2014 Annual: the year that was – July

It was another year of continual change in the media and marketing world. Over the next 12 days, Mumbrella’s Miranda Ward provides a month-by-month recap of the major stories and developments that affected the industry.

lionThe year kicked off with news in creative and media agency land beginning with Lion awarding its alcohol brands $35-$40m media account to Bohemia.

FCB then closed its door after more than 20 years in Australia, with the creative agency’s globally-aligned clients and remaining staff transferring to AJF Partnership and Cricket Australia appointed M&C Saatchi Melbourne to handle its creative account following a competitive pitch.

Following on from Mumbrella’s coverage of the print category at the Cannes Lions, Mumbrella content director Tim Burrowes wrote an open letter to McDonald’s, Panasonic and the Cannes Lions asking for help to get to the bottom of where the Cannes Lions award-winning print campaigns had run.

Terry SavageTerry Savage, the boss of the Cannes Lions, replied and said the McDonald’s and Panasonic campaigns were “legitimate” however he declined to answer further questions about where they had run.

A second media monitoring service then failed to find a trace of the Cannes Lions winning Panasonic and McDonald’s print campaigns running in Australia, with Nielsen’s Advertising Information Service (AIS) unable to locate the campaigns across the publications it monitors.

Burrowes wrote a second open letter on the Cannes Lions campaigns, this time asking for help from the agencies DDB and Saatchi & Saatchi.

McDonald's Cannes Lion campaign The Rouse Hill Times  SupermanThe McDonald’s campaign was revealed to have been published in The Rouse Hill Times on the last day of eligibility for this year’s Cannes Lions.

Mumbrella revealed the April 30 edition of The Rouse Hill Times carried a campaign for Band-Aid by JWT which was also entered for the Cannes Lions.

Another ad created by JWT Sydney for Johnson & Johnson which was shortlisted for the Press Lions in Cannes was revealed to have run just once in free parenting magazine Sydney’s Child.

A further print campaign entered in the Cannes Lions Press category was revealed to have run once in The Rouse Hill Times, with the owner of the photography company behind the campaign describing it as a “love job”.

Communications Council CEO Margaret Zabel told Mumbrella agencies dealing with claims of illegitimacy around campaigns entered into awards should be transparent about them.


Cannes Lions’ Savage defended the integrity of the competition and answered questions around scam ads in a Q&A in which he compared the campaigns to ads running at the Super Bowl.

McDonald’s chief marketing officer Mark Lollback claimed “tall poppy syndrome” was the reason questions have been raised about the brand’s Lions-winning print campaign which only ran in one local paper.

Mumbrella continued its investigation with an exhaustive review of every local entry into this year’s Cannes Press Lions raised questions about at least nine of the 20 campaigns entered from Australia this year. The review raised questions around two campaigns from Leo Burnett Sydney which promote safe driving messages for Samsung, one from Saatchi & Saatchi Sydney for mineral water brand Camp and a further campaign by Leo Burnett Sydney for Bundaberg Rum.

Mumbrella later revealed Leo Burnett Sydney’s ‘Bundy’ ad celebrating Bundaberg Rum’s 125th anniversary appeared on the cover and as a double page spread of the November issue of trade press title National Liquor News.

Following the scam investigation Mumbrella made the decision to no longer attend the Cannes Lions.

Jeep Australia competition screen shotIn other news, unsuccessful participants of Jeep’s ‘World’s Most Remote Dealership’ promotion claimed it was not run properly, threatening a class action lawsuit against the carmaker.

The New South Wales Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR) confirmed it was probing the competition while the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) cleared the car brand, saying it had made no “substantial” breaches of Australian Consumer Law.

In marketing news Telstra’s head of marketing and media Mark Buckman surprised many when he quit one of the most powerful roles in Australian marketing.

Paul Fishlock and Y&R Brands came to private arrangements regarding the payment of Fishlock’s legal costs as a result of his court case against the WPP-backed company for unfair dismissal.

And in a surprise move, alcoholic beverages company Diageo dumped its media agency Ikon Communications and appointed creative agency Leo Burnett to handle its media account.

July wrapped up with Paramount Pictures apologising for a poster promoting the Australian release of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on September 11 which featured the heroes falling from a New York skyscraper.



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