The week in review: Facebook has ‘sold us out’, digital agency ends of 16 years of independence, Christel joins the flock, why start ups should ‘never put a finance guy in charge’, A foreigner’s PR disaster in Singapore

Mumbrella Asia logoThis is the second in our series of round ups of the best stuff we’ve spotted – the good, the bad and the peculiar – in media and marketing in Asia Pacific over the past week.

Story of the week, quotes of the week, best ads, worst ads, good week for so and so, bad week for such and such. That sort of thing.

The past week has seen the world’s largest independent digital agency sell, direct mail make a comeback, Facebook take a bashing, Christel Quek join Twitter, and an Indian chewing gum brand humiliate tobacco-chewers.

Story of the week

Profero co-founder Wayne Arnold

Profero co-founder Wayne Arnold

Earlier in the week, the top story was probably a management rejig after the merger Dentsu and Aegis that left many questions unanswered (about potential redundancies, for instance). But then the industry’s biggest independent digital agency was sold. Sixteen years after two brothers in an office behind a launderette in north London with two laptops and a maxed out credit card founded Profero, the business was acquired by Lowe.

Quotes of the week

Wayne Arnold looks back after selling the agency he co-founded in 1998 (Profero):

At the time people thought we were crazy. They thought the internet would never take off. They thought putting media, creative and technology together was a stupid idea.

Paul Grubb, the former ECD of Lowe Asia Pacific, who founded Bangkok-based Red Pill four years ago, offered some advice on the most important thing about setting up a new agency:

Put a finance man in charge of the company and you’ll end up with…well, our business is now largely run by finance guys and look at the state of it.

Susana Tsui

Susana Tsui

Susana Tsui, the regional CEO of media agency PHD, has a word to say about the recent changes to Facebook:

Your friends don’t see your posts anymore and do your notice that all the feeds on your wall are all paid feeds bought by content suppliers? Time to get off Facebook as it doesn’t serve it’s purpose any more. Totally sold us out!

Boffins from Princeton University point at a bleak future for Facebook in a paper referred to by Mashable:

The future suggests that Facebook will undergo a rapid decline in the coming years, losing 80 per cent of its peak user base between 2015 and 2017.

Facebook fights back

Facebook fights back

…and Facebook retorted that Princeton’s findings, which describe the social network as a “disease”, are:

Utter nonsense.

Stephanie Silvester, APAC group marketing manager at Verizon, on why direct mail is still vital for B2B marketers, talking at Web Wednesday in Hong Kong.

Because people receive less direct mail through their letter boxes than they used to, they actually read it.

Pat Law

Pat Law

Pat Law, the founder of Singapore social media agency Goodstuph, has some more advice for start ups.

Stop behaving like a start-up.

Paul Fishlock, the man who beat WPP in a court case over the terms of his dismisssal from the now-defunct Australian office of The Campaign Palace, during his talk at Mumbrella360.

Those lawyers could teach ad agencies a thing or two about time sheets.

A quote from Yahoo!’s article about why hiring attractive young women as a sales promotion strategy doesn’t translate into sales:

I think it’s just human nature for guys to be a little nervous around hot girls.

Best ads

Kwiknic chewing gum. A cute way to humiliate tobacco-chewers.

Petronas. Sentimental as ever, but Leo Burnett just keeps on delivering for the oil giant on festive occasions in Malaysia.

HELP University. Whisky-sipping cabbie and hidden cameras warn Malaysian students of the perils of drink driving.

Volkswagen. Super Bowl teaser uses an algorithm to create the ultimate ad, as a German would do, apparently.

Newcastle Brown Ale. ‘The ad we would have made if we had a mega huge marketing budget’

Innocent. We do good things, so buy our juice.

Dove ‘selfie’. The latest in the sponsored self-esteem campaign.

Bud Light. Arnie plays ping pong in Super Bowl teaser

Kit Kat. A revival of the ‘have a break’ slogan hits Britain.

Worst ad

All Nippon Airways, which landed itself in hot water by using a man wearing a blonde wig and a fake nose to represent Caucasians. Racist? Probably. Lame? Definately.

Most-read article on Mumbrella

Start up secrets

Best news headlines

Most inane Stomp post

Greedy S’porean a laughing stock after being spotted jacking up car to pump more petrol in JB

Good week for…

The company that can now claim to be the biggest independent digital agency in the world, after Profero sold to Lowe. Who is it?

Christel Quek. A lady who has more than 100,000 tweets to her name, found her rightful employer.

Bad week for…

Love. Not romantic love, but the UK-based ad agency Love, which is closing its Shanghai office, Campaign Asia reported.

CBS Interactive, who are losing APAC boss and IAB Singapore chairman Wendy Hogan.

Anton Casey Wanker Special sales promotion at TuckshopThe image of Brits and foreign talent in general in Singapore. Thank you, Anton Casey, who had to hire a PR agency after referring to those who take public transport in Singapore as “poor people”. He was also the inspiration for some interesting sales promotion tactics (see right).

Prediction for next week

An ad or media agency will launch a talent search in the style of X Factor, OMD will win the Marina Bay Sands media review, taking the business from Dentsu, and Cannes Lions will announce a new awards category.


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