The week in review: SPH profits ‘eaten by 120 dogs’, New Year marketing mishaps, McDonald’s gets sensitive, ‘social media doesn’t make us enough money’, man goes without bath

Mumbrella Asia logoIn media and marketing in Asia, a lot happens in a week. So we thought we’d start a series of weekly round ups of the best stuff we’ve spotted – the good, the bad and the peculiar, as we see it.

Story of the week, quotes of the week, best ads, worst ads, good week for so and so, bad week for such and such, phrases you should now start using in meetings. That sort of thing.

The past week has, as the industry cranks back into gear in the middle of January, been predictably unpredictable…

Story of the week


Damien Cummings has not been short of job offers since he was let go after a restructure at Samsung at the end of last year. He’d been in talks with L’Oréal, Rio Tinto, a few agencies and some start-ups, but the took the top marketing job as Philips as regional CMO.

Quotes of the week

Media agency CEO (anonymous):

We don’t have a social media department because social media doesn’t make us enough money. It’s too labour intensive for too little return.

Kim Jong unA commenter beneath a story about Singapore Press Holdings’ revenue and circulation decline on news blog The Online Citizen couldn’t resist referring to the Straits Times’ story on the fanciful death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s uncle:

Profits devoured by 120 dogs, which had not eaten for three days

Phuong Ngo, group insight manager at IndoChina specialist ad agency Riverorchid, on marketing around Lunar New Year:

Many brands fall into one of two traps. There are those with limited budgets which spend either all or a large proportion of their annual funds, but simply get lost in the clutter of advertising and promotions. Worse still, there are those which do manage to stand out – but do so for all the wrong reasons, coming across as tendentious, clumsy or even disrespectful.

Rob CampbellWieden + Kennedy strategy chief Rob Campbell’s comment on ‘Chris Reed on how people and companies should brand themselves on LinkedIn‘:

This is a region where title inflation is rife, which is why many Linkedin profiles seem to have more fiction in them than a Harry Potter novel.

McCann Philippines’s VP and chief strategy officer Gino Borromeo about how brands should approach the Typhoon Haiyan relief effort:

Brands have to be visible and be seen as relevant but should be very cautious such that they are not seen as opportunistic. Consumers know the stark difference between a heartfelt desire to help and an opportunistic desire to push one’s agenda during these challenging times.

Tina Fey at the Golden Globes:

And now, like a supermodel’s vagina, let’s all give a warm welcome to Leonardo DiCaprio.

Job of the week

Head of corporate communications at Turner Broadcasting Asia Pacific, to fill the large shoes of long-serving Chris Dwyer who’s departure emerged today.

Ads of the week

CCTV. The sort of ad that Cannes juries go gooey over. Awards guaranteed.

WWF. Rather than take the usual route of depressing the audience into caring about the environment, WWF lightens the planet’s demise with an action movie trailer pastiche.

McDonald’s Philippines. A gentle, sombre tone, in respect of a country still picking itself up after Typhoon Haiyan, is not what you’d expect from an ad for a burger chain’s breakfasts.

Intel China. Tattoos tell the story.

Asahi Hong Kong. Possibly the best looking man in Asia, a spectacular view of Hong Kong and a curiously sexy glass of beer. Not much of an idea. But suavely persuasive enough to convince any man that drinking Asahi is classy.

Apple iPad Air. Is the Dead Poet’s Society narrative an ode to Steve Jobs?

Axe Peace. What no babes in bikinis magically drawn to an over-deodorised geek?

Worst ad of the week

Alpecin. Possibly the most repeated ad on Hong Kong television suggests German engineering will stop men from going bald.

Best-read story on Mumbrella

Chris Reed on how people and companies should brand themselves on LinkedIn

Consumer trend of the week Dye arm pit hair

Grow armpit hair long, and dye it bright colours.

News headlines of the week

Event of the week

The No Pants Subway Ride. Here’s what happened in Hong Kong:

Most inane posts on Singapore snoop-site Stomp

It was a good week for…

Reed Collins, the ECD of Ogilvy & Mather Hong Kong, whose ad for Rio Mints went viral (more than 250,000 views on YouTube).

It was a bad week for…

Real-time trading. Yes, the space is booming, but not without its casualties in a market still finding its feet. Xaxis is making redundancies following the merger with 24/7 and Brandscreen went into administration.

Fonterra. The world’s largest dairy company did not do its brand reputation any favours with a product recall in New Zealand.

Simon Squibb

Simon Squibb, the founder and chairman of Hong Kong creative agency Fluid, and more recently the founder of investment firm Nest, received around 200 text messages congratulating him on making $3.2 billion from selling his company to Google.

Prediction for next week

There is a copycatting row in the Philippines and a senior executive leaves Turner Broadcasting.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella Asia newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing