CCTV upfront sales slower this year as brands take ‘conservative’ approach to TV buying

CCTVSales at this week’s upfront airtime auction for China’s national television broadcaster CCTV are believed to have slowed significantly compared to last year, an executive at a media agency has said.

The live airtime auction was held in Beijing on Tuesday of this week, and for the first time the media was not permitted to attend. China’s slowing economy and the migration of ad spend to digital media are believed to be why upfront sales were not as brisk as in previous years.

Bidding at the auction came in at a total of around 17.5 billion yuan (US$2.9 billion), a 10.8 per cent increase on last year, according to pro-Beijing newspaper China Daily.

However, Marco Ma, iTV operation director of the integrated TV department at media agency Zenith China has suggested that the figure is likely to be lower, as brands took a more “conservative” approach to upfront airtime buying. Read more »

MediaCom APAC’s Sean Seamer to lead new GroupM offering in New Zealand

Sean Seamer


Media buying group GroupM is preparing to launch in New Zealand in early 2015, Mumbrella can reveal.

The new New Zealand operation will be headed by Sean Seamer, who was previously MediaCom Asia Pacific chief business development officer, and will see MediaCom, Mindshare, MEC and Maxus come under the operational and financial structure of GroupM.

Seamer stepped down as head of new business for MediaCom APAC earlier in the year, and Darragh Hardy was hired to replace him.

While most of the GroupM agencies already have some presence in New Zealand, the move formalises that position and also sees STW Group’s Ikon NZ, which already partners with GroupM agencies Maxus and Mindshare, taken under the GroupM umbrella there. Read more »

Saatchi & Saatchi mandates China staff to leave work earlier to boost productivity and curb electricity bills

Saatchi & Saatchi Bark you up at 6.45An advertising agency in China has launched an initiative that it claims is the first in the country to encourage its staff to go home at a designated time.

Starting in Hong Kong but with ambitions to roll out the protocol across it operations on the mainland, Saatchi & Saatchi China wants its employees to go home at 6.45pm, after which time it will turn off the lights and air conditioning and so shut the office down.

The concept will be enforced twice a month to begin with, and will be adjusted based on the results of the experiment.

The agency says the idea is motivated partly by a desire to curb its electricity bills, and so ease its impact on the environment, and also to give its staff a better work-life balance.

The idea, which has been given the slogan ‘Bark You Up at 6.45’, is based on the Chinese colloquialism that when the gates are closed, the dogs will be let loose.

In a press release, Saatchi’s said: “Hong Kong agency people are among the worst when it comes to waste. As if being environmentally unfriendly wasn’t bad enough, they are also prone to burning the midnight oil in the office.”

“Not only does this waste energy, it also makes for unhappy and unproductive staff. To help save energy and to help the agency folks get their lives back, Saatchi & Saatchi decided to champion a “Green Office” movement episode 1 – Bark you up at 6:45,” the agency says.

Carol Lam, Saatchi & Saatchi South China’s chief creative officer and managing partner, told Mumbrella last night that staff often feel obligated to stay late just to satisfy their bosses, which is unproductive in the long run. Read more »

Thai tear-jerkers feature in ranking of world’s most shared ads of 2014

Two ads from Asia have made a ranking of the world’s most shared commercials of the year so far, compiled by ad tech firm Unruly.

Both are from Thailand, with heart-warming films for DTAC and Thai Life Insurance being shared more than 2.4 times between them.

‘Unsung hero’ for Thai Life Insurance has been shared just under 1.3 million times.

‘The power of love’ for DTAC has been shared 1.1 million times.

This is the most shared ad of the year, featuring Shakira in a video for Activa. It’s been shared 5.8 million times.

The list is dominated by World Cup-themed ads, with one fifth of the list made up of content related to the tournament.

The ranking in full: Read more »

Buzzfeed international boss: Uber controversy ‘will change way people think about us’

Buzzfeed's Scott Lamb speaking at today's Publish event in Sydney

Lamb speaking at Publish in Sydney today

The international head of Buzzfeed says the recent international media controversy around Uber demonstrates that the social viral content website can deliver hard news and break global stories.

“This is a great example of the type of news BuzzFeed News goes after. Exclusives, scoops, things that no one else has and move the story forward,” Scott Lamb told Mumbrella at the sidelines of the Publish Conference in Sydney today.

