Opinion

The week in review: Uber marketer says trolls are ‘fraudsters’ | Warc Asia Strategy Prize winners revealed | Levy: ‘I don’t know what Sorrell knows about love’ | The Economist’s daily launch | Alibaba gets richer | Thai tourism touts its people

Mumbrella Asia logoIn a week in which the winners of the Warc Asia Strategy Prize were revealed, The Economist launched its first daily edition in its 171-year history, Sir Martin Sorrell and Maurice Levy exchanged barbs over Publicis Groupe’s acquisition of Sapient, South Park parodies booze ads, and marketers from Uber, Infiniti F1 and Cathay Pacific shared their views on how brands should deal with social media trolls.

Story of the week

AIA's Paul Groves, Peggy Roe of Marriott, Infiniti F1's Alastair Bullock, Sam XXX of Uber, Cathay Pacific's Toby SmithHow brands should deal with trolls. The biggest story of the week for agencies was the outcome of the Warc Asia Strategy Prize, a competition that entrants like because it is judged on real work. But in the brand-owner world, a panel debate last night held by brand strategy agency Prophet in Hong Kong raised an interesting debate on how to deal with trolls.

The head of Asia expansion for taxi booking app Uber suggested that the people who complain most about your brand are probably “fraudsters” trying to game the system. “Some customers tell us that they’ll never ride again with Uber, and by the time you’ve taken the time to respond to them, they’ve taken another trip using our service,” he said.

Ali Bullock, the senior manager at Infiniti Red Bull Racing, called on brands to ignore the trolls. “There are people who attack us for our CSR initiatives,” he said. “But as a brand you’ve got to be strong and ignore the people who hate the brand, and the people who say you did this just for PR.”

Quotes of the week

WPP group CEO Sir Martin Sorrell couldn’t resist pouring cold water over the news that rival Publicis Groupe is to acquire tech firm Sapient. He said.

It looks like the behavior of a jilted lover. Christmas came early for Sapient shareholders.

To which Publicis Groupe boss Maurice Levy replied:

I don’t know what Martin knows about love. I don’t believe that’s his area of expertise. If it’s about hatred, it’s an area where he has a lot of talent. When it comes to love, he should leave it to the French.

At the Prophet-hosted event in Hong Kong last night, the head of Asia expansion at Uber, Sam Gellman, got ad agencies salivating. After saying that the taxi booking firm had only used a PR agency to date, he said:

We will advertise at some point. We will have to.

At a press conference, Lu Wei, director of the State Internet Information Office, claimed that the Chinese government has never shut down any overseas websites and its management over websites aims to protect China’s national security and consumers’ interests. He said:

We welcome anyone to come to China. We cannot change others, but we have the right to choose our friends. I hope anyone who comes to China will be our real friend.

Desire TVThe Asia boss of Playboy, Lanny Huang, suggested one reason why Asia’s conservative governments should allow shows for couples to be beamed into every household.

Look at the demographic trends. In some countries with a falling birth rate, governments could find a serious use for Desire TV.

A poster on Mumbrella, “Extremely ordinary” wasn’t convinced by Lorenzo’s flashmob at the WTA finals in Singapore, which the brand claimed was the biggest ever for a sporting evening in the citystate.

Flash mob’s were big back in 2011, but people have moved on.

A comment at a conference in the US, retweeted by the former CEO of BBH Cindy Gallop, echoed the feelings of many women who work in advertising today:

The best-known woman in advertising today is Peggy Olson. And she’s not real.

Best work

Mumbai Mirror. Hated by some. Every morning. Thankfully, the newspaper claims in this captivating film that argues why we need newspapers.

South Park. A glorious parody of booze ads.

Tourism Authority of Thailand. Beautiful imagery, decent idea, but why the world’s worst voice-over?

Netflix. The first digital outdoor campaign made from GIFs.

Burberry. Introducing David Beckham junior.

Clear Channel's interactive billboard

Clear Channel’s interactive billboard

Clear Channel. An interactive billboard that gives Singaporean commuters free news and entertainment content.

Best-read story on Mumbrella

Grey launches digital command centre

Good week for…

Lowe and PHD. The agencies landed the Warc Asia Strategy Prize for their missed call idea for Hindustan Lever.

Havas. The French comms group reported a six per cent rise in organic revenue, a result CEO Yannick Bolloré described as “highly satisfactory”.

Mindshare. The media agency was named agency of the year at the Smarties Awards in Vietnam.

Coconuts Media. The blog its biggest traffic month ever, breaking three million monthly unique users on Coconuts.co, thanks largely to its coverage of the Occupy Central pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

Alibaba. The Chinese e-commerce behemoth, reported on Tuesday a jump in profit in its first earnings announcement since its initial public offering in September.

The Economist's daily

The Economist’s daily

The Economist. The weekly business and politics digest launched its first ever daily edition, introducing the mobile app, The Economist Espresso.

Brands and agencies on Twitter. A school for how to use Twitter launched, as well as a self service tool for how SMBs in Asia can use the platform.

Lowe Profero. The digital agency expanded its reach in China by opening a production hub in Chengdu.

ScoopWhoop. The Buzzfeed-like website received financial backing from Bharti SoftBank.

Bad week for…

The shaving industry. Gillette and co face a tough month as Movember grips as guys grow their mos, the Washington Post is reporting. But shaving as a routine is down year on year as men grow tired of grooming their faces.

Yahoo. Lots of speculation that the internet giant is restructuring its operations in APAC at a cost of lots of jobs.

Microsoft CNN gaffe

Microsoft tablets as iPad stands

Microsoft. CNN reporters were given Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 devices to help them report on the mid-term elections, but reporters simply used them as stands for their iPads.

Playworks. The publisher called time on gadgets monthly T3 Magazine Singapore.

Singapore Airlines. One of Asia’s most prestigious brands saw a two per cent decline in group revenue, to $7.6 billion, while profits were down 33 per cent.

McDonald’s. The burger chain took a pasting in social media for its new slogan, Lovin’ beats hatin’.

Procter & Gamble. The company was banned from doing any business in Argentina, because of allegations of tax fraud.

Prediction for next week

A dubious media schedule for a big winner at Spikes Asia emerges.

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