Year in Review: November – Death of Dolly; Creative departures; News Corp redundancies; Dodgy Facebook metrics

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.

It may have come as no great surprise, but the decision by Bauer Media to finally put Dolly magazine out of its misery still created a nostalgic outpouring from former staffers and readers.

Nicole Kidman Dolly

Dolly died: The end of one of Australia’s most culturally significant magazines

By the end, the 46-year-old title had seen its circulation decline from more than 90,000 to just 30,000.

And the economic pressure faced by traditional media was an ongoing theme during November, with Australia’s largest publisher, News Corp, among those facing the fact that advertising revenue was continuing to move away from print.

Early in November, it emerged that News Corp was looking to cut costs by $40m in a fresh-round of savings. A few days later the company told journalists’ union the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA) that the costs would include 55 journalist jobs. It began to canvass staff for volunteers to take redundancy.


In the world of subscription television, times were also tough. Foxtel – jointly owned by News Corp and Telstra – announced a slight loss for the first quarter of the financial year, driven in part by its failed joint-venture streaming service with Seven, Presto. It signalled that redundancies would follow.

In the creative agency world, November saw a string of departures from top creative roles.

M&C Saatchi – one of the country’s biggest agencies – surprised the industry by announcing the departure of baseball cap-loving chief creative office Andy Dilallo after less than two years.

Andy DiLallo exiting M&C after less than two years

Andy capped: Out of M&C after less than two years

The agency said Dilallo wanted more time with his family.

In an equally unexpected move, DDB Melbourne’s talented chief creative officer Darren Spiller departed the agency, with hints emerging that he might move overseas.

Spiller: headed overseas?

Spiller: Headed overseas?

And the well-liked Paul Nagy, ECD of Clemenger BBDO Sydney, also signalled that he would be moving on after five years.

Completing the creative shake-ups, Bob Mackintosh, ECD at Host, prepared to depart the agency after 11 years.

Still within creative agencies, The Monkeys and Meat & Livestock Australia saw the unusual leaking of a draft script relating to the forthcoming Australia Day campaign to BuzzFeed. The early draft created unease in the Aboriginal community over scenes envisioning settlers arriving by canoe and Kevin Rudd seemingly joking about his historic apology to the stolen generations.Ikon

Meanwhile, details of media agency Ikon’s court fight with former client Advangen emerged. The hair loss product attempted to blame the agency for not reaching sales targets and to get out of paying $1m in invoices.

As the year began to wind down, Facebook’s reputation on transparency over its metrics continued to decline. The social media platform admitted that it had been overstating numbers given to advertisers around organic reach, video, Instant Articles and referrals.


Howcroft: Wants to send SBS to Parramatta

And in one of the more provocative comments of the month, Russel Howcroft, chair of new television marketing body, Think TV, used a debate at the Screen Forever conference in Melbourne to propose that multicultural broadcaster SBS should shift its headquarters from Artarmon to Parramatta.


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