The week in review: Pay-TV Vs adland on measurement | News is ‘shared more than skateboarding cats’ | Ian Thubron ends a decade at TBWA | Ooredoo’s ad debut | YouTube to launch ad-free option | Omnicom on WPP’s second trading desk

Mumbrella Asia logoIn a week in which a lot happened in Hong Kong, the industry clashed over audience measurement at a pay-TV event in Hong Kong, Audi launched its first locally produced ad in Hong Kong, Hong Kong-based Infiniti Motor moved its global account from TBWA to Crispin Porter + Bogusky, an Australian marketing agency opened an office in Hong Kong, and a Hong Kong insurance company launched an ad featuring a terrifying animated shark. Also, a former marketer in Singapore was appointed a CEO of Thailand’s Chang beer.

Story of the week

Henry TanHenry Tan, the outspoken boss of Malaysia and Southeast Asia’s largest pay-TV company Astro, did not hold back at the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (CASBAA) convention in Hong Kong in his assessment of how television audiences are measured. In a broadside against the industry, he said adland had lacked the entrepreneurialism to devise a new way to measure audiences beyond ratings. GroupM boss Mark Patterson, who was in the audience, responded to Tan, saying that the barrier to launching a new system was “money”. Patterson said: “We’ve tried various systems, but when it comes to the practical issue of dollars, there is a barrier. Some people are nervous about what the data will reveal.”

Quotes of the week

Andrew Rashbass, formerly the boss of The Economist Group and now CEO of Reuters, was clear in his views on the future of news in the social media age at CASBAA Convention this week:

When people think about shared content online, they think about skateboarding cats. But the most shared content type is news.

Jon Feltheimer, CEO Lionsgate Entertainment, the producer of Mad Men, declined to try speaking in Chinese at CASBAA in Hong Kong. He said:

Mark Zuckerberg spoke for 30 minutes [in Mandarin] and was told he spoke like a seven year-old with marbles in his mouth. So I’m not going to try.

Feltheimer was reluctant to give multi-channel networks and the rise of YouTube stars too much credit, although rumours swirl that Lionsgate may be looking to buy in that space.

We’re beginning to understand that bite-sized pieces of entertainment probably need to be more lasting.

Omnicom Media Group global CEO of investment, Barry Cupples, reflected on the motives behind WPP launching a second agency trading desk:

It’s clear that they’ve hit barriers with Xaxis’s undisclosed model.

Cupples also had a prediction for the way machine-based buying is going to lead the media industry.

In the US, one per cent of TV is traded programmatically. I estimate this will have reached 30 per cent by 2018.

With pro-democracy protesters railing against the government just down the road in Admiralty, KC Chan, acting financial secretary for the Hong Kong government told his audience at CASBAA:

We uphold freedom of expression, we do not pre-censor broadcast content, and we’re light touch regulator.

Angelos Frangopoulos, CEO of Australian News Channel, had some advice at the CASBAA Convention on what sort of news drives audiences.

Opinion-based shows are our biggest shows. They deliver the numbers, and with the numbers comes revenue.

Ad legend Jeff Goody of Goodby Silverstein & Partners on how creatives get famous:

Doing something that people notice, it’s hard to do. The easier way to get things noticed in the past was to do something famous that was on TV and everyone saw it, but doing stuff on TV isn’t necessarily the way to success. I always say make a difference in the world, not just at awards shows. It’s always great to do something that people notice.

The boss of Thai News Network, Sompan Charumilinda, was asked in a session on the 24-hour news cycle at CASBAA, if any of the 24 new commercial channels launching in Thailand, seven of which are news channels, will make any money this year. He simply replied:


Neal Moore, head of content agency Click2View, raised an interesting point on Twitter:

If all agencies claim rights to #contentmarketing why do they still define themselves as PR, media, digital, etc?

Best work

Dah Sing Life. This won’t win creative awards, but it’s memorable.

Toyota. Happy footwork.

Ooredoo. Bates CHI & Partners’ first effort for Myanmar’s first foreign telco.

Audi. First locally produced ad for the Hong Kong market.

Sony Bravia. Not as good as the famous ‘Balls’ spot by Fallon London, but beautiful nonetheless from Adam & Eve/DDB.

H&M. Some models, acrobatics and West Ham striker Andy Carroll.

Best-read story on Mumbrella

WPP to launch second agency trading desk to give clients bespoke alternative to Xaxis

Good week for...

The Catholic Church in the Philippines. The world’s largest multinational enjoys a 75 per cent trust rating among Filipinos while the media has a 33 per cent rating, according to a national survey. Government was the least trusted of any organisation in the archipelago.

YouTube users. The video sharing network is looking to introduce a paid, ad-free option.

Hong Kong’s ad scene. The territory welcome a new contender, with Melbourne-headquartered marketing agency Cassette announcing its market entry.



Edmond Neo. The former Fraser and Neave marketer was appointed CEO of Chang International, the maker of Chang beer.

Crispin Porter + Bogusky. The US-based agency landed the global ad account for Hong Kong-based luxury carmaker Infiniti Motor.

Mail Online. The world’s most popular online newspaper appears to be moving into Vice territory with “boots on the ground” reporters to be deployed.

Bad week for…

The perfect body campaignVictoria’s Secret. The brand was hammered for “body shaming” in the UK with its ‘The perfect body’ ad campaign.

TBWA. The agency is to lose its Greater China boss Ian Thubron, who is to start up his own company early next year.

BBC. The Beeb suggested that the Occupy Central movement in Hong Kong had been created with the help of overseas forces, a report that was widely felt to be untrue.

The Sun. The British newspaper apologised after referring to the president of Singapore, Tony Tan, as a “Prime Miniature”.

Prediction for next week

A pitch list emerges for the UOB creative pitch after presentations are made on Monday…


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