2015 Annual: The year that was – December

annual2015 (1)2015 was another year of major change and transformation in the media and marketing world.  Mumbrella’s Nic Christensen and Miranda Ward provide a month-by-month recap of the most read and biggest stories that affected the industry.

December kicked off with Shannon Ponton, one of the long-serving trainers on Channel Ten’s The Biggest Loser, called for the show to return to its roots, but insists there remains “tremendous life and passion” in the decade-old reality franchise.

Ponton, who has put overweight contestants through their paces for nine of the 10 series, said the most recent season, which saw 1.034m metro viewers tune in for the winner’s announcement, should have contained a greater educational element which has been key to its past success.

National airline Qantas settled on a new roster of advertising agencies with The Monkeys, With Collective and BWM Dentsu all on the list.

WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell

In one of the biggest stories of the year, advertising and communications company STW Group placed its shares into a trading holt on the Australian Securities Exchange when Mumbrella revealed it was deep in negotiations for the tie-up with WPP, led by Sir Martin Sorrell. WPP then confirmed it had taken a controlling 61 per cent stake in the company.

Sorrell told Mumbrella STW Group needs to refocus its business on its Australian and New Zealand operations and not on an Asian expansion.

“It was best to focus on Australia and New Zealand,” he said.

“We have a string business in Australia and New Zealand as you know, and given the strategic focus … that STW has on Australia and NZ as it’s obviously very difficult to build, as I have said before, a business from scratch in Asia Pacific given the competitive situation and given what others, including ourselves, have been doing.

“So it’s a good time and strategically strong to bring together our business internationally and particularly Asia Pacific and combine our strong assets in Australia and New Zealand.

“The timing is right. I think STW embarked upon an extra-Australia and New Zealand expansion. It didn’t go brilliantly and this is the right time to do it.”

The final radio ratings were in for 2015 with KiisFM on top in Sydney, FoxFM first in Melbourne, ARN’s 97.3FM top in Brisbane, Mix102.3 held onto the top spot in Adelaide and Mix94.5 finish the year in first place in Perth.

Droga5 Sydney founder David Nobay set up a new brand of Publicis Groupe’s creative shop Marcel. Nobay brought over Droga5′ last remaining client Tiger Beer to set up the new shop, and has been named founder and creative chairman of the new office, which will open in January.

A campaign by the NSW Government came under fire on social media for depicting cannabis using teenagers as cartoon-style sloths, spawning parody videos and merchandise.

After days of speculation the ABC confirmed it had appointed Google executive Michelle Guthrie as its new managing director.

The much-anticipated seventh film in the Star Wars franchise has demolished box office records taking more than $27m in its first three days.

Clemenger BBDO Brisbane was left red faced after had to withdraw an outdoor campaign for the University of Queensland due an agency staffer hiding an image of a penis in the artwork.




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