Live blog: Thursday, September 4

Welcome to Mumbrella’s live blog, our daily roundup of what’s happening in media and marketing.

Top Stories:

1:19pm – The tributes are already coming in after the news that Peter Biggs has decided to retire as CEO of  Clemenger Melbourne. This one from one of his major competitors down the years:

To see a great practitioner and in the nicest way I say this – a combatant – leave the industry makes me feel a little lost. A more charming, erudite and sophisticated man I can’t remember meeting. Holmes needed Moriarty. Salieri needed Mozart. And anyone who wanted to be any good needed Biggs. I enjoyed knowing you were there.
Age quod agis.

Sean Cummins

12:30pm – Chrissy Blackburn, global strategy partner and head of brand strategy at The Leading Edge has departed the agency after two-and-a-half years to go freelance.

12:13pm – Freeview Australia’s general manager Liz Ross has conceded the absence of two major regional broadcasters from its new HbbTV offering Freeview Plus has created a “complex” picture for consumers outside the five major metropolitan markets.

11:55am – We’ll be hanging out with one of the men behind Pandora’s ‘Music Genome Project’ at 2pmAEST. You can ask Steve Hogan questions in the comment thread on the post or on Twitter using the hashtag #askpandora.

11:45am – The competition regulator has given the all-clear for the acquisition of ACT-based All Homes by Fairfax after concluding the declining circulation of the Canberra Times was among the reasons why the deal would not damage competition in the online or print real estate market.

10:59am – Back at the ASTRA conference and Richard Freudenstein has just announced to the ASTRA conference that Foxtel will drop it’s basic package to just $25. You can see the new prices below.

Freudenstein told the audience he is “absolutely confident” that the new pricing structure will drive major subscriber growth.

Foxtel packages prices

10:54am – News filtering out of the ASTRA conference as  it looks like Foxtel Go is set for a rebrand to Foxtel Anytime, part of a commitment by the pay-TV operator to make it’s content more available.

CEO of Foxtel Richard Freudenstein just told the room that he also wants “Foxtel to be the Australian equivalent of HBO”. More on his speech later this morning.

Foxtel Anytime announcement

10:44am – The ASTRA pay-TV conference is happening today, and international keynote Gerard Zeiler president of Turner International has told the forum “TV is still needed by big brands” arguing it is the only medium that can deliver audiences on mass.

Astra conference gerard Zeiler Turner international

10:34am TV ratings are in, Ten’s The Bachelor cracked the top ten after boosting its audience by 145,000 while Extant continues to flounder despite a modest audience increase.

9:45am – The IAB has announced its shortlist for the coveted online audience measurement contract, with incumbent Nielsen battling GfK which produces the radio ratings, for the prize.

8:21am – Good morning, here’s what’s been going on overnight internationally:

Mumbrella Asia: Ikea parodies tech obsession with launch of its 2015 catalogue in Singapore and Malaysia

“Ikea has launched its 2015 print catalogue in Singapore and Malaysia with a parody of digital technology and how people use it.

In a demonstration video, created by BBH, the “power of the Bookbook” is unveiled. The video, housed on an Ikea microsite, explains that the Bookbook comes with ‘The Original Touch Interface’, an ‘Eternal Battery Life’ and pages that ‘load instantly, with zero lag’.”

Mashable: Toilets Make a Catchy Case for Net Neutrality

“Thinkmodo, the New York-based creator of serial viral hits like the “Devil Baby” and “Bubba’s Hovercraft,” is getting serious.

Well, sort of.

The agency has released a plaintive plea for net neutrality, pitting the masses against greedy Wall Street types who seek to strangle the Internet with tiered pricing. The video features a bouncy number from Bobby Jo Valentine called “Don’t Flush Our Rights Away,” which sounds like it’s off of Jack Johnson’s Curious George soundtrack. It also features toilets, lots of them.”

AdWeek: YouTube May Be Worth Up to $40 Billion—More Than Twitter

“YouTube, broken out from Google’s overall business, is potentially worth more than Twitter with a valuation up to $40 billion, according to an analysis released today by Jefferies.

The report looked at the growth of digital video advertising and YouTube, a top beneficiary of this growing segment. Jefferies said online video ads would be a $17 billion market in the U.S. by 2017 and that YouTube will grow from $5.9 billion in video ad sales this year to $8.9 billion in 2016.”

AdAge: Marlena Peleo-Lazar Departs as McDonald’s U.S. Chief Creative

“McDonald’s U.S. Chief Creative Officer Marlena Peleo-Lazar is leaving the chain, Ad Age has learned.

Ms. Peleo-Lazar is a key player in advertising creative for McDonald’s, which spent $1.43 billion in U.S. advertising last year, and was instrumental in the creation and implementation of the company’s global “I’m lovin’ it” tagline.”

AdWeek: This Is How You Make an Ad for Cat Treats Look Like a Nike Commercial

“Want to buy Temptations’ newest cat treats and throw them at your cat?

Better stretch out first, man.

The Mars Petcare brand just rolled out new Temptations Tumblers—treats that are apparently more perfectly spherical that regular old Temptations treats. (“Now you can roll, toss or bounce delicious treats for your cats,” the brand says.)”

Campaign: Jean Claude Van Damme’s most epic ads

“Campaign takes a look at the actor Jean Claude Van Damme’s greatest ads.

Action film stars who made their name in the 1980s have no trouble finding roles these days, as long as they are willing to play to their ironic appeal.

None have done this better in commercials than Jean Claude Van Damme, who has swapped earnestly taking out legions of villains in movies for flexing his muscles (from Brussels) with knowing grin.”

The Guardian: Surely the Daily Mail can’t be cirrus with its iCloud explanation

“Help was at hand for Daily Mail readers unaware exactly what the “cloud” is about in the wake of the celebrity photo hacking scandal. “What is the iCloud?” it asked. “And should you trust it with your family pictures?” First things first: It’s “not an actual cloud,” said the paper. Well, that one’s cleared up then.”


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