Mumbrella’s Summer Shorts series – ep. 16

Unless you live in Perth, Australia will see a bit of rain today.

But don’t let that stop you from finding out what’s happening in the marketing, advertising and media worlds. Mumbrella’s Summer Shorts series continues to keep you well informed.

Check back on this page for updates throughout the day, and be well.

Short shorts

  • McCann London has poached BBH managing director Polly McMorrow to be its new CEO. McMorrow will join in the spring as a replacement for Sheryl Marjoram, who recently returned to her native Australia to become CEO of DDB Group Sydney. (More About Advertising)
  • Tinder has appointed VaynerMedia as its global media agency. (Marketing Interactive)
  • Building materials maker James Hardie has sacked chief executive Jack Truong after employee complaints about his aggressive behaviour. (ABC)
  • M&C Saatchi has confirmed a “preliminary approach” from ad tech firm Advanced/AdvT. M&C Saatchi shares jumped another 8 per cent today upon the news it had received a preliminary takeover approach from tech mogul Vin Murria. (Media Post)
  • On day two of the Pink Test, Seven’s live and free coverage of the Ashes Test series reached 3.4 million people and peaked at 1.6 million. Day two coverage across the day averaged 929,000 viewers nationally, up 24% year-on-year. The second session had 876,000 viewers nationally, while all sessions dominated their timeslots, ranking #1 in 25 to 54s, 16 to 39s and total people. Seven delivered 78% of the Ashes broadcast audience nationally. In the capital cities, Seven recorded a commercial audience share of 62.7% in total people and 66.1% in 25 to 54s across the day.
  • Greencross brings on Nick Adams as its new chief customer officer as its former CMO, Adriane McDermott, debuts her own low alcohol spirits brand, Tanica. (CMO)
  • Foxtel Group has secured the exclusive rights to the 2021/22 Australian golf schedule. The Australian PGA Championship will be broadcast live and free on Kayo Freebies from 13–16 January.
  • Boutique Fitness Studios has appointed Jacinta McDonell of Anytime Fitness, as director, board member and investor. McDonell is the co-founder of Anytime Fitness Australia, Fitness Industry Roll of Honour inductee and a director on the Hunger Project National Board. (Australian Leisure Management)
  • The BBC appoints ITN chief executive Deborah Turness as CEO of BBC News and Current Affairs, replacing Fran Unsworth, who is stepping down at the end of January. (Variety)

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  • Advertising execs do not think the likely absence of Novak Djokovic from the Australian Open will have too much impact on ratings for the event, which will be broadcast by Nine Entertainment. Spinach Advertising general manager Ben Willee noted ratings for the Australian Open are determined by a range of factors, including whether there is an Australian player “who gets a long way through”. Both Willee and Mumbrella head of content Damian Francis suggest a jump in COVID-19 cases could help ratings, with Willee noting a surge in cases means people are more likely to be staying home and watching television. (The Australian)
  • Meal kit company My Foodie Box will make its debut on the ASX on 7 January, after having raised $6 million through what was an oversubscribed IPO. It will use the money raised to expand operations from its Perth base, with an initial focus on Sydney and Melbourne. My Foodie Box will be competing with Hellofresh and Marley Spoon, while it has a tie-up with the only distributor of Thermomix appliances in Australia. (The Australian)
  • LinkedIn plans to launch interactive, audio-only live events this month in beta for some creators and a video version in the US spring. (Techcrunch)
  • Video games are “one of the most scaleable, cinematic, high-quality content channels you can possibly engage with,” Cary Tilds, chief strategy and operations officer at video game ad platform Frameplay, said in an interview with consultant Zach Rodgers at Beet.TV’s Beet Retreat.
  • Mindshare global CFO joins You & Mr Jones Media. Dawn Dickie leaves WPP after 27 years and will reunite with former Mindshare CEO Nick Emery. (Campaign Asia)
  • Amazon said it has sold more than 150 million Fire TVs globally, and that the streaming device was one of its top-selling products on Black Friday. The company also announced it is partnering with Ford, BMW and Stellantis to add Fire TVs to the automakers’ in-car entertainment systems, Variety reports. As a result, Fire TVs — equipped with the voice-assistant Alexa, which can pull up entertainment options on-demand — will be included in 2022 Ford Explorers and Jeep Grand Cherokees, among other models. (LinkedIn)

