Opinion | Features
The week in review: Publicis Groupe blames India and China for lacklustre balance sheet | MDA using anti-STOMP campaign to tighten internet regulation? | New gig for Zayn Khan | Strawberryfrog brand scrapped in Singapore | The most amoral and misleading ad ever?
In a week in which Publicis Groupe pointed to India and China as the weaker parts of its balance sheet, Singapore Airlines took over headline sponsorship of the Singapore Grand Prix from SingTel, Adam Anger took control of Microsoft Advertising’s Asia operations, the Strawberryfrog ad agency brand disappeared in Singapore, the editor of Hong Kong Tatler quit, brand guru Wally Olins passed away and two journalists in Thailand faced jail for allegedly defaming the Royal Thail navy.
Story of the week
Publicis Groupe, which plans to merge with Omnicom to create the world’s largest ad firm, blamed India, China and other emerging markets for a balance sheet that delivered just 2.2 per cent growth between the first quarter of 2013 and 2014.
Quotes of the week
Felix Soh, editor, digital media group, of SPH’s Digital Division, spoke out against the campaign to close down public shaming website STOMP, which SPH publishes.
It is sad that those who clamour for the freedom of the Internet are now asking for the closure of a website – just because they don’t like it.
Now the restructuring has completed. I have moved the mountains.
The media relations officer for APCO Worldwide, Adam Williams, gave his reason for why the Strawberryfrog brand had been merged into APCO in Singapore.
We believe this will allow us to better serve our clients across the regions we’ve found the convergence of services is more advanced there, and clients now expect to us to deliver fully integrated communications services.
The Australian boss of Japanese carmaker Isuzu defended a campaign for its new D-Max ute following a petition started by activist group The Collective Shout which called for the company to withdraw what it described as a “‘X-rated’ Thailand sex tour competition”.
We chose Thailand as the destination of the X-Runner competition prize as it is the ‘home’ of the D-MAX and for no other reason.
Simon Geenty of Singapore content agency Click2View wondered if millennials think a career in advertising is worthy of respect in an opinion piece on Mumbrella.
The creative industries are just too hard to make a living from – even in artsy New York – and writers, artists, poets and designers are forced to put their dreams aside and make a living from nasty corporate schmuck content.
Blogger Kirsten Han took issue with the Singapore media regulator’s suggestion for tighter regulation of the internet following a campaign to close down public shaming website STOMP.
For the Media Development Authority to use it [the campaign to close STOMP] to suggest they need more power to regulate is also sneaky. The content already breaches their standards.
Singapore Airlines boss CEO Goh Choon Phong at the event this week to mark the airline’s headline sponsorship of the Singapore Grand Prix.
The success of Singapore Airlines has always been closely linked to the success of Singapore.
Rob Campbell, in his blog post ‘The Daily Mail Knows the Big Issues’, wondered why the world’s most popular news website led with the story headlined From plain Jane to glamazon! Video tutorials show amazing transformations using just contouring (and somehow they all end up looking like Kim Kardashian!) on its homepage. Campbell said:
Well done Daily Mail, you’ve shown the World what a real news story really is and for the life of me, I cannot work out why people think you are a home for tabloid hacks who wouldn’t know quality journalism if it came up and smashed you in the face.
So I’ve been watching Girls for the majority of its 3 seasons. It’s the kind of show that I don’t technically enjoy, but somehow when a new episode is released I find myself watching it, wondering at its conclusion why I continue to do so. It has won Emmy’s and Golden Globes, and has enough nudity for it to not seem out of place on HBO.
On 7 April, Robin Li started a campaign on Change.org that called on Stomp, Singapore Press Holdings’ gossip site, to be closed down. The campaign has drawn significant support, with more than 22,000 people signing his petition.
In this interview with Mumbrella, Li, who some believed was a pseudonym for Howard Lee, the commentaries editor of independent news site The Online Citizen (Lee has denied this), talks about his motives for wanting STOMP to be shut down, the worst stories on the website, and whether he thinks his campaign will actually work.
Cannes is an award show for the best of the best. This is what the show is about.
We want our locals to do well in this show. This is the objective.
If the locals can’t do better than the global community working in Singapore, then what hope do they have in Cannes?
In this guest post, blogger and activist Kirsten Han ponders why Stomp, a Singapore citizen journalism website that the campaigner who wants it closed down says is a platform for cyberbullying and snooping, is allowed to exist in a country with a government intolerant of anything that threatens social stability.
In a country as wired as Singapore, it’s easy to see why media outlets would want to capitalise on our addiction to sharing (and over-sharing) on social media. “User-generated content” is a God-send to any media organisation hoping to maximise content and eyeballs with minimal investment and in-house manpower.
The week in review: Singapore bans foreign talent from Young Lions contest | SingTel or STB, which ad was worse? | Adstream sells LBB | Publicis enters Myanmar | Campaign to close Stomp | Chinese journalist pulled off air for criticising officials
In a week in which a Singapore tourism ad went viral after its creators tried to delete it, a campaign launched to close down Stomp, a Chinese TV presenter was taken off air for calling officials ‘corrupt’, BBDO held on to the Philippines tourism account, Adsteam sold Little Black Book and merged with Asia On Time, Singapore blocked foreign talent from entering the Young Lions creative competition, and Publicis became the latest agency to enter Myanmar.
