cutomer base today telling them:
“There are no equivalents here, The Double IS the man. It’s the burger that says NO to bread buns and HELL YES to double fresh breast fillet, rasher bacon, double cheese, double awesome!”
Nutritional information on The Double is not yet available on KFC’s Australian website, but the US version lists it as amounting to 540 calories (2268kJ) and containing 32g of fat. At present KFC’s chicken cheeseburgers contain 19.6g of fat.
The launch is likely to put renwed focus on the issue of responsible marketing in Australia by fast food companies. Although there is a Quick Service Restaurant Industry code of conduct administered by the Advertising Standards Bureau, it only covers responsible marketing to children.
Among the first to experience The Double in Australia was Chaser Chas Licciardello who custom ordered one last year and tweeted the moment.
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