NTUC Fairprice pitch reaches final round

Fairprice campaign

Havas Worldwide’s ‘For the heroes of our lives’ campaign for Fairprice

Agencies in the final round of an advertising pitch for Singapore supermarket chain NTUC Fairprice are making their presentations today, according to sources familiar with the review.

Incumbent Havas Worldwide and its media arm are on the final shortlist, Mumbrella understands, with creative presentations to be made today and media on Monday.

Havas Worldwide, which was re-appointed the last time the supermarket chain held a pitch in 2013, is joined in the final round by McCann, according to sources. Read more »

Ogilvy Singapore’s ‘Mums and maids’ campaign criticised for ‘shaming women’ and using social issue for PR

A campaign by Ogilvy Singapore for charity IGiveADayOff.org raised questions on Twitter this afternoon about the agency’s motivations for the campaign and its approach to encouraging Singaporeans with domestic helpers to give them a day off once a week.

One of Singapore’s most influential socio-political bloggers tweeted this afternoon that Ogilvy’s ‘Mums and Maids’ film “shamed women” by suggesting that Singaporean mothers don’t know their own children as well as their maids, and the campaign’s motivation was to show “how a big ad agency “gives back”.”

The two-minute film, which was reported on by Singapore’s top broadsheet the Straits Times with the headline ‘Film urges employers to give maids a weekly day off’, features a series of interviews with mothers, children and their domestic helpers.


Kirsten Han, pic: Twitter

Singapore blogger Kirsten Han, who writes for Yahoo and The Guardian, and is one of the founders of a campaign to free Amos Yee, the vlogger detained recently for posting a video critical of Lee Kuan Yew, tweeted: “I think what irks me most about @Ogilvy ad is how they’ll probably now point to it as an example of how a big ad agency “gives back”…

“…while actually not taking the effort to really understand the multi-faceted issues at play here. And shaming women to boot.” Read more »

Coconuts eyes India expansion, inks deal with Rightster to monetise video content

Coconuts TV

Coconuts TV

Coconuts is gearing up to launch in India.

The city news website founded by Byron Perry in 2013, which now has sites covering local matters in Bali, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Manila, KL, Singapore and Jakarta, is now searching for an editor to launch in Mumbai, Bangalore, and Delhi.

Mumbai will be the first city where the site will launch once an editor has been found, Perry has told Mumbrella.

The site network, which has just eclipsed four million unique visitors per months, has also struck a deal with multi-channel network Rightster for Coconuts TV, its video arm that produces documentary-style short films. Read more »

Lee family thanks LKY mourners with tribute ad

Thanks from the Lee familyThe family of Lee Kuan Yew has bought ads in Singapore’s mainstream press to thank Singaporeans for their support during the period of mourning following the late former prime minister’s death.

A message from the Lee family reads: “Thank you for being with us as we mourned the passing of our papa & yeye”.

“You touched us deeply with your affection and respect for him, and with your heartwarming kindness asa you shared our grief”.

The mourning period saw companies give their staff time off work to pay their respects to Lee Kuan Yew as he lay in state, and newspapers, websites and digital outdoor signs were cleared of advertising and replaced with content commemorating the former leader. Read more »

Singtel takes to social media to inform customers its network is down, prompts outrage

The new-look SingtelSingtel has taken to social media to inform its customers that its mobile network is down, prompting customers to complain about its recently revamped customer service around the proposition ‘Let’s make everyday better’.

The company has been updating its customers on its disrupted service on Facebook and Twitter since the service since went down just before 3pm this afternoon, but customers have been wondering how they are supposed to keep informed without access to the internet through its services.

