The week in review: How will Thailand’s coup impact the media industry? | YouTube content giant Maker Studios to launch in Asia | Droga5: ‘We’re not going to apologise for winning Tiger Beer’ | Malaysian and Singapore PMs sue bloggers | ‘I never heard of David Abbott’ | Mumbrella Awards shortlist

Mumbrella Asia logoIn a week in which a military coup in Thailand threatened to devastate the media industry and foreign investment, YouTube content giant Maker Studios launched in Asia, bloggers were sued in Malaysia and Singapore, Pernod Ricard’s top Asia marketer cast doubt over the re-emergence of the full service agency, Tiger Beer launched a global ad campaign created by Sydney agency Droga5 and Pocari Sweat announced plans to put a can of the soft drink on the moon.

Story of the week

Thai military coup live on television

Thai coup live on television

Yet another military coup in Thailand threatened to devastate an already fragile media industry in Southeast Asia’s second largest economy, as TV channels stop broadcasting. Currently only images created by the army are being televised on some channels.

Quotes of the week

Omnicom Media Group Thailand boss Sunee Paripunna was bullish about the impact of the military coup on the media industry in her country:

Our reaction is positive given that the military action will potentially bring about the end of the rally which has been prolonged for too long now.

René Rechtman, the international president of one of the biggest creators of YouTube content, Maker Studios, revealed to Mumbrella that the company is launching in Asia, starting with Singapore. Responding to Mumbrella’s question about why Maker Studios content is so popular in Asia (700 million YouTube views a month), Rachtman said:

We know what sort of content works for the internet and what doesn’t. But it is also because a lot of the content out there is either tightly regulated, or it is shit.

Glen Brasington, Asia VP of marketing for Pernod Ricard, voiced his view on full service agencies.

With the re-emergence of the full service model, you lose something as a client, as agencies try to become adept at everything.

Singaporean blogger Roy Ngerng produced the understatement of the week when he responded to the Prime Minister’s legal letter over a blog post entitled ‘Where Your CPF Money is Going: Learning from the City Harvest Trial’:

Today, I am sued by the very government which should be protecting its citizens, such as me. This is disappointing.

Droga5 Sydney creative chairman David Nobay on winning Tiger Beer, for which the agency has produced a new global campaign:

I’m not going to apologise for winning the business.

After Mumbrella asked MediaCorp’s strategy chief Guillaume Sachet about why his company’s content is so difficult to share online, Sachet’s fellow panelist at the All That Matters event in Singapore, Sanchit Sanga, head of digital, South Asia and ASEAN at Mindshare, chimed in with:

Do you live in Singapore?


No. Hong Kong.


You’re safe then. Otherwise I’d suggest you to renew your work permit very quickly.

Susana Tsui, APAC CEO of PHD, lamented the sluggishness of agencies in a IAB-hosted session at All That Matters conference:

We are our own worst enemies, as we need to justify ROI to the client. By the time we’ve done all the analysis, the wave has gone and there’s another trend on its way.

An internal report by one of the world’s most revered newspapers, The New York Times, painted a worrying picture for established print media trying to compete with the likes of BuzzFeed, Business Insider and Huffington Post:

They are ahead of us in building impressive support systems for digital journalists, and that gap will grow unless we quickly improve our capabilities. Meanwhile, our journalism advantage is shrinking as more of these upstarts expand their newsrooms. We are not moving with enough urgency.

Among the many tributes to David Abbott, the British copywriter who co-founded Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO and died earlier this week, was the legendary adwoman Linda Locke, who wrote on Facebook:

Truly very sad. I met him in the 80’s. A gentleman in the truest sense of the word. The copywriter’s copy writer. And an adman who redefined British advertising.

The Economist reviewed a book written by the man who broke the story about NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The Economist wrote:

The villain of the book is not just the NSA but the mainstream American media, which Mr Greenwald believes is so chummy with politicians and businesspeople that it no longer holds power to account. That is why Mr Snowden leaked the material to Mr Greenwald, then an opinionate blogger and columnist for a left-wing British newspaper, The Guardian, and not the New York Times.

Best work

Tiger Beer. The first work from Sydney agency Droga5 on the famous beer brand was a bold departure from the norm.

Pink Dot SG. Sponsors include BP, Goldman Sachs, Google, Barclays, JP Morgan, Cooper Vision, Parkroyal on Pickering and audio branding agency The Gunnery.

Pocari Sweat. Putting a can on the moon.

AMC. The makers of Mad Men pitched their case to win at the Emmys with a mock ad campaign featuring its leading characters, this one with Betty Draper.

Betty Draper in Mad Men

Best-read story on Mumbrella

What the New York Times’ digital troubles mean for the future of newspapers

Good week for…

Droga5. The agency quietly announced its presence in Singapore, after winning the Tiger Beer business.

Bad week for…

Press freedom in Malaysia and Singapore. Independent news website Malaysiakini and 33 year-old Singaporean blogger Roy Ngerng were sued by their respective governments for defamation.

I never heard of David AbbottBBDO and the British ad industry. BBDO’s UK agency, Abbott Mead Vickers BDDO, lost its co-founder David Abbott, who died at the age of 75. Abbott was considered one of the best British copywriters of all time. Among many famous lines, he wrote ‘I never read The Economist. Management trainee, aged 42’. In tribute to Abbott, David Droga wrote the line, ‘I never heard of David Abbott’.

Prediction for next week

Another global content creation company launches in Singapore, following in the footsteps of Maker Studios.


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