“This story, in particular, is really going to change the way people think about Uber as a company but it is exactly the type of thing that the news side of Buzzfeed is trying to do,” he said, referring to a story published by Buzzfeed two days ago, which has caused a global media storm after claimed Uber executives targeted the personal details of journalists who wrote unfavourable stories about the company. Read more »

Media agency boss calls on CMOs to ‘put procurement back in their box where they belong’

Mat Baxter (centre) at Publish

Mat Baxter (centre) at Publish

Powerful marketing chiefs have the ability to “put procurement back in their box where they belong”, but too few CMOs are rising up through the ranks to have such influence, one of Australia’s most influential media agency bosses has said.

Speaking at Mumbrella’s Publish conference in Sydney today, Mat Baxter, CEO of UM, said it would be in “everyone’s interest” if procurement departments were only part of the process of selecting agencies “rather than the dominant part they are at the moment”.

The comments came in a panel discussion on the relationships between media buyers, publishers and marketers.

Baxter said boards, CFOs and procurement staff are increasingly demanding to see hard data when they buy advertising space. To that end, he urged publishers when pitching for business from media buyers to supply better metrics which can then be communicated by the agency to the client. Read more »

Singapore-based credit card comparison site Enjoy Compare eyes regional expansion

Greg Fortune and Eliot Connor

Greg Fortune and Eliot Connor

Credit card comparison website Enjoy Compare is gearing up for regional expansion as co-founders Greg Fortune and Eliot Connor, formerly of Mindshare and Facebook, join the company full time.

The decision to devote 100 per cent of their working time to the fledgling firm has been prompted, they say, by “double-digit quarter-on-quarter growth” for the Singapore-based company.

The duo, who launched the site three years ago, have beta-launched the site in Malaysia and Hong Kong, and are planning to expand the reach of the site across Southeast Asia, and introduce new products including a finance display network in the coming weeks. Read more »

Singapore Airlines keeps faith with TBWA as advertising contract is extended beyond 2017

SIA has once more selected TBWA

SIA has selected TBWA for at least another two years

Singapore Airlines, one of Asia’s most coveted advertisers, has renewed its contract with creative agency TBWA Worldwide without a pitch, bringing an end to speculation that the account would be reviewed, Mumbrella can reveal.

TBWA is to handle Singapore Airlines’ global advertising business beyond 2017, although no further details have been shared. SIA told Mumbrella in a statement: “We can share that TBWA remains our creative agency, however we are unable to disclose details of the agreement as it is confidential.” The account will continue to be run from Singapore.

TBWA won the Singapore Airlines business after one of the most hotly contested pitches in recent memory in Singapore in 2007. Then, the agency was tasked to position Singapore Airlines as ‘The brand for air travel now, and for the next 10 years’ using the long-running slogan ‘A great way to fly’. Read more »

McDonald’s China’s Agatha Yap returns home to lead sales and marketing for Sentosa



McDonald’s marketer Agatha Yap has left China to return home to Singapore to a newly created role overseeing the sales and marketing operations for Sentosa, Singapore’s island resort.

Yap, who in the past has worked agency-side for the likes of BBDO and Bates, brings to an end just under two years with McDonald’s China, where she was senior marketing director.

Prior to leaving Singapore, Yap had a short spell as marketing and development director for Watson’s, and before that spent seven years as McDonald’s Singapore’s marketing director.

Also joining the Sentosa marketing team is Catherine Yap as marketing director. She replaces Luanne Tan-Liang, marketing director of Sentosa Leisure Management, who has left the company. Read more »

Campaign Asia reveals AOY shortlists

Campaign's AOY for Indonesia

Campaign’s AOY for Indonesia

Campaign Asia magazine has revealed a shortlist for its annual Agency of the Year awards.

In some categories winners have already been announced, with Y&R claiming the title of Agency of the Year in Indonesia and Thailand.

In Japan, Takuro Amada was named the year’s best planner for Japan and Korea and Eiji Takahashi was awarded talent management person of the year for Japan and Korea.

M&C Saatchi Australia’s Jaimes Leggett, Justin Graham, Ben Welsh and Lucy Billington were named business development team of the year for Australia and New Zealand.

The shortlists in full: Read more »