The week in review: has Singapore Press Holdings reached its tipping point? | MediaCorp’s ‘rusty ship in a tropical storm’ | Samsung reviews agencies globally | programmatic to rise 73% in Asia | Omnicom Asia revenues up 5.7% | Mumbrella turned one

Mumbrella Asia logoIn a week in which Singapore Press Holdings revealed how it wants to avoid the plight of other publishers, Malaysia Airlines subsidiary FireFly appointed a media agency, Omnicom announced strong Asia revenues, Turner hired a new head of content, and Mumbrella celebrated its first birthday and announced the first session in the Asia stream at our conference in June.

Story of the week

STOMP logoIn advertising, Samsung reviewed its agency relationships globally. Could its loyal servant (and former inhouse agency) Cheil Worldwide, lose out? In media, well, nobody really thought Singapore Press Holdings cared what other people thought about STOMP, its notorious gossip site that faces a public campaign to close it down. Until SPH editor-in-chief Patrick Daniel admitted yesterday that the company would have to review the site, partly because of some “genuinely held views” that oppose it.

Quotes of the week

A former MediaCorp executive had some sympathy for the company’s current CEO, Shawn Seow, who has parted ways with a number of senior executives recently, noting:

He is steering a rusty ship in a very big tropical storm.

Patrick Daniel

Patrick Daniel yesterday

He also said:

If you look at the decisions he’s making, he’s doing the right things. But he’s not working in isolation. Temasek [MediaCorp’s owner] are involved as are meddling politicians.

SPH editor-in-chief for English and Malay newspapers Patrick Daniel came to the defence of STOMP at the World Association of Newspapers conference in Hong Kong.

I’m not forcing everyone to read it [STOMP]. If you don’t like it, go elsewhere. It’s not as if STOMP is your only media diet.

Patrick Daniel also commented on the enduring appetite for Singapore Press Holdings products:

News and journalism is not a dying business. Demand for news is still high. It’s not as if we’re making pizzas and people suddenly stop eating pizzas. The product we produce – news – is still in great demand.

Daniel also suggested what would happen in SPH did not learn from mistakes by publishers overseas.

If we do nothing, the tipping point will come – or we will find that we’re past it.

Cassian Cheung, CEO of Next Media, wowed delegates at the World Association of Newspaper with traffic data for Apple Daily:  1.2 billion page views a month, 465 million monthly video views, and eight million monthly uniques. He said:

Wherever there is an internet connection in Hong Kong, there is an Apple Daily reader.

McCann Erickson took another slap in the latest episode of Mad Men, when leading ad rogue Don Draper said:

I almost worked there, twice.

Stood no more than two metres away from where the CEO of Hong Kong, CY Leung, was sitting, the president of the World Association of Newspapers  Tomas Brunegard told delates at the WAN-IFRA conference at the Kowloon Shangri-La:

We urge the authorities to pursue justice for Kevin Lau [an investigative journalist believed to have been stabbed for exposing powerful officials] and send a clear message of support to journalists in Hong Kong,”

Leung and WAN

Leung and Brunegard after their speeches

CY Leung then got up, reminded the audience that the assailants had been brought to justice, and said:

We are committed to the freedom of ideas and information. It’s a top priority for Hong Kong and our government, not just because it is right thing to do. Not just because it is a constitutional duty. But because media freedom is a cornerstone of our reputation as an international city, and for a free, open and functioning city. In short, it’s about our way of life.

IPG Mediabrands emerging markets boss Prashant Kumar placed traditional media in a political context in a quote about traditional media in a story about the rise of programmatic buying in Asia:

It was almost communist in its insensitivity to their uniqueness, annoying due to frequent lack of relevance, and required vast operational resources that sometimes felt pre-industrial.”

The sacked Chinese former employees of Australia-owned digital agency Activate Shanghai were told by a Shanghai court that they had been unfairly dismissed. They also commented on how they feel they had been compensated:

Compared to what is promised to Australian employees, we feel that [the amount] is not only unfair, but it shows a lack of business ethics.

A bit of Easter banter from Nein on Twitter.

What did Jesus have, like 12 followers?

Motoko Imada, CEO of Mediagene Japan, told delegates at the World Association of Newspapers what she thought programmatic buying has done for publishers:

Programmatic has ruined the value of online media.

Alan Morison, the editor of Thai news website Phuketwan, who is facing jail over defamation charges brought about by the Thai Navy:

I’m still horrified that the Navy brought this charge. It is unreasonable. If I have to go to jail in protest at this attack on media freedom, then that is something we are prepared to do.

Best work

Tosando music school. The power of music.

Philippines pro-life campaign. Whether or not you believe in the message, the delivery pack a punch.

McDonald’s. Why McCafe brings Hongkers closer together.

McDonald’s. Crusading against the problems in Chinese society.

Axe. One is the loneliest number.

Apple. Can’t resist a pop at its old rival Samsung, even when tree-hugging.

Apple ad

Worst ad

Hong Kong Suicide Preventation Services

Sort of an ad. For an anti-suicide clinic. With cut-outs from toothpaste ads made into a smile.

Anti-suicide clinic

Best-read story on Mumbrella

MediaCorp a ‘rusty ship in a tropical storm’ as more executives depart

Best media and marketing stories

Good week for…

Omnicom. Revenues up 5.7 per cent in Asia and three per cent overall for the owner of agencies OMD, DDB, TBWA and BBDO.

Leo Burnett. A couple of decent wins for the network in Indonesia and the Philippines.

Host Singapore. The ad agency notched up its first new business since moving into the Havas Village with its majority owner.

Bad week for…

The allure of the Philippines as a business hub. Highlighted as the slowest country in Southeast Asia for internet penetration in a report by Tech In Asia.

Hong Kong free press demonstrationPress freedom in Hong Kong. Again. A survey revealed that people and journalists take a dim view of media freedom in Hong Kong. The survey was conducted before an editor got stabbed and a radio show host sacked

Wearable tech. Nike ended its foray into wearable tech, deciding to discontinue to Fuelband.

Prediction for next week

SPH releases a statement about how it will change STOMP. Social media wonders what the changes actually mean.


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