The week in review: SingTel’s Whatsapp backlash | P&G accused of deforesting Indonesia | Hong Kong editor stabbed amid press freedom row | India leads Asia for media awards | How to spot a dodgy client

Mumbrella Asia logoIn a week in which conflict over press freedom in Hong Kong turned violent, WPP posted record profits, BBDO and Australia dominated the Effies shortlist, Singapore’s Internet Advertising Bureau ruffled feathers when it unveiled its leadership council, India shone in the Gunn Report for Media, and the South China Morning Post told its journalists not to use of the word ‘locust’ to describe mainland Chinese.

Story of the week

The stabbing of a sacked newspaper editor at the centre of a public outcry over press freedom shook Hong Kong’s media scene. Though still in serious condition, former Ming Pao chief editor Kevin Lau is said to be recovering quickly and has been making requests for Starbucks, according to a South China Morning post reporter on Twitter today.

Quotes of the week

In the comment thread beneath pitch consultant Darren Woolley’s article on ‘8 ways to spot a bad client’, a poster named ‘One more’ has a suggestion for a ninth warning sign for ad agencies.

9. A pitch consultant has to be hired to manage the process as the client is too dim to do it themselves.

South China Morning Post editor-in-chief Wang Xiangwei felt the need to formally instruct his journalists not to use the term ‘locust’ to describe mainland Chinese, bizarrely raising questions about self censorship at the SCMP. He wrote in an email to staff:

The term ‘locust’ is clearly being employed as a slur and there is no reason for such inflammatory language to routinely feature on our news file and risk becoming seen as SCMP-endorsed shorthand to describe people from the mainland.

LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner talks to the Wall Street Journal as the business social network prepares to expand in China:

We’re expecting there will be requests to filter content. We are strongly in support of freedom of expression and we are opposed to censorship. But that’s going to be necessary for us to achieve the kind of scale that we’d like to be able to deliver to our membership.

Hong Kong Journalists Association chairwoman Sham Yee-lan

HKJA chair Sham Yee-lan on Sunday

Sham Yee-lan, chairwoman of the Hong Kong Journalist Association, suggested what could happen if press freedom is lost:

The next generation of Hong Kongers will live a society that calls a stag a horse, because facts are distorted.

A question for the founders of Iris during a Mumbrella Google Hangout on Wednesday.

Why does your agency have an old lady’s name?

Ian Millner on Mumbrella Google HangoutOn that same Google Hangout, Iris founder Ian Millner was asked if he would eventually sell out. He replied:

I wouldn’t rule out something interesting or value adding like that, which fits with our values and principles. But I would rule out a move from a company like WPP.

A local journalist in Myanmar shared stories of unfortunate sackings on the Myanmar Foreign Correspondents Club’s Facebook page.

A colleague of his accidentally wrote “Commander-in-Thief” instead of Commander-in-Chief  and was fired. Another was fired for writing Nay Pyi Tay instead of Nay Pyi Taw [Myanmar’s capital city], because “Tay” means death.

Poor old Piers Morgan. As if losing his primetime show on CNN wasn’t enough, the former tabloid newspaper editor has been on the receiving end of more Twitter trolling than usual. But perhaps Morgan should be admired for the way he bats away the haters.

Great advice, many thanks > RT @fuckcamo@piersmorgan to fix your twitter, deactivate it and keep it deactivated you fat old twat.

And this:

It’s ‘vacuous’ > RT @FinkleFackle@piersmorgan America hates you so buy a one way ticket BACK to London you carpetbagging vacous troglodyte!

But Morgan lost all credibility with use of the term “hits”.

The Pope currently has 441,000,000 Google hits to his name. I have 484,000,000. I reckon I’ll be OK. But thanks for the concern everyone.

A story in Adweek on why it’s still fun to work in advertising starts off with:

You yearn for the ’60s and the Creative Revolution. You want to go back to the ’80s and all those yachts, prostitutes and cocaine. Hell, you’d even settle for the 2000s, before Yahoo plastered its name on the Gutter Bar.

Disgraced former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks says a lot about the mentality of journalists at her trial over the phone hacking scandal.

I don’t think anybody – me included – knew it was illegal.

Best ads

Media Literacy Council. A timely campaign.

Media Literacy Council

ANZ. Brave for a bank.

Edeka. Germany’s Gangnam Style?

Reebok. Aussie super model Miranda Kerr leaves little to the imagination.

Most-read story on Mumbrella Asia

8 ways to spot a dodgy client (before it’s too late)

Best media and marketing headlines

Most inane Stomp posts

Good week for…

WPP. Another year of record profits polished the ad giant’s 2013 balance sheet.

Iris Lo

Iris Lo

Iris Lo. The former ECD/MD of the new defunct DraftFCB re-emerged in the same hybrid role at RedLion, a new agency under the Publicis umbrella.

OMD and India. The Omnicom media agency was named the most awarded in the world by the Gunn Report for Media, and India was the world’s third most awarded country (behind the UK and the US).

BBDO. The ad agency was well ahead of the pack in the APAC Effies shortlist, as was Australia.

Havas Media. The media agency’s Meaningful brands research was quoted (and tweeted) by Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson in a post titled ‘Would you care if brands didn’t exist?’

Bad week for…

SingTel’s image. The Singapore telco was greeted with howls of protest in social media for suggesting that telcos should be allowed to charge the likes of Whatsapp and Skype for using its network. Consumers in Singapore feared that charges would be passed on to them.

Kevin Lau. The former editor of newspaper Ming Pao, whose sacking has led to protests for press freedom on the streets of Hong Kong, was stabbed by two men while walking to his car.

AIS. An official report revealed that customers are deserting the Thai telco, reportedly because anti-government protesters suspect that the company still has ties with exiled former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. AIS launched an ad campaign to make its ownership structure clear.

Respect for Malaysia’s media. The office of independent news website Malaysiakini was splattered with blood-red paint and a dead duck placed at the entrance, reportedly because the site had written about a satirical video that lampooned the state of national affairs.

P&G. Its shampoo brand Head & Shoulders came under attack from Greenpeace over claims that the brand sources palm oil from deforested parts of Sumatra.

Prediction for next week

In keeping with a tired trend that surely must soon die, an ad agency will launch a consumer promotion campaign with ‘Selfies’ component.


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