The latest update from Singtel on Facebook reads:

Singtel Facebook update

In the comment thread, one customer wrote: “How are your customers going to be updated when you post it on Facebook and Twitter – and they cannot get connection to Internet?” Read more »

Lim Sau Hoong loosens ties with Bates CHI & Partners as 10AM Communications shifts to project-based business model

Lim Sauhoong

Lim Sau Hoong

WPP ad agency Bates CHI & Partners has loosened ties with the creative hot shop it acquired seven years ago, Singapore’s 10AM Communications, as founder Lim Sau Hoong and her team move on to devote more time to creative projects beyond conventional advertising, Mumbrella can reveal.

Lim will remain affiliated to the group as an advisor to WPP and Bates, but will spend less time on day to day advertising projects for the group.

10AM, which has around seven staff, are to move out of their premises in Serangoon as the agency shifts from a retainer-based ad agency model with regular staff, to a more fluid, arts and events-driven model geared for specialist projects.

David Mayo, Asia CEO of Bates CHI & Partners, told Mumbrella: “We have been discussing together for some time that in line with our current plan, we have decided to pull back our operations at 10am as a regular communications company as it evolves into a different, project-led business model, focussed on a select few clients and projects.” Read more »

Media agency launches accelerator programme for marketing tech startups in China

OMD Innovation FundMedia agency OMD has launched an accelerator programme for digital media startups in China.

The OMD Innovation Fund 2015 is a joint project with startup accelerator Chinaccelerator with the aim of bringing tech innovation to marketing and to help brands keep up with changing consumer trends.

OMD launched OIF in 2014 as an initiative for its employees, and now the media agency has opened the programme up for the industry. Read more »

Free-speech group says detention of Amos Yee ‘does nothing to help Singapore evolve as a country’

Free Amos Yee petitionA group of independent writers have launched a campaign calling for the release of Amos Yee, a vlogger arrested for posting a video that compared the late Lee Kuan Yew to historical villains such as Adolf Hitler, and for offending Christians.

The free-speech group, called the Community Action Network, has started a petition on Change.org to free the 16 year-old, who has been charged with sedition and harassment.

Among the founders of the group is Roy Ngerng, a blogger sued by the prime minister of Singapore in October last year for defamation.

The measures taken against Yee the group describes as “disproportionate” and “heavy-handed” and violate the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

“They [charges made against Yee] do nothing to help Singapore evolve as a country. Instead of fostering tolerance, they encourage the policing of thought and speech,” the statement reads.

The group pointed out that Singapore’s government-friendly mainstream press had wrongly reported that Yee’s mother had made a police report against him.

Read more »

Madison hires former Maxus global boss Vikram Sakhuja as group CEO as Gautam Kiyawat relocates to Singapore

Vikram Sakhuja

Vikram Sakhuja

One of India’s most influential media agencies, Madison World, has appointed the former global CEO of Maxus as its group chief executive.

Vikram Sakhuja joins the agency from GroupM, where latterly he was group development officer. He is taking an equity stake in the business.

The move sees current CEO Gautam Kiyawat leave the agency after three years for a role in Singapore.

Vikram Sakhuja has experience on both client, agency and media owner side, with advertisers P&G and Coke, broadcaster Star TV and media agency GroupM. Read more »

Lewis PR raises $27m cash loan to fund China and India expansion

Lewis PR logoPublic relations firm Lewis PR has received a cash injection of $27 million, which in Asia is to be used to fund expansion in India and China through new services, offices and acquisitions.

The HSBC loan extends over five years and allows the 15 year-old agency to take majority or minority stakes in acquisition targets. The agency, which has global revenue of $72 million, most recently acquired full service digital agency Piston in the US.

In APAC, Lewis is looking to make acquisitions to either drive geographic expansion or service proposition, and a digital agency in Asia would be a likely target, the agency tells Mumbrella.

Lewis also plans to invest $3m over the next two years in staff development, much of this going into a training joint venture called Rise with University of the Arts London. The programme has trained 44 staff from 17 countries to date.

Lewis, which has 10 of 28 offices worldwide in APAC, has registered compound annual growth rate of 28 per cent, growing revenue by 40 per cent in 2014. Read more »