The week in review: Saatchi mandates China staff to leave work earlier | CCTV’s secretive upfront sale | SIA re-picks TBWA | Ad tech firm wonders what arbitrage means | The world’s most shared ads | Indonesia’s first regional agency boss

Mumbrella Asia logoIn a week in which Singapore’s ad agency community reached for the prozac as Singapore Airlines extended its contract with its agency TBWA, CCTV held its annual upfront airtime sale behind closed doors, an agency in China mandated its staff to go home earlier, MediaCom APAC’s Sean Seamer returned home to New Zealand to launch GroupM there, and two Thai ads flew the flag for Asia in a ranking of the most shared ads of the year.

Story of the week

CCTVCCTV’s upfront airtime sale. Behind closed doors this year. No media were allowed in to the building to cover the live auction in Beijing, presumably because sales have not been as spectacularly brisk. Although China Daily reported that the total sales were up almost 11 per cent on last year, Marco Ma, iTV operation director of TV Investment department at media agency Zenith China, told Mumbrella that the figure is likely to be lower, as brands took a more “conservative” approach to upfront airtime buying.

Meanwhile in China’s advertising world, agency Saatchi & Saatchi announced that it was to introduce a scheme to encourage its staff to leave work earlier to boost productivity and save energy. It is the first such scheme to launch in China, starting with a pilot in Hong Kong.

