AKQA launches in India

Anurag Bhatnagar and Ben Jones

Anurag Bhatnagar and Ben Jones

Digital agency AKQA has officially opened for business in India.

The agency, which was acquired by WPP for $540 million two years ago, hopes to employ around 50 people from its base in Gurgaon by the end of the year.

AKQA starts life in India on the back of a relationship with cloud provider Adobe, which it will use as a delivery partner. Former Havas Media India head of digital Anurag Bhatnagar takes on the role as head of client services. Read more »

Malaysia Airlines reviewing brand in wake of double disaster

Malaysia Airlines logoMalaysia Airlines could change in its name as part of a major brand rethink in the wake of two disasters in the space of six months.

The news emerged from the airline’s commercial director Hugh Dunleavy in an interview with Britain’s Sunday Telegraph newspaper in which he said MAS was undergoing a strategic review looking at “creating an airline fit for purpose in what is a new era for us.”

The carrier is believed to be looking at changing its name and completely rebranding its fleet and advertising assets after the MH17 and MH370 catastrophes ravaged confidence in the government-back brand.

Dunleavy said in the interview: Read more »

Mumbrella to hangout with R/GA founder Bob Greenberg tomorrow

Bob Greenberg

Bob Greenberg

The founder of one of the most influential digital agencies in the world, Bob Greenberg, will be interviewed in a hangout with Mumbrella tomorrow morning, Wednesday 30 July.

Greenberg co-founded agency R/GA in 1977, initially as a VFX production house working on films including Alien and Predator, and evolving the agency to a digital production house, then to a digital marketing agency, into its current form as a “full-service agency and product and service innovator” consultancy.

Greenberg opened the ADMA Creative Fuel conference in Australia on Monday, setting out his views on how digital agencies’ storytelling abilities are underrated, and why he see the “metaphorical” 30-second TV commercial disappearing in the next few years. Read more »

Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson deemed racially offensive by media regulator for ‘slope’ slur

Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson

Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson

An episode of Top Gear, the popular BBC car show distributed widely across Asia, has fallen foul of Britain’s media regulator for a racist slur towards Asians made by presenter Jeremy Clarkson.

Ofcom has ruled that the outspoken show host deliberately used the word “slope” to refer to an Asian person while shooting an episode of Top Gear in Myanmar.

Clarkson, who has previously been in trouble for making racially insensitive remarks, made the comment while the show was constructing a temporary bridge. On spotting an Asian man walking on the bamboo crossing, Clarkson said: “That is a proud moment – but there is a slope on it.”

The regulator decided that the comment was offensive and breached its rules after an investigation into whether Clarkson may have been referring to the slope of the bridge, and not making a racist slur.  Read more »

Singapore brand agency Immortal strikes ‘integration’ deal with design firm Ong&Ong

Saxone Woon

Immortal co-founder Saxone Woon

Singapore branding firm Immortal has joined forces with a Ong&Ong, a regional design, engineering and architecture consultancy.

News of the deal, described as “an integration agreement”, emerged via an announcement on Facebook from Immortal.

Immortal is owned by Saxone Woon, who has run the company as MD since 1990, when he co-founded the business with creative director Stanley Tan. Clients listed on its website include Hitachi, Ernst & Young, SingHealth and Marina Bay Sands. Read more »

McDonald’s Australia CMO: Questioning our Press Lions win is tall poppy syndrome

The CMO of McDonald’s in Australia, Mark Lollback, has claimed that “tall poppy syndrome” is the reason questions have been raised about the brand’s Lions-winning print campaign which only ran in one local paper in Sydney.

Mark Lollback (right) with Terry Savage (sitting) at the Creative Fuel event

Mark Lollback (right) with Terry Savage (sitting) at the Creative Fuel event in Sydney

Commenting publicly for the first time on the ‘Big Mac Legends’ press campaign by DDB Sydney, Lollback claimed it was a “test” when it ran in the cheapest publication in the News Local group, The Rouse Hill Times.

Lollback’s comments came after a joint presentation with Cannes Lions chairman Terry Savage at yesterday’s Creative Fuel conference entitled “What does it take to win a Cannes Lion”. Read more »

Digital Arts Network Singapore creative director Oz Dean moves to We Are Social Sydney

Oz Dean

Oz Dean

Oz Dean, the creative director of Digital Arts Network in Singapore, is moving to We Are Social in Sydney.

The switch brings to an end more than three years in Singapore for Dean, who joined what was then known as Tequila as digital creative director in 2011.

It also marks a return to Australia for Dean, who has spent much of his career in Sydney working for agencies including Happy Soldiers, The Furnace, Pollen, Droga5, Deepend and Host. Read more »

Lufthansa launches first ad aimed at India, airline claims it’s ‘More Indian than you think’

German airline Lufthansa has launched its first TV campaign targeted at the Indian traveler.

The campaign features an elderly Indian man talking to his grandson about a visit to New York on a German airline. “Germans are a bit different. Always serious. They’re movies are always grey,” he explained, before boarding the Lufthansa flight to have his preconceptions challenged.

Read more »

Dentsu Aegis buys Indian outdoor ad firm Milestone Brandcom

Ashish Bhasin & Nabendu Bhattacharyya

Ashish Bhasin & Nabendu Bhattacharyya

Media agency Dentsu Aegis Network has acquired five year-old Indian out-of-home specialist Milestone Brandcom for an undisclosed sum.

Combined with its existing outdoor buying arm Posterscope, Dentsu Aegis is now the leading outdoor buyer in India by volume, the agency is claiming.

The announcement from Dentsu Aegis Network: Read more »

R/GA founder Bob Greenberg: Those who say digital agencies are bad storytellers are wrong

Bob Greenberg

Bob Greenberg

It is wrong to assume that digital agencies are not good at storytelling while the 30 second “metaphorical” TV ads are set to die out, Bob Greenberg the founder of digital agency R/GA told audiences at a conference in Sydney this morning.

Greenberg kicked off day one of the Creative Fuel conference, organised by Australia’s Association for Data-drive Marketing (ADMA), with an address in which he stepped audiences through the agency’s development since it was founded in 1977, and how it has come to its positioning as the ‘Agency for the connected age’, evolving its most recent positioning of ‘Agency for the digital age’.

“People think sometimes that digital agencies can’t do good storytelling – I think they’re wrong about that. I started seeing it when I was the president of the jury at Cannes, a lot of the work coming out of digital agencies is really strong storytelling,” he said. Read more »