The week in review: WPP to launch second trading desk | Ikea Singapore goes viral again | SingTel commercial chief departs | Virgin’s watchable 5-hour pre-roll | Diwali ads | Publicis Groupe’s weak earnings | The best air safety video ever?

Mumbrella Asia logoIn a week in which WPP plotted a second agency trading desk in the burgeoning programmatic space, another Ikea Singapore video went viral, Asia’s pay-TV body urged Hong Kong’s government to curb illegal downloading, Leo Burnett Singapore CCO Tim Green returned to Australia, a denim brand told Indian society to “butt out” of women’s issues, and Virgin created a deliberately tedious 5 hour 45 minute pre-roll ad that is compulsively watchable.

Story of the week

WPP logoWPP is soon to launch a second agency trading desk to serve its GroupM stable, Mumbrella revealed today. The as-yet-unnamed entity will offer clients a more tailored alternative to Xaxis, which while enormously successful in terms of growth, has not been helped by the prickly issue of arbitrage. Clients have been increasingly outspoken about their distrust of trading desks that do not disclose the margins they make on trades, and the new brand will give them another option.

Quotes of the week

Mylinh Cheung


Mylinh Cheung, boss of Singapore’s Epic PR, clearly hasn’t had a good recent experience interviewing for account executives week. She tweeted:

Dear millennials, coming to a job interview in a bandage mini dress channelling an episode from V, and a bare waist is not helpful to [your] cause.

The global boss of TBWA, Jean-Marie Dru, said at an event in Australia this week, that ad agencies should start getting involved in the product development stage with brand owners, alongside R&D departments. He said:

Our job is to build brands and you cannot build brands without good product. We can be part of the thinking and contribute at our own level sometimes in a big way, sometimes in a small way but we can be part of that.

Pay-TV advocacy group CASBAA issued a strongly-worded statement to persuade the Hong Kong government to pass a bill to curb the illegal use of its members’ content online this week. CASBAA’s CEO Christopher Slaughter took issue with fears that the bill, which would give content makers the right to authorise the use of its content online, posed a threat to freedom of expression in Hong Kong. With ongoing protests on the streets of Hong Kong showing no sign of letting up, he said.

Hong Kong citizens may have reasons to be concerned about protecting their rights of free expression from challenges, but the Copyright Amendments are not such a challenge.

Ten years a journalist and now two as a PR, Ben Oliver nails a major reason why journalists rarely do well on the dark side in an opinion piece on Mumbrella:

Journalism is generally a solitary profession. The newsroom is not a unified country but a chain of islands; how many journalists would share their story ideas or contacts with their colleagues? While not ideal, journalists can do their job sans inter-company communication. In agency, communication blackout is a death sentence.

Michael MaedelA comment beneath a story about an interview with former JWT APAC chairman Michael Maedel, in which he said that Asia’s young talent are being promoted too quickly and not given enough experience in Western markets, ‘Gold in old’ laid out three reasons why there is a “huge quality drought” in agencies, resulting in high turnover:

  1. The fallacy that experience matters less than the vim and vigour of the younger generation. What good is the ability to pull all nighters when nothing of value emerges after watching videos on the net through a Red Bull haze?

  2. The desperate quest for a silver bullet hire who can turn shit into gold. Most problems require a team to solve it together. The lone wolf theory to success is just self promotion. Be wary of those who call themselves ‘change agents’.

  3. The incestous plague of ‘mates who hire mates’ is more destructive than ebola.

Best work

Ikea. BBH’s second video hit inside two months for the furniture retailer paid tribute to the Kubrick classic, The Shining.

Samsung. A Malaysian Indian girl brings her Caucasian boyfriend home for Diwali…

Jealous 21. Bates CHI & Partners’ work for the denim brand positions it as a crusader for the liberalisation of women in India.

Jealous 21

Petronas. Always sentimental, but usually memorable, the oil giant has produced another festival-time gem to touch Malaysian hearts at Diwali. The second piece of work by Leo Burnett Malaysia in this list.

Air New Zealand. The best air safety video ever?

Pepsi. A short film from India’s most popular fizzy drink to celebrate Diwali.

Currys PC World. A UK electrical store harks back to Hollywood’s Golden Age.

Virgin America. 5 hours and 45 minutes of tedious genius.

Global Solidarity HK. Hongkongers say ‘thank you’ to TVB reporters who spoke out against censored reporting of the pro-democracy protests.

Best-read story on Mumbrella

Ikea recreates hallway scene from The Shining to promote late night opening for Halloween

Good week for…

SnapChat. The ephemeral message app hosted its first ad on the platform, according to Business Insider, for upcoming movie Ouija.

Twitter. Four tweets after Monica Lewinsky, famed for a cigar-related incident with former president Bill Clinton, joined the microblogging service, she has almost 75,000 followers. Perhaps not one for two-way conversations, Lewinsky is following no-one yet.

BBH. The agency produced the second of two very popular videos in less than two months for Ikea Singapore with recreation of a scene from The Shining. Publicis Groupe sibling Leo Burnett‘s Malaysia produced two impressive multiculturalism-themed ads for Samsung and Petronas for Diwali.

Ralph Lauren. The luxury brand ignored the warning signs surrounding the Occupy Central protests and opened a store in Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay.

Rhino campaignRhinos. According to a charity and an animal conservation group, demand for rhino horn in Vietnam has dropped 38 per cent this year as a result of a number of ad campaigns. Humane Society International andVietnam CITES launched a campaign in August last year to raise awareness that rhino horn is not medicinal and the poaching of rhinos is pushing the animals to extinction. The campaign included a informational children’s book, entitled I’m A Little Rhino. This campaign was distributed through women’s groups, businesses, and school children.

Bad week for…

Phuong on MasterChefMasterChef Vietnam. A turtle was punched and beheaded by a 21 year-old contestant who worried she was about to get eliminated.

SingTel. The company lost its chief commercial officer, Michael Smith, who is joining an Australian betting firm as CMO.

South China Morning Post. The newspaper did its reputation for neutrality no favours when it emerged that the paper might have suddenly put its rates up to stop an ad running that criticised the Hong Kong police’s handling of the Occupy Central protests, Marketing reported. The paper later cited an internal error was to blame for the hike.

Buzzfeed. No one, at least in the US, trusts it as a news source yet.

Publicis Groupe. Reported weak Q3 earnings, blaming a meagre one per cent increase in organic growth on merger distractions. The failed union of Publicis Groupe and Omnicom meant that “management was too focused on other plans and not enough on the short-term performance and growth,” Publicis Groupe boss Maurice Levy said.

DDB Hong Kong. The agency is to part ways with its MD Simone Tam and creative chief Jeffry Gamble.

Prediction for next week

The CAASBA event to be held at the Grand Hyatt in Hong Kong next week is delayed because of the nearby street-clogging Occupy Central protests.


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