The Guardian will need deep pockets to succeed in India, say media agency bosses

The Guardian newspaperIf The Guardian is to launch in India, as the newspaper’s international head has suggested it might because of heavy internet traffic from the world’s second most populous country, it will need to contend with slowing growth for English-language newspapers and “deep pockets” to take on local rivals with huge circulations, media buyers have told Mumbrella.

The paper’s deputy MD of The Guardian, David Pemsel, revealed last week that because of “big pockets of traffic” from the country of 1.2 billion people, India is somewhere the title “should explore in the same way as we did when we came here and the US.”

But Ranga Somanathan, Southeast Asia COO and Singapore chairman of media agency Starcom, said that it is local language newspapers and not English titles that are experiencing the fastest growth in India’s expanding print market as literacy levels rise, and the critical factor for The Guardian would be local relevance. Read more »

Xiaxue calls on trolls to be more creative, says most bloggers are shameless

Xiaxue: "Most bloggers are shameless"

Xiaxue: “Most bloggers are shameless”

Xiaxue, one of Singapore’s most prolific bloggers, has responded to negative comments from social media trolls with a video in which she calls on “haters” to put more creativity into their nasty remarks.

The fashion and beauty blogger, whose real name is Wendy Cheng, posted a video on Singapore reality/lifestyle site in which she read out some of the “mean comments” directed at her and said how they affect her.

“I really appreciate when haters are funny. Put some creativity into your hate comments,” Cheng said, referring to comments she found amusing that described her as a “Chinese man with a blonde wig” and a “crushed insect.”

In response to a comment that called her “shameless”, she retorted: “Most bloggers are shameless.” Read more »

Indian newspaper pledges not to burn unsold copies to fudge circulation data

Indian newspaper campaignThe Times Group-owned newspaper Vijay Karnataka, which serves Southwest India, is running an ad campaign pitched at advertisers, measurement body Audit Bureau of Circulation and media buyers that pledges not to inflate its circulation figures by erroneously counting or destroying unsold copies.

In what it bills as a pledge to the ABC, advertisers and media planners and buyers everywhere, the paper’s ‘For the ethical marketing of newspapers’ campaign says: “We will not commission unnecessarily high print runs and then proceed to secretly destroy unsold copies in a bonfire.”

Another execution reads: “We promise never to forget the difference between sold and unsold copies and therefore never to count copies that are doled out to dealers to inflate our circulation numbers.” Read more »

WPP makes first acquisition in Mongolia

Y&R Mongolia logoY&R, the WPP-owned ad agency, has acquired the creative and research arm of Mongolian conglomerate MCS Holding.

The newly acquired agency is to be branded Y&R Mongolia, and is the first acquisition WPP has made in the fast growing Asian country.

The announcement from WPP:

WPP announces its wholly owned operating company Y&R Advertising has agreed to acquire the creative and research agency of MCS Holding LLC, one of Mongolia’s largest conglomerates.

The deal marks WPP’s first acquisition in Mongolia, with the group now operating in 111 countries. In addition, Y&R becomes the first global ad network to establish a majority-owned agency office in the country. Read more »

WWF launches tweet-to-donate campaign to protect Malaysia’s tigers

Malaysian tiger

Image: WWF

Conservation group WWF has launched a ‘tweet to donate’ campaign to raise funds to protect Malaysia’s critically endangered tiger population.

The campaign, called “Help Fund the Wildlife Warriors”, centres on the donation platform Donors compose their tweet using one of three different hashtags and then sync their credit card to the tweet and post. Read more »

The Guardian eyes India launch

The GuardianBritish newspaper The Guardian is sizing up India as a potential launch market.

The Guardian’s head of international editions revealed the paper’s interest in launching in one of the only media markets in the world where print advertising is still growing in an interview with Mumbrella’s Australia site today.

David Pemsel, the deputy MD of The Guardian, named India and Africa as attractive markets for the left-leaning newspaper, because of high traffic from these places to the Guardian’s global website, and the potential of reaching readers through mobile devices.

“There are big pockets of traffic from Africa and India and that’s probably something we should explore in the same way as we did when we came here and the States, and given who we are global reach of influence is important to us it would be very likely we’d look to those markets,” he told Mumbrella.

The Guardian launched an Australian edition in May of last year, and six months later revealed that it was considering launching in Asia next. Read more »

Ashley Madison in PR agency talks ahead of potential launch in Thailand

Ashley Madison logoAshley Madison, the controversial dating website that specialises in hooking up people who are already married, is looking for a PR agency ahead of a potential launch in Thailand, the Holmes Report is reporting.

Paul Keable, VP of communications at the parent company for Ashley Madison – which was blocked from entering Singapore and Korea last year – confirmed the agency search but said the site had no firm plans to launch in the Kingdom.

“Our search is part of a broader communications effort to find potential PR partners in Asia, as it is a unique marketplace for us,” Keable told The Holmes Report. “We currently do not have firm plans to launch in Thailand, or any other Asian markets, at this time.” Read more »

Content marketing agency Contented launches in Singapore, on staff are ‘four cat video stars’

Contented's logo

Contented’s logo

A new content marketing agency has opened in Singapore with the name Contented.

The agency has been launched by Henry Adams, the former Sapient Nitro creative director and head of copy, and Kaye Blum, a journalist and film-maker, as founding partners.

Joining the launch team are former Ogilvy client services director Elaine Phoon as business director and former Ogilvy and Euro RSCG art director Kris Ling as film producer and editor. Graham Kelly, who recently left Isobar, where he was regional ECD, has been brought in as an executive consultant.

The agency launches with the mission to “make it our business to deliver dynamic film, print, digital, social and mobile content that leaves your customers (yes, you guessed it) contented,” it writes in an email campaign to the industry. Read more »

Wego launches ‘slightly humorous’ ads in Indonesia ahead of Asia-wide roll-out

Singapore-based online travel deals site Wego has launched its first TV and YouTube advertising campaign, beginning in Indonesia – one of its fastest-growing markets – with a regional roll-out planned for the coming weeks.

A press release describes the video ads, which celebrate the individuality of travel choices, as having “a slightly humorous undertone.”

Read more »

Interpublic Group CEO’s ‘We’re the next one to be consolidated’ quote taken out of context by The Economist, says company

Michael Roth


Interpublic Group, the holding company for agencies McCann, Lowe and IPG Mediabrands, has confirmed that a quote from the company’s boss Michael Roth in The Economist’s special report on advertising and technology was taken out of context.

In a section on the impact of technology on advertising agencies in the news and current affairs magazine’s 12-page special report on the industry, written by journalist Alexandra Suich, the IPG chairman and CEO was quoted as saying: “We’re the next one to be consolidated.”

An IPG spokesperson told Mumbrella that Roth was repeating a comment that he had said many times about the consolidation of the industry in the past, and did not mean to suggest that a merger was imminent. Read more »