Year in Review: June – Studio 10’s sex tape; Optus EPL backlash; Eddie McGuire’s apology

2016 was another year of major change and transformation in the media and marketing world. Mumbrella provides a month-by-month recap of the most read and biggest stories that affected the industry.

Studio 10 was reprimanded by the Australian Communications and Media Authority on the first day of June, after the show aired still images of actor Rob Lowe’s sex tape with an underage female.

Studio 10

The ACMA ruled Ten breached the Code of Practice as the material was not in accordance with its PG classification.

Following backlash on its decision to charge $15 per month to access the English Premier League, Optus announced it would offer free access to the EPL for new and existing subscribers.optus-EPL-sign-up-page-468x154

The company’s decision led to the reduction of a minimum spend for customers to get free access, from $85-per-month to $30-per-month.

Ben White, managing director of marketing at product at Optus, said of the announcement: “To celebrate our first Premier League season, we’re making it more affordable than ever by giving customers their first season for free on a range of plans from as little as $30 a month.”

Also in June, News Corp hired its new chief marketing officer, Tony Phillips, former Woolworths and Coles marketer.

tony philips wide

Phillips: News Corp’s new chief marketing officer

Phillips was replaced with Damian Eales, who was promoted as managing director of metro and regional publishing.

Following the increasing amount of pitches from the previous year, Peter Horgan, chairman at the Media Federation, blamed the rise in pitches on media agency staff turnover rate – which was at almost 35%.

Horgan, who was also CEO at OMD at the time, said while the industry was experiencing “unprecedented change” the increasing number of people leaving media agencies was a concern.

“In this environment, you adapt or perish, but non-stop pitching as a perceived solution to trust issues exacerbates the problem,” Horgan said.

“A merry go round of pitch promises and the extra workload, and the resource allocation away from solving client problems is a vicious cycle of burnout and under delivery. It’s an industry wide problem and one that we need to address collectively.”

Also in June, The Remarkables Group announced it would reposition itself as an influencer connections agency.

the remarkables group logo

The group started out as an influencer talent agency; however, it decided to change its focus to strategic connections and ideation between influencers and brands.

Pitches continued to disrupt the industry, with Lion announcing its $50m media account was up for grabs, and its incumbent Bohemia would not compete.

At the same time, Australian Olympic team announced WPP AUNZ as its creative advertising agency.

As part of the partnership, WPP AUNZ would be required to create a national campaign aimed at fan engagement and broad awareness of the 2016 Australian Olympic Team.

AOC strip Javelin WPP Olympic Live the Dream, Love the Team

In another pitch watch, Mumbrella reported Volkswagen was undertaking a global realignment that would see its agency Mediacom losing the brand’s $35m media account.

Many were left outraged towards the end of the month when TripleM breakfast host Eddie McGuire made comments about drowning The Age reporter, Caroline Wilson.


McGuire was forced to apologise for his remarks.

Before long, Channel Nine Footy Show host Sam Newman described the media’s coverage of McGuire’s comments as “excrement.”

Newman, a friend of McGuire’s, accused Wilson of hypocrisy, saying “if you want to be treated equally don’t complain when it’s too equal.”

A big headline for SBS was the announcement of its partnership with Vice, with plans to launch a lifestyle and culture TV channel in Australia.


The new channel, Viceland, would feature Australian-produced programs focusing on a “distinct, immersive style of original lifestyle and culture content for young viewers.”

The Cannes Lions advertising awards caused controversy, when Grey Singapore’s non functioning ‘I Sea’ app won an award.

The app, which allegedly helped people scan the Mediterranean for stranded boats carrying migrants, was called out as fake by technology experts.

Also in Cannes, BBDO pulled its Brazilian agency’s work for Bayer and forced them to return their Bronze Lion for an ad they were paid to run, and which encouraged rape culture.

BBDO’s global creative chief David Lubars said when he learned of the agency’s win with a “scammy ad” he told them to return it. “BBDO doesn’t want that kind of Lion,” Lubars said.

One of the bigger announcements of the month was Ooh Media’s acquisition of Junkee Media.

Junkee media ooh media

The outdoor company bought 85% of the publisher for $11.05m, with the remainding 15% among Junkee’s existing shareholders.

As the month came to a close, Uber appointed One Green Bean as its PR agency while McDonald’s shortlisted five PR agencies for its account.

One of the most positive stories of the month came from Sydney agency, The Works, announcing it would pay for childcare for staff to keep more parents from moving to other businesses that were more family-friendly.

The first news of algorithm ‘announcements’ for the year arrived at the end of June, with Facebook announcing it would prioritise posts from friends on its newsfeed rather than content from publishers and brands.


The annual Mumbrella Awards on June 30 capped off the month with independent agency Cummins & Partners taking home Independent, Full Service and overall Agency of the Year awards.


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