The week in review: Maybank Kim Eng pitch | New rules for India’s skin whitening brands | ‘Asia’s creative leaders scammed their way to top’ | Time Out closes print edition as Buzzfeed launches in India | Search firm folds | 3D selfie maker comes to Asia

Mumbrella Asia logoIn a week in which India’s ad watchdog released guidlines for advertisers of whitening products, Sir Martin Sorrell had a pop at Google and Publicis Groupe, Uber spread across India, Saatchi & Saatchi Singapore re-arranged the deck chairs as boss Paul Roebuck leaves for the US, Stuff Singapore took ladies off its front cover, and an American shopping mall produced possibly the worst ad ever made.

Story of the week

A busy week for digital media in India saw Buzzfeed go live and Huffington Post announce it is to launch in the world’s largest democracy. Meanwhile news is emerging that a pitch has been contested for a large campaign for merged bank Maybank Kim Eng. The company’s group CMO, Mohamed Adam Wee Abdullah, confirmed rumours that the campaign has been awarded to Grey.

Quotes of the week

Philips APAC CMO Damien Cummings responded to the social media head of Intel’s assertion that brands should be wary of the Condescending Corporate Brand Page:

It should be a KPI for every marketer in Asia to NOT end up on that page. Sadly, I believe a lot of marketers are going to fail.

Piyush Pandey, boss and creative director of Ogilvy India, got real about Big Data in an interview with Mumbrella:

If you take data and research at face value, then you will create something that is obvious.

Martin Sorrell fields questions from Arnab Goswami today

Sorrell in Mumbai

WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell at an International Advertising Association event in Mumbai talked about Asia’s talent crunch:

It’s not an accident that in [other] industries they build great businesses organically on principle, and they also train people aggressively and have a philosophy of ‘up or out’; if you don’t succeed you’ve gone. We don’t do that in our industry.

But a commenter known as ‘Norris’ on the story took issue with Sorrell’s comments:

There is poor training for creative juniors in Asia because quite frankly there is no one to do the training….nearly all the top creative leaders in Asia got there because of scam…they don’t know what other skills to pass on.

Sorrell also could not resist yet another dig at the failed Publicis Groupe-Omnicom merger:

Publicis Groupe agencies [which include Leo Burnett, Saatchi & Saatchi and Publicis Worldwide] are going through tough times because management has been stressing the importance of digital, but they have a legacy in traditional areas that is being undercut.

A commenter on Mumbrella’s story, BBDO and Guinness: Limited spend and Singapore’s small size is why ad only ran once:

This is a smart ad and a very good one. It’s just that they got caught submitting ads for the sake of winning awards (something which is commonly done across agencies yet frowned upon by many in the industry) but do not have the balls to stand up and admit it.

India’s ad watchdog got tough with advertisers of skin lightening products. New guidelines for advertisers read:

Ads should not portray people with darker skin in a way which is widely seen as at a disadvantage of any kind, or inferior, or unsuccessful in any aspect of life particularly in relation to being attractive to the opposite sex, matrimony, job placement, promotions, and other prospects.

SingTel’s chief commercial officer Michael Smith had his tongue in his cheek when he said this, at the APPIES in Singapore, but that doesn’t mean that it is not true:

SingTel are the best people in Singapore to determine who is having extra an marital affair.

Stuff Singapore's August issue

The last cover like this

The publishing manager of gadgets magazine Stuff Singapore, Ian Paynton, talked about the title’s decision to remove scantily clad women from its front covers:

We can no longer be known as the ‘lads mag’ with women on the front.

Best work Thai Life Insurance. Another tear jerker from one of Thailand’s most consistently creative advertisers.

Electrolux. Making art from a washing machine.

Aussie. This ad for the haircare brand is odd, and a rare pre-roll video that doesn’t provoke the viewer to stab the ‘skip ad’ button.

Perrier. The bubbly water brand launched in China with a competition to learn how to DJ.

World Animal Protection. To mark World Elephant Day, the charity in the Netherlands launched what they say is the first ever 3D printed petition.

Worst ads No contest for sexist ad of the week. Come with summer shorts or skirt and get a free cocktail at Hong Kong’s Hooray Bar, ladies. Or don’t.

Ladies night ad

This TV ad for East Hills Mall is so bad it’s sort of brilliant.

Best-read story on Mumbrella BBDO and Guinness: Limited spend and Singapore’s small size is why ad only ran once

Good week for… Naga DDB. The agency retained the Digi Telecommunications business in Malaysia. Havas Worldwide was awarded a corporate branding brief for Digi.

Straits Times and Apple Daily. The Singapore and Hong Kong publishers were the only non-Australasian winners at regional newspapers awards show PANPA.

Huffington Post. The website announced its intention to launch in India through a deal with The Times of India.

Bates CHI & Partners. The WPP agency won the launch brief for Ooredoo in Myanmar despite not having an office on the ground.

The 3D selfie maker

The 3D selfie maker

Outdoor advertisers in Hong Kong. The ‘3D selfie’ is coming to the territory from bodyscanning firm Artec Group. The scan takes just 12 seconds and can be used by brands in shopping malls or theme parks as part of outdoor ad campaigns to attract new customers.

Arcade. The Singapore-based creative agency recorded its first win since selling a stake to Publicis Groupe.

Getting to meetings in India. Taxi booking app Uber launched in four more cities in India, Tech in Asia reported, and is now available in ten Indian cities.

Digital media in APAC. Spend on digital advertising of all forms is to grow by 20 per cent this year in APAC, according to figures from e-marketers.

Bad week for…

Ogilvy Singapore. The agency has shed a large number of staff including senior roles, according to Campaign Asia.

Search marketing firm Adlux. The Australia-based firm closed owing US$3.3 million to creditors.

Marketer confidence in Asia. According to Warc, the confidence of brand owners in the region has fallen to its lowest level since September 2013.

Time Out India. The things to do and see publication closed its print editions, going online only.

Enero. The owner of Naked Communications reported a loss in its latest financial report, blaming a weak performance in Asia Pacific.

Prediction for next week

Could an Asian marcoms giant be making a move for an agency in the Philippines?


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