So, this is the second year that the Mumbrella Awards, now in their fifth year, have opened up the competition beyond Australia to invite the rest of the region to test their mettle in what we believe to be the hardest awards to win in Asia.
In this guest post, Simon Kearney suggests that we might have been too quick to trash Singapore Tourism Board’s three-minute promotional video that was called ‘so bad it will go viral’.
We should all be a little ashamed of our reaction to the recent Singapore Tourism Board (STB) debacle involving that film promoting inbound tourism from the Philippines.
The film wasn’t designed for a Singapore audience, or even a Western audience.
I remember having the same reaction the first time I saw Bollywood content. Just because it is different doesn’t mean it is wrong.
It is a curious irony that a government that has been gyrating its hips to attract creative businesses as it looks to become Asia’s most powerful advertising hub, is itself a producer of advertising that is often unfathomably terrible.
Yesterday, we saw an ad for Singapore’s tourism board get so much grief in social media that the authorities deleted it from their YouTube channel in the hope that it wouldn’t go viral. Which, of course, helped it go viral amid a blaze of headlines such as ‘The ad STB didn’t want you to see’.
But the three-minute STB video wasn’t the worst ad the Singapore government has ever made. It wasn’t even the worst ad it’s made this year. So we thought we’d take a look at some of the other howlers to come out off the production line of Asia’s richest government in recent times.
In this 25-minute video re-cap from the Festival of Media Asia, Jason Hill, director of international advertising and content at General Electric, talks about why his company has stopped using display web banners, why advertising is no longer agile enough for many brands, and how “the world’s oldest start-up” uses content marketing to humanise itself.
Hill also gave an example of how General Electric works with The Economist to drive content marketing programmes.
So how does a numbers-driven environment like a media agency foster creativity? What role does data play in creativity? And are media agencies becoming as obsessed with awards as their creativity agency cousins? Blakeman had a word with Mumbrella Asia editor Robin Hicks.
In this half-hour video re-cap from the Festival of Media Asia, the heads of Asia’s top agency trading desks talk about how much money is being spent on programmatic buying, obstacles to adoption and predictions for the future for programmatic trading.
The speakers were Grace Liau, Asia Pacific general manager of Vivaki’s Audience on Demand trading desk, Michel de Rijk, APAC MD of WPP’s Xaxis, Yean Cheong and VP of market solutions at Interpublic Group’s MAP, which operates Cadreon.
The week in review: 'We are all guilty of scam' | What was the best April Fools' stunt? | Foreign talent told: 'adapt to local culture or leave' | Singapore clamps down on another news site | Nike kicks off World Cup ads | PR agency closes
In a week that began with brands playing the fool on 1 April, PR agency CommunicationsDNA closed down, another Singapore news website felt the weight of regulation, foreign talent was told “adapt to our culture or leave”, DDB Singapore won HPB (but lost APB), and Omnicom’s agency trading desk Accuent lost its second senior executive inside a fortnight.
Xaxis Asia Pacific boss Michel de Rijk on what success looks like in an exploding market, arbitrage and the day TV will be bought by machines
In this interview with Mumbrella Asia editor Robin Hicks, de Rijk talks about a business that has grown by 700 per cent in two years, the tricky issue of arbitrage and the not too distant future when television will be bought by machines.
Dumb Ways does a Valentine’s Day special
The Dumb Ways to Die campaign for Metro Trains, which was yesterday named the most awarded campaign ever by the Gunn Report, has produced a special version to mark Valentine’s Day.
A 30-second video features two animated characters have a romantic, but ultimately fatal moment.
The agency behind the campaign was McCann Melbourne, which was named the joint most awarded agency in the world by the Gunn Report because of the success of the campaign.
Dumb Ways to Die, the brainchild of McCann Melbourne ECD John Mescall, launched in November 2012 to curb preventable train-related deaths in Melbourne for Metro Trains. The video has been viewed 71.5m times on YouTube at the time of writing.
- Bet V. Dalton on Singapore tourism responds to criticism of ad ‘so bad it will go viral’, blames the Philippines
- James on Singapore tourism responds to criticism of ad ‘so bad it will go viral’, blames the Philippines
- Timothy Tang on Land Transport Authority appoints Dentsu for ‘graciousness on public transport’ campaign
- Cheer up mate on DDB India’s Anwesh Bose appointed MD of Arena Indonesia
- Cynic on Do millennials think a career in advertising is worthy of respect?
- Timothy Tang on Why you shouldn’t be so quick to judge STB’s ‘so bad it will go viral’ video
- gdwlhntr on MDA and SPH counter anti-STOMP petition, blogger: MDA response is ‘sneaky’ to suggest more internet regulation could be needed
- Vladimir on Philippine independence day campaign triggers outcry among Singaporean nationalists
- Kawo targets sports industry with China social media offering
- DDB India’s Anwesh Bose appointed MD of Arena Indonesia
- Weber Shandwick to handle PR for Madame Tussauds launch in Beijing
- Turner takes over operations of WarnerTV in Asia
- Havas Media Ortega hires Jan Lorraine Cui as business director
- Mobile Marketing Association launches Vietnam chapter
- Y&R China promotes Shelby Lee to group account director
- We Are Social releases snapshot report on social media in China