Opinion | Features
- 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.
- Ashton 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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)?
- The 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.
- 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.
- On 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."
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Nicole Kidman joins director Jonathan Teplitzky in Scotland for The Railway Man
The Railway Man sees Aussie director Jonathan Teplitzky reunite with his Burning Man producer Andy Paterson as well as The Proposition’s Chris Brown and Bill Curbishley, producer of Quadrophenia.
Casting is led by Colin Firth with Nicole Kidman and War Horse’s Jeremy Irvine.
The ten-week shoot will also take place in Thailand and Queensland as an Australian/UK co-production, between Brown’s Australian Pictures in Paradise and Paterson’s British Archer Street.
The Railway Man is an adaptation by Frank Cottrell Boyce and Paterson of Eric Lomax’s autobiographical story as an Allied prisoner of war, played by Firth, forced construct the Thai/Burma Railway in WW2 and later convinced by a beautiful woman, played by Kidman, he met on a train to confront his Japanese tormentor, played by Hiroyuki Sanada, on the bridge of the River Kwai.
Teplitzky and Paterson will also reunite with Burning Man’s Australia and New Zealand distributor Transmission Films for this new project.
Andrew Mackie, MD of Transmission Films said in a press release: “We are overjoyed to be working with Jonathan, Andy and Chris again, and the accomplished creative team and cast they’ve brought together for what we know will be a remarkable film. The Railway Man is truly an international production, with a story that has roots in Australia plus a wealth of Australia talent in front and behind the camera. This will be a major film for 2013.”
The film is backed by Screen Australia in association with Silver Reel, Screen Queensland, Creative Scotland and Lionsgate UK.
The meeting between Lomax and his tormentor was first filmed in a documentary called Enemy My Friend in 1995 by director Mike Finlason.
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