  • Mars Wrigley is the latest longtime Super Bowl advertiser planning to sit on the sidelines for the 2022 game. The confectionery marketer does not plan to advertise brands such as M&M’s, Skittles or Snickers during next month’s game. (Ad Age)
  • Event software companies MeetingPlay and Aventri have merged and received a growth equity investment from Sunstone Partners and Camden Partners.
  • Mastercard and McDonald’s have struck a deal that sees the payments provider acquiring the QSR’s personalisation technology company, Dynamic Yield. (CMO)
  • Patreon says creators earned $3.5 billion through subscriptions from 2013 to December 2021, up from $2 billion in November 2020. (The Information)
  • BuzzFeed, a 15-year-old company, went public in December. Vox Media, another digital outlet, is considering a similar leap. (News @ Northeastern)
  • The New York Times Co. has agreed to buy the subscription-based sports site The Athletic in a deal valued at around $550 million, according to multiple reports. (Media Post)
  • Microsoft has become the new owner of global programmatic marketplace, Xandr, after its former parent, AT&T, signed off on the deal. (CMO)
  • IBM has appointed Paul Burton as general manager of its Asia Pacific (APAC) business. Burton succeeds Brenda Harvey, who returns to the US to take up a senior role within IBM. (
  • A report, GroupM’s “2020-21 Consumer Tech Preferences” study, based on a survey of 1,000 US adults fielded in December, finds fewer Americans are keen on adopting new tech in their households, and a dramatic fall-off in those who are embracing Internet-of-Things applications. (Media Post)

  • Rokt has seen its company valuation hit US$1.95 billion after securing $325 million in a Series E funding round led by Tiger Global. (CMO)
  • British racing executive James Oldring has been appointed chief executive of Perth Racing. (Business News).
  • Advertising tech firm Smartly snaps up London-based Ad-Lib for $100m. (City A.M.)
  • Indiegogo has hired its first-ever chief marketing officer – Kristen Sager – and will boost ad spend by 40% as competition heats up with Kickstarter and GoFundMe. (Business Insider)
  • Spotify introduces Call-to-Action Cards, a visual ad format for podcasts that puts clickable cards inside show and episode pages. (Techcrunch)
  • Talent platform Upwork Inc. has tapped Melissa Waters as its new chief marketing officer. Waters previously was global VP of marketing at Instagram, a division of Meta (formerly Facebook). (Staffing Industry Analysts)
  • Streaming services provider Cinedigm has reached an agreement to acquire Digital Media Rights (DMR), a diversified specialty streaming, advertising, and content distribution company that was founded more than a decade ago by media industry veterans Michael Hong and David Chu. DMR is a global distributor of feature films and television series for the streaming ecosystem, with more than 7,500 titles under distribution and it has 10 channels focused on enthusiast audiences, six of which are free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) channels and/or video-on-demand apps (all apps have ad-supported VOD and premium, subscription VOD options). (TV Technology)
  • Consuming traditional forms of media – including books, music and television – has little effect on short-term adult well-being, according to a new study published in Scientific Reports. (News Medical Life Sciences)
  • Wunderman Thompson has partnered with Odyssey and built a bespoke metaverse. (Little Black Book)

  • Integrated-marketing agency, Grapes, has appointed Partha Sengupta as its creative director. He will be based out of the agency’s Delhi office and will report to Shradha Agarwal, chief operating officer and strategy head at the company. (Mint)
  • Evolved Search has promoted Tom Etherington to the role of managing director. Agency co-founders Ian McIntosh and David Watts will become chief executive officer and chief technology officer, respectively. (Prolific North)
  • Corona is introducing a new alcohol-free beer blended with Vitamin D called “Sunbrew”. Sunbrew is the first ever non-alcoholic beer to contain Vitamin D, according to Corona global VP Felipe Ambra, with 30% of the daily value of Vitamin D per 330 ml serving in Canada, the first market where it will be introduced.  (Ad Age)
  • Meanwhile, Grey Goose owner Bacardi has unveiled its first non-alcoholic ‘spirit’ brand, Palette, which has been created to elevate alcohol-free cocktails. (the Spirits Business)

  • Eric Pugh has been named The Muny’s new director of marketing, effective January 1, 2022. He will lead all marketing and communications for the theatre’s artistic and institutional programming and branding. (Broadway World)
  • Flash is looking for a homepage editor. (LinkedIn)
  • User-created content (UCC) accounts for 39% of media hours versus 61% for traditional studio media, according to new research from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) and YouGov. Teens spend 56% of their time on UCC while consumers aged 55-plus spend just 22% of their time on it. Twice as many consumers report difficulty finding something to watch on traditional TV or recorded DVR than on UCC platforms like YouTube, Instagram and TikTok. (Marketing Dive)
  •  PETA supporters will descend on Liberty Media’s headquarters today to push its subsidiary GCI — an Alaskan internet service provider —to stop sponsoring the Iditarod dog race, in which more than 150 dogs have died. The event follows PETA’s recent stock purchase of Liberty Media in order to exert pressure at the company’s annual shareholder meetings. (

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