Opinion

The week in review: UOB pitches in Singapore | Edelman China CEO goes missing | ‘If you say ‘Game changing’ again I will slap you’ | Hong Kong political site closes | Malaysia Airlines to rebrand | WSJ accused of plagiarism

Mumbrella Asia logoIn a week in which a feisty Chinese independent news outlet accused The Wall Street Journal of plagiarism, a debate ignited in India about the treatment of women in advertising, a former Cannes judge admit that if scam entries are innovative they “let is pass”, BBDO won global digital duties for Guinness along with Iris Worldwide, the Hong Kong edition of CosmoGIRL closed as did political news site House News, and news emerged that banking giant UOB is pitching its ad business in Singapore.

Story of the week

UOB logoUOB is pitching its creative account in Singapore, revealed earlier this afternoon. Mystery surrounds which agencies are on the pitch list, but sources suggest that Saatchi & Saatchi, incumbent Leo Burnett, DDB and a Publicis Groupe team effort of BBH and Publicis are in contention. Everyone has denied involvement, or not responded to Mumbrella’s questions.

Quotes of the week

Bob Greenberg, the co-founder of digital hotshop R/GA, offered a glimpse at how judges think at awards shows.

If it’s really innovative, and it might have a bed of scam connected to it, we sort of let it pass. It’s still showing the way forward.

PR man Tony Ahn seemed to enjoy his rant on Facebook about self-promoting speakers at industry events, the best of his punches being:

If you say “disruptive” or “game changing” without referencing something so notable that it has had independent news coverage, I will slap you

Top Lenovo marketer Sridhar Ramaswamy told Mumbrella his views on scam advertising:

We, as marketers, look to do work that has a clear business purpose, not to win awards.

News emerged this week that Baidu, like Google, is planning on creating a driverless car. Deputy director of search Yu Kai reportedly said:

Freedom means the car is intelligent enough to operate by itself, like a horse, and make decisions under different road situations.

Seasoned creative Roger Pe had a few suggestions for new names for Malaysia Airlines, which is believed to be going through a strategic review of its brand.

1. Royal Airline of Malaysia

2. Truly Asia Airlines

3. Malaysia Worldwide

FeminaA commenter known as ‘Calm your vagina’ on the story about DDB Mudra’s campaign for Indian women’s magazine Femina, which has introduced the slogan ‘Be unstoppable’, said:

The way women are portrayed in Asian ads…they only seem to have two settings…..meek and subservient…..or contentious and aggressive…..either they are serving drinks, batting eyelashes, flirting or they are on some rant about how they are a force of nature.

Calm down, women….you are wonderful and complex creatures…..that no ad can fully capture. In fact these ads make you look silly…..what worries me is the scores of impressionable young girls who will want to be and talk like this….where is the grace of Asian women…stop trying to be like your cousins in the west.

A comment by beneath Mumbrella’s story about Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson landing in hot water for a referring to an Asian man as a “slope” in a broadcast in Myanmar:

Get this cracker off air. How the hell can any viewer here put up with that? If we wanted racial slurs against asian people we’d go visit Australia.

Cockney celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, after opening a restaurant in Hong Kong, told Bloomberg Television.

I’m a living brand: It’s quite an awkward thing to be. Even Richard Branson — It’s not called Richard Branson Airlines. He’s got Virgin in the middle.”

Best work

Hero Pleasure. Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt zooms around on her motorbike evading the advances of men.

McDonald’s. An elderly man wins the affections of a lady with his selfie stick, much to the frustration of his taunting pals in an ad by Leo Burnett Manila.

Beyond Blue. “No one should be made to feel like crap, just because of who they are.”

Femina. The magazine relaunched with a positive image message for Indian women in the campaign, Be unstoppable.

Femina cover

Volkswagen. A celebration of 60 years in New Zealand.

Awkward. The phone app for awkward video confessions – just blur yourself as much as you need to.

Palestinian Israeli Bereaved Families for Peace. Saatchi & Saatchi created this anti-conflict’ film featuring families of some people who’ve died in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

David Jones. Slick retail spot for the Australian retailer featuring Jessica Gomez.

Sibirskaya Korona. Imagine The X-Files star David Duchovny had grown up in Russia. This video was viewed 1.7 million times within four days on YouTube.

Christian Louboutin. As weird as you might expect for an ad directed by David Lynch for nail polish that costs $50 a pop.

Worst ads

C.C. Lemon. Headache-inducing liveliness for the launch of C.C. Lemon in Vietnam.

Best-read story on Mumbrella

The Scam Lions? Count me out

Good week for…

BBDO and Iris Worldwide. The agencies emerged the winners after a global review of the digital marketing function for beer brand Guinness.

We Are Social. The “social conversations agency” recruited the talents of Digital Arts Network Singapore creative director Oz Dean.

Thai Airways. Banned sharks fin from its cargo flights – good PR.

Bad week for…

Hong Kong’s media scene. In the same week that a political news site, House News, closed due to political pressure and weak advertising revenue, SMCP Hearst pulled the plug on the print edition of CosmoGIRL.

AirTel. The Indian telco was accused of mixed messaging for portraying women as both company bosses and homemakers in this ad.

Singapore Airlines. One of Asia’s most prestigious brands reported a profit dive after suffering losses from budget subsidiary Tiger Airways.

The Wall Street Journal's story on corruption probe

WSJ story on corruption probe

The Wall Street Journal. Was accused of plagiarism by the deputy editor of Chinese independent news magazine Caixin Weekly.

Ford in China. The American carmaker had to recall thousands of imported Edge SUVS after a Chinese watchdog brought attention to a possibly fuel system leak.

Microsoft. The computing giant is facing a monopoly investigation in China. A regulator is suggesting that Microsoft has “not fully disclosed information about Windows and Office software,” according to Reuters.

Prediction for next week

The UOB Singapore advertising review produces a few surprises on the pitch list.

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