Opinion

The week in review: Havas results confound its critics | Philips reviewed | Facebook swallows Whatsapp | ‘What is APAC?’ | Asia Pulp & Paper fights back | the sad world of brand Facebook pages

Mumbrella Asia logoOver a week in which the industry cranked itself back into gear after Chinese New Year, Philips reviewed its Asian agencies, Sir Martin Sorrell called on ad grads to learn Chinese, Facebook snapped up Whatsapp, Singapore students waged war against cyber hate, and a Australia-based regional marketer wondered ‘What is APAC’?

Stories of the week

Philips kicked the tyres of its Asia agencies a few weeks after Damien Cummings took over as CMO, and Facebook bought Whatsapp, prompting some to wonder how long it will take before ads start appearing on the mobile messaging service.

Quotes of the week

Perhaps not the headline the BBC intended when it reported on Facebook’s acquisition of Whatsapp:

Facebook pays $16bn for what Mark Zuckerberg calls “incredibly valuable” Whatsapp massaging service

An email from a marketing executive based in Australia, who has Asia Pacific in her job title.

Can you let me know what APAC is? I’m unfamiliar with it/them.

Aida GreenburyAsia Pulp & Paper’s head of sustainability and PR Aida Greenbury responded on Twitter to Mumbrella’s opinion piece that suggested she once said she cried the first time she saw a tree cut down.

I used tears to defend my image? Hilarious. Come over here and I’ll show what I do to defend our image.

Asia earned the ignominious accolade of being the most dangerous place on earth for journalists. The International Federation of Journalists said in a press release:

The media death toll of 2013 confirms the abject failure of governments to hold accountable those who are responsible for violence against journalists, which has entrenched the culture of impunity for attacks on media professionals.

At the Media360 conference in Hong Kong, WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell was asked for advice for students wanting to get into advertising. He said:

Learn Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian

Maxim Korea The editor-in-chief of men’s magazine Maxim Korea says sorry for a cover line on the February edition that read: “How to date Japanese women who haven’t been exposed to radiation,” a spectacularly insensitive reference to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster from three years ago.

I would like to apologize for causing discomfort and inflicting harm on a large number of Japanese people as a result of the text on the February issue. I am reflecting on this incident in my heart and would like to apologize to anyone who was deeply offended.

An article in British newspaper The Independent took a cynical view of how brands behave on Facebook titled, ‘Like if you hate Mondays’: The sad world of corporate Facebook pages’.

For every brand that thought carefully about how best to interact with a zillion customers at once, at least 10 just palmed the job off to the nearest intern with a slap on the back.

'Down to earth'

‘Down to earth’

Abhishek Bachchan, son of one of India’s most popular TV personalities of all time, Amibabh, stretched the boundaries of credibility with this quote about his wife Aishwarya Rai, in the Times of India:

She is one of the most down to earth…. normal people you will ever meet. She hasn’t married me because I am a film star or I am a Bachchan and I haven’t married her because she is the most beautiful woman on earth or one of the biggest stars on earth, so that never comes in the equation.

Best ads

Not A Keyboard Warrior. A worth crusade against cyber hate in Singapore, with an interesting choice in sponsor.

anti-cyber bullying campaign

Star Jalsha. In a stunt of stomach-churning proportions, DDB Mudra created the world’s largest Jalebi (a traditional Bengali sweet).

DDB Mudra stunt

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Guaranteed to win awards, this. But in which category? Print, presumably.

Samsung. Another dig at Apple.

P&G. Another moving motherhood-themed piece around the Winter Olympics.

Coca-Cola. Has the fizzy drinks giant found a cure for social media addiction?

Geicho. Pinocchio as a motivational speaker.

Samsung. More Sochi-inspired Winter Olympics fun for the family.

DHL. A cunning stunt indeed.

Xbox. An apparent ad glitch turns into an interesting piece of branded content.

Evolve. The American gun responsibility group called for a ‘bill of rights for dumb asses’.

Lacoste. The French fashion brand takes le big leap…

SOS Children’s Villages. What would you do if you saw a freezing child? A hidden camera placed at a bus stop in Oslo tugs at the heart strings to boost clothing donations for children in Syria.

Worst ad

OTO. Because the only way to remedy the pain one would feel after playing football in high heels is this peculiar contraption.

Most-read story on Mumbrella Asia

Temasek hires News Corp social media manager Alvin Lim to lead digital engagement

Best media and marketing headlines

Most inane Stomp posts

Good week for…

Havas Worldwide in Asia. The agency group, which was called out for suffering from a lack of leadership in its creative operations by Campaign Asia magazine, posted a 17.5 per cent increase in fourth quarter earnings for last year (admittedly, mostly thanks to the performance of its media arm, Havas Media).

Chinese films. ‘Black Coal, Thin Ice’ won best picture at the Berlin Film Festival.

Bad week for…

Press freedom in Myanmar. After climbing above Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines in the Reporters without Borders press freedom index, the Burmese government clamped down on foreign journalists’ visas, limiting them to one month.

Prediction for next week

Twitter launches a feature to make it easier to share visual content.

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