The week in review: Jihad against Cadbury | BBDO tops effectiveness awards | McDonald’s appoints agencies in Vietnam | PR stunt bombs | Press freedom in Thailand under seige | Nepali news network slammed for using 9/11 in ad

Mumbrella Asia logoIn a week in which a ‘Jihad’ was launched against Cadbury in Malaysia after it emerged that its chocolate contained traces of pork, press freedom in Thailand was squeezed, Rightster launched in Singapore, McDonald’s appointed digital agencies in Vietnam, Maxis appointed new agencies in Malaysia, and a Nepali TV network was slammed for using 9/11 in an advertising campaign.

Story of the week

Cadbury boycott in MalaysiaCadbury found itself at the centre of PR strife after traces of pork DNA were discovered in batches of chocolate in Malaysia. Muslim groups called for a boycott of Cadbury products, and said a ‘Jihad’ should be waged against the company. They also said that all of Cadbury’s Malaysian factories should be shut down. An opinion piece by a Muslim marketing expert yesterday warned that the boycott could spread “across the Muslim world”.

Quotes of the week

The editor of Malaysiakini Steven Gan spoke out against the Malaysian Prime Minister’s decision to sue the independent news website for publishing reader comment critical of the government:

The government is going back to old habits of using a stick [to control dissident voices]. It looks like the Malaysian government is taking leaf from Singapore’s book in suing its critics.

Nepal ad 9/11 attacksNepali’s first direct-to-home TV channel Home TV made itself look silly with an ad featuring the burning twin towers to showcase its new gathering abilities. Curiously, the line on the ad read:

Breaking news now at home… It’s a different kind of fun.

A spokesman for Malaysian Muslim group Perkasa Selangor told reporters what he thought about Cadbury after traces of pork DNA were found in its chocolate:

They have betrayed us Muslims by putting ‘haram’ elements through the foods we consume in our body, to weaken us Muslims. That is why Muslims are weak, divided.

A CNN spokesman revealed to Mumbrella the cost of moving production of two of its shows out of Hong Kong:

As a result of this change we anticipate a net impact of current personnel in Hong Kong to be in the single digits while at the same time there will be around two dozen more positions at CNN International across the globe.

Singapore Business ReviewSingapore Business Review explained to Dr Mumbo why the May issue featured a dog that appeared to be getting amorous with R2D2.

The sculpture could symbolize a lot of things, and is more reflective of the mind of the viewer. However, we don’t know how C-3PO would feel, but perhaps that was the point.

Angry Birds creator Peter Vesterbacka said why he thinks ad agencies are bad at making branded games in an interview with Mumbrella:

It’s partly because of a campaign mentality that agencies tend to have. Everyone wants to get into mobile gaming, but games without a lifespan do nothing for a brand.

Wieden + Kennedy planning honcho Rob Campbell wasn’t a fan of an ad for Durex in Singapore, it seems. On his blog, he wrote:

Durex Singapore adFor a product promoting ‘real feel’, I find it tragic that the way they communicated this benefit was like it was a bloody pharmaceutical ad. Whether that’s because of Singaporean advertising policy, the brand manager of Durex is the most boring person alive or sex with a Singaporean is like doing your taxes is open to question. But it’s pathetic all the same.

Best work

Department of Tourism, Philippines. After gradually getting back into gear after Typhoon Haiyan, the “It’s more fun in the Philippines’ campaign turned its focus on the domestic market.

Mahsuri. Targeted the Malay market for the first time in Malaysia with a catchy ad.

Yaochu Bar Group. The sleeping drunks billboard, created by Ogilvy & Mather Japan.

Pepsi. More Hollywood references than you can shake a stick at.

Tourism South Africa. A tourism ad with a twist.

Worst ad

A campaign targeted at the advertising industry to save lions?

Best-read story on Mumbrella

CNN shifts production of key shows out of Asia, ‘single digit’ staff cuts to follow

Good week for…

Riverorchid Notch and Clickmedia. The agencies won one of the most desired pieces of business in Vietnam, the digital accounts for McDonald’s, which announced its entry into the market less than a year ago. However after the news broke, there was initially some confusion as to whether or not a pitch took place.

BBDO. The Omnicom ad network was the most awarded at the Asian Marketing Effectiveness Strategy Awards, with Clemenger BBDO Melbourne named digital strategy agency of the year. But Ogilvy Mumbai won agency of the year honours for effectiveness and media strategy.

Leo Burnett, Ogilvy and Vocanic. The three agencies were appointed by Malaysian telco Maxis to handle its advertising and social media.

Singapore’s content creation industry. Rightster followed in the footsteps of Maker Studios by expanding its presence in Asia with a Singapore office.

TwitterOmnicom signed a deal worth US$230 million with the micro-blogging network.

Bad week for…

Cadbury. Traces of pork DNA found in chocolate in Malaysia. PR disaster. How to respond is now the question.

Press freedom in Thailand. The new military regime is threatening media freedom in one of Southeast Asia’s freest markets for newspapers.

PR stunts. Games brand Ubisoft sent what looked very much like a bomb to the NineMSN. The building was evacuated and the bomb squad called in.

Newspaper ad revenue in AmericaNewspapers in America. A chart emerged on Twitter that did not paint a pretty picture of publishing in one of the world’s most mature print markets. Asia publishers take note.

Prediction for next week

Could there be movement in the marketing department at Crocs?


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