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?

Mumbrella Asia logoIn 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.

Jeffrey YuJeffrey Yu was modest in his assessment of the job he did at Publicis as Greater China CEO when interviewed by Campaign Asia.

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.

Stomp campaignBlogger 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.

Best work

Mini. Men take on car in stunt epic for Mini Cooper F56 in Malaysia.

Operation Black Dot. If you vote, India, actor Purab Kohli will do anything you want.

Harbin Beer. A celebration of the rarity and preciousness of World Cups.

St John’s Ambulance, West Australia. An ad deemed too shocking to watch before 8.30pm.

Cancer Council New South Wales. Women sing along to ‘I touch myself’ by the Divinyls.

GoPro. Giraffe boots camera.

WWF. Last selfie for endangered wildlife.

Worst ad

Wrong on so many levels is this campaign for Beijing 101 featuring cancer survivor Pan Ling Ling.

Beijing 101 ad scan

Best read story on Mumbrella

Do millennials think a career in advertising is worthy of respect?

Best media and marketing headlines

Good week for…

VML in China. The newly merged agency won the Johnnie Walker account in China, taking the business from OgilvyOne after a pitch.

Adam Anger. The Microsoft China executive took control of the company’s advertising operations across the region.

Singapore Airlines. Though the airline will have paid a hefty price to sponsor the Singapore Grand Prix, the returns in publicity for the media-shy company should prove to be worthwhile.

Zayn Khan

Zayn Khan

Zayn Khan. The former FutureBrand and Ogilvy Malaysia boss landed a job to launch brand agency Dragon Rouge in Southeast Asia as CEO.

Stu Spiteri. The former CEO of real-time trading firm Brandscreen, who lost his job after the company went into administration, emerged at demand side platform Krux with a brief to launch the company’s Singapore operations.

Bad week for…

Twitter. A report by the Wall Street Journal found that 44 per cent of Twitter accounts have never sent a tweet. And those who do sometimes do stupid things, like pretend to be terrorists, and get arrested. And brands like US Airways who inadvertently share images of women inserting jumbo jets into themselves to complain about late service.

The Wall Street Journal. For the seventh year in a row, the newspaper failed to win a Pulitzer prize. Is Rupert Murdoch being  blackballed, wondered News Corporation.

PosterWalker. It emerged that this was the agency behind SingTel’s widely lampooned ‘Bare facts’ ad, which Ogilvy had suggested had been created inhouse.

Prediction for next week

Phuketwan journalists

After facing pressure from the local and international media and a campaign back by the United Nations, the Thai government clears Phuketwan journalists of defamation charges brought against them by the Royal Thai Navy.


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