2015 Annual: The year that was – June

annual2015 (1)It has been 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.

Mamamia logoJune kicked off with the union representing journalists in Australia raising concerns after online publisher Mamamia posted job adverts looking for subeditors in India and Bangladesh.

Media Entertainment Arts Alliance (MEAA) CEO Paul Murphy expressed concern about the move saying: “Cutting costs by offshoring risks alienating your loyal readership as embarrassing errors creep into stories, and has the potential for costly disasters. There are plenty of great subs with years of experience seeking work in Australia – why not employ some of them?”

Independent agencies dominated the 2015 Mumbrella Award winners list with Match Media and The Monkeys taking out the Media Agency and Creative Agency of the Year awards respectively.

Optus logoJune was also the month that the biggest media pitch of 2015 launched, with Optus reviewing all of its agency relationships. The pitch involved both Optus and Virgin Mobile and is worth some $60m in media billings and was still unresolved as Christmas rolled around (check before publishing).

Struggling marketing and communications business STW Group revealed it will reduce its number of businesses from 80 to 50 as more details emerged of the restructure and consolidation underway at the company.

Chief executive Mike Connaghan spelt out the need to build “bigger and better” businesses, and admitting that the process of consolidation “will be bruising” and would lead to job losses and the removal of “dead wood”.’

June also saw the boss of Australia’s second largest media agency Mediacom Mark Pejic abruptly depart months after the misreporting scandal had hit his agency.

Days later it would emerge that Pejic had been tapped to take the new role of Melbourne chairman of IPG Mediabrands.

dan ilic

Illic fired by AJ+

It was also the month in which Australian satirist Dan Ilic lost his position with Al Jazeera after the network’s youth channel AJ+ fired him for using company resources in a video application for The Daily Show.

“(When I applied for the Daily Show) I literally bought a ticket for the lottery and got fired for it,” Ilic told Mumbrella. “That’s show business.”

One of the biggest media deals of 2015 was announced in June with Ten and Foxtel finally announcing their long-awaited deal that will see the pay-TV network take a 15 per cent stake in Ten with the free-to-air company set to buy a 25 per cent interest in Multi Channel Network.

Ten also took an option for two years to become a 10 per cent shareholder in Presto, the streaming firm jointly owned by Foxtel and Seven West Media. Foxtel paid $77m for the Ten shares, valuing each share at $0.15c.

Public broadcaster the ABC also dominated the headlines with Q&A sparking national debate over the appearance of dormer terrorism suspect Zaky Mallah in the talk show’s audience.

The issue dominated news headlines for weeks and the ABC eventually commissioned an independent review which found that the program did not have a “left wing bias”.

June finished with the closure of Dentsu Aegis media agency Huckleberry just days after Huckleberry lost its biggest client Medibank Private to sister agency Carat.

In a statement to Mumbrella the company said: “The Dentsu Aegis Network has conducted a strategic review of Huckleberry agency.  As a result of this review and with discussions with clients and staff underway, it is expected that Huckleberry agency will discontinue its operations in 2015.”


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