The week in review: HK-owned publisher launches in Australia | BBH loyalist joins TBWA | Singapore gov-tech body appoints first CMO | Scam season begins | Sorrell warns WPP staff to stay on guard after Publicom collapse | M&C Saatchi’s debut work for Jaguar

Mumbrella Asia logoIn a week in which ad agencies rolled out their awards campaigns in time for Cannes, a Hong Kong-owned company quietly launched an arsenal of news websites in Australia, TBWA\Singapore lured an eight-year BBH veteran to fill its vacant MD position, The Economist launched its ‘no cookie’ online ad network in Asia, Singapore’s government’s tech wing hired its first CMO, and Ogilvy was named Marketing Magazine’s agency of the year in Singapore.

Story of the week

Geometry Global’s campaign for Cebu Pacific raised eyebrows over claims that ads only visible in the rain led to a 37 per cent increase in online bookings.

Quotes of the week

A post on Twitter was cynical about Coca-Cola‘s motives in its ‘Hello happiness’ campaign, which offered South Asian migrant workers in the Middle East a free phone call in exchange for bottle tops:

Let’s use a slave population to brand ourselves as humanitarians!

Cebu Pacific campaign by OgilvyWieden + Kennedy strategy chief Rob Campbell‘s assessment on the state of advertising, posted beneath the story about the  ‘Rain Codes’ campaign for Cebu Pacific.

And this is why business doesn’t give adland the respect we crave.

Tom Doctoroff

Tom Doctoroff

A presentation by the regional CEO of JWT, Tom Doctoroff, amused his audience at the Ad Summit in the Philippines with a series of one-liners:

Katy Perry is the biggest influencer online. Why? Justin Bieber is second. I ask even more strongly, WHY? I am not a Belieber.

Top-down messaging is very macho, very military, very American, very BBDO.

People like to get dogs that look just like them. That’s why my dog has no neck.

The Chinese have dragons in their hearts, but their rationalists. So just stand your ground [Philippines] and everything will be fine.

In Asia [a region that he said loves the internet more than anywhere], narcissism is more compelling than Buddhism.

Marshall Hall, the editor in chief of newly-launched Hong Kong-owned publisher Broadbent Media, which is launching 12 websites in Australia, explains why he thinks the model will work:

My first stint was in 1988 on a free community newspaper. Newspapers have thrived and grown on that model. There’s no reason why we can’t do it online.

Manila-based PR man Tony Ahn, who writes Wikipedia articles for brands and Filipino celebrities, revealed a reality of the “sum of all knowledge” in an interview with Mumbrella. Ahn, who places articles in newspapers so that his clients get the sources they need to feature on the online encyclopedia, said:

The criteria for Wikipedia is not truth, it’s verifiability. You have to be able to prove that what you say is true.

In Claire Beale‘s first column for Campaign (UK edition) since returning from Haymarket sister title Marketing, she did not hold back in her assessment of the failed Publicis Groupe-Omnicom merger.

It was a deal that all the important people – the clients and the people creating work to help those clients sell stuff – could see absolutely no point in.

Best work

Jaguar. M&C Saatchi’s first campaign for its new client included a trio of brand films to bring its performance, design and innovation brand values to life through the stories of a film-maker, a chef and a musician. This is probably the best one…

The Department of Tourism, Philippines. The ‘It’s more fun in the Philippines’ campaign moved into its second phase with a focus on individual destinations. First up, Boracay.

British Airways India. A mother’s wish. Get married!

DDB Mudra Group. The agency put up hoardings for a few people who don’t live with their mothers for mother’s day. This one went up in Goa for Rohan who lives in Bangalore.

Happy mother's day

Heineken. A global ad shot in Hong Kong.

Safetynet. The internet can’t keep your secret. Keep you privacy offline, we’re told via a naked woman admiring herself in the mirror.


Dove. A mother’s body.

Leroy Merlin. Another ‘selfie’ themed ad, with humans playing second fiddle to furniture.

Best-read story on Mumbrella Asia

Make up a client, fudge a media schedule and jazz up a case study video. It’s awards season

Best media and marketing headlines

Good week for…

Lena Goh. The managing director of Maxus Singapore landed a plumb role as the government tech division IDA’s first CMO.

CNN. The rolling news channel topped an Ipsos media consumption survey of Asia’s rich.

Pink Dot SG. The gay pride event attracted two more sponsors, BP and Goldman Sacks, although the movement is still waiting for its first truly local backer.

Roy returns home

Roy comes home

Lowe Indonesia. The agency managed to convince a talented creative director working at McCann New York, Roy Wisnu, to return to his home country to fill the shoes of six-year ECD Din Sumedia, who shifted to Ogilvy last month.

DDB. Just like in Singapore, the agency looks like a favourite to dominate effectiveness awards show the Effies, with plenty of its entries making the shortlist yesterday.

Bad week for…

Ogilvy. It was probably cruel to pick on an ad agency that does so much truly brilliant work for its clients and has probably been the region’s best network for some time now. But its campaign for Cebu Pacific did not shower the agency with glory. A 37 per cent increase in online bookings from ads only visible in the rain? Purlease. Even so, Ogilvy did win Marketing Magazine’s Agency of the Year.

Omnicom Media Group’s content unit Fuse. With no disrespect to his capable replacement Anathea Ruys, Fuse (and Asia) lost APAC boss Jeremy Paul to the allure of a global role at Starcom based in London.

Prediction for next week

Could Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post be jumping on the native advertising bandwagon with a new special division?


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