Mumbrella live blog: Monday, February 17

Welcome to Mumbrella’s live blog – keeping you up to date with what’s happening as it happens. Check in throughout the day for all the latest. Refresh the page regularly for updates.

Highlights: South Australia elects new PRIA representatives after walk-out |Will media buyers back a Schapelle Corby interview? |JWT ECD Mark Harricks quits the agency after three years |INXS telemovie loses viewers as Ten’s dancing show continues to struggle | Opinion: Online subs will not save newspapers | takes back top spot in Nielsen rankings | Virgin Australia’s open letter advert attacking Qantas |

Devine models Glass

Devine models Glass

5:42pm – Looking for a first-class read for your way home? Why not try out the unfeasibly tall Tim Devine’s account of his week living with Google Glass. Apparently it makes going into public toilets quite awkward.

5:18pm – We’re just 45 minutes away from Mumbrella Asia’s first hangout, which you can watch on this page, where Robin Hicks will be talking to the Rising Stars of the media industry in Asia Pacific.

5:03pm – It was a quiet opening for Oscar-tipped Dallas Buyers Club, but Wolf of Wall Street reclaimed the top spot in the Australian box office over the weekend.

4:50pm – We’ve just been reminded of this piece in the Rear Window section of the Australian Financial Review this morning. It appears UM boss Mat Baxter’s office has a leak.

4:11pm – Ian Mannix has joined the debate on the future of newspaper digital revenues: “I’d pay good money for an online publication sourced solely from SMH; Age/FinReview/Canberra Times. They would have one back room; one parl. bureau in Canberra; one economics desk etc etc…cutting duplicated costs. All the time giving me an outstanding paper with relevant news, well informed opinion, local content and great sport.

“Instead the old MSM stick to the old model – if I want all that I have to subscribe to three or four papers. I wont do that.”

3:31pm – The new state leaders are slowly emerging from PRIA. South Australia has replaced its board after the mass exodus last week, with more expected to follow very soon.

3:15pm. Mumbrella’s Nic Christensen is back on air. This time he’s talking live to 774 ABC about Victorian premier Denis Napthine’s Berlin Wall faux pas. For reasons we don’t fully understand, he’s changed his shirt since the SBS interview.

nic abc 774

James Wright Red Agency2:54pm – More CommsCon news. Hot on the heels of announcing Joe Jareck of the LA Dodgers as our keynote, we’ve also just revealed Cannes Lions juror from last year and Red Agency boss James Wright will be sharing some of the best case studies the world has to offer.  Also a reminder that entries to the awards for the event close this Friday, February 21. Tick tock.

2:32pm – It’s like Tim “Rosso” Ross day here on Mumbrella. You wait ages for the drive time radio host to get an endorsement gig, and then two come along at once. We’re not sure how car advertising and an alcohol endorsement go hand-in-hand though. But as Rosso can do no wrong at Mumbrella House, we’re not going to question it.

2:19pm – There’s been a lot of chatter today around the revelations News Corp received an $800m tax rebate from the Federal Government. Want to get clued up – try this neat wrap of the story on the Guardian’s website.

1:35pm – SBS2’s The Feed will be looking at the social media phenomena of the Neknominate drinking game tonight. And they’ll be talking to Mumbrella deputy editor Nic Christensen. Nic, as our picture shows, is the dream interviewee, even carrying the equipment for the nice man from SBS. You can hear his wise words some time after 7.30pm.

nic sbs neknominate

1.20pm – Ten could do with Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin pulling in a gold tonight in Sochi, in one of the most watchable events at the Winter Olympics, the Snowboard Cross. His sponsors Samsung claim he’ll be listening to this track by DJ Sampology right before the starting pistol.

enero logo1:10pm –  Enero seems to have pulled itself out of the red and into the black in the last six months. And its half-yearly earnings report encouraged a massive surge in its shares, reaching the highest level for four years. 

1:04pm – There’s been a lot of hype around the Schapelle Corby interview, and whether it will or won’t happen. We spoke to some of the top media buyers to see whether brands would want to advertise around the controversial interview, with some very mixed answers.

12:57pm – MediaCom have extended digital relations with two of its clients, including some lucrative digital acquisition work from Westpac.

CommsCon12.52pm – In news from this parish, did you spot that we’ve announced Joe Jareck, public relations director of The Los Angeles Dodgers, as keynote speaker for the CommsCon conference? Well, we have.

kyle 212:14pm – In the most bizarre ‘news’ of the day, Kyle Sandilands has claimed he turned down an offer for a major role in Modern Family, which is coming to film in Australia next month. He said he’s not interested in acting.

You can hear the audio from his KiisFM breakfast show here: 

11:57am – Here’s the full details of Mark Harricks’ departure from JWT Sydney. He is set to leave at the end of February.

11:49am – Breaking newsJWT Sydney’s executive creative director Mark Harricks has quit the agency. More details soon.

11:46am – For some reason this feels familiar – a two-minute tourism video set to an ‘original soundtrack’ to promote a country. This time it’s Brand USA spruiking its wares for the first time to the Aussie public.

11:40am – Dr Mumbo has awoken this morning confused at the spin being handed down by new Ten News boss Peter Meakin. Some very different quotes in The Telegraph and The Australian over the last 24 hours or so.

TimTam_Winton_50 Anniversary211:37am – “The humble Tim Tam inspires love beyond reason” says Joanna Polycarpou, as the biscuit brand partners with Qantas for its latest campaign, reuniting families in rural Queensland. Heatwarming. And it reminds me, it must be time for a cup of tea.

11:25am – Our piece on the shortfall in digital subscriptions for newspapers tailing off is causing the most discussion on the site at the moment.

Bboy has commented: “It might help the SMH’s online subscription figures if they found a way of closing the free backdoor into their online content from Google Chrome’s “incognito” mode.”

You can join the conversation here.



11:20am – Virgin Australia has used a full-page ad in the Sunday Telegraph to urge the Federal Government not to give financial assistance to Qantas. It’s an open letter signed by Sir Richard Branson. See the full letter here.

11:16am – The award for good cause, bad name choice for campaigns goes to The Daily Telegraph and 2GB’s ‘We’re for the Bush’ campaign to help NSW farmers.

11:05am – Regular Mumbrella commenter Nick Bartlett sums up the success of Seven’s reality cooking show: “My Kitchen Rules is the worst show on television. And I am completely addicted to it.”

10:58am – The Guardian and Buzzfeed are both hovering just outside the top ten of the Nielsen Online ratings. See the updated story here.

10:50am – It seems Fairfax columnist Mike Carlton is a little upset at the treatment handed out to him in The Australian’s Media Diary column today, tweeting: “My oh my. Lettuce-whipped in The Australian on Saturday, and again today by some poncing nonentity. Terrifying.”

He was given a serve by Diary writer Darren Davidson today for his column in Saturday’s paper on the Schapelle Corby media circus, which failed to mention Seven’s alleged deal with her.

Mike Carlton screen shot

10:37am – To wrap-up the Mail Online news for the day sources inside Nine have confirmed new editor Luke McIlveen is not in training in London, and is sat a his desk as we speak, contrary to reports in the Australian’s Media Diary section today.

10:35am – Online news rankings are in for the January, with regaining top spot from rivals NineMSN, while the Mail Online continues to grow.

10:14am – ‘Buy an Outlaw and you could become an outlaw.” Those crafty folk at  ColensoBBDO turn customers into fugitives with new ad for Burger King. See the ad here.

10:04am – In case you missed it, here’s the opinion piece Mumbrella’s content director Tim Burrowes posted over the weekend about digital news subscriptions, and how the data shows it’s not going to be enough to save the ‘traditional’ media companies. Compulsory reading for anyone in media.

9:44am – There must be some concerns at Network Ten over the future of So You Think You Can Dance, with the show pulling in just 313,000 viewers last night, while it’s consolidated ratings from last Sunday show it managed just 33,000 extra viewers across the week for its launch show. You can see the ratings report for today here.

9:33am – It seems the placement of CumminsRoss’s latestad for Jeep, using the famous line from Jaws “we’re going to need a bigger boat”, has upset ‘Bradelaide’ who comments: “May have been not the most considerate placement leading into the ad break though after last night’s 60 Minutes’ ‘Shark Cull’ story.  I’m hoping it was a mistake and not intentional.”

Watch the ad here.

9:24am – We may have spoken too soon on the not news front. Fairfax has just sent a release announcing it is taking The Age and Sydney Morning Herald’s weekend editions to compact formats. It’s a long-expected announcement which was leaked over the Australia Day long weekend.

Fairfax Media’s Australian publishing media managing director Allen Williams said in the press release:  “The move to compact weekend editions for our two flagship brands is simply a continuation of the successful transition of our Monday to Friday newspapers to compact, which has been well received by readers and advertisers.” The content, apparently, will not change.

9:15am – TV ratings are coming in for the weekend, and the INXS telemovie slipped below My Kitchen Rules in the battle for Sunday viewers. There’s some interesting news on the consolidated viewing figures too, with Nine’ Schapelle movie getting 131,000 time shifted viewers over the last week, while INXS got 276,000.



9:10am – The biggest “not news” item of the weekend, the Mail Online appointing Luke McIlveen as it’s editor in Australia. As regular readers will recall Mumbrella broke the news of McIlveen’s appointment last November, through to his legal battles over Christmas with former employers News Corp.

Here’s his shiny new headshot, and a quote from the official press release: “At the Daily Mail Australia we will always put the reader at the heart of the story. We’ll publish the news Australians need, alongside the stories that they’ll want to comment on and share. It will truly be the best of the global MailOnline seen through the eyes of Australians.”

9:00am – Morning Update this morning features an interesting ad telling people what their skillets are for, and how Paris prepared for love emergencies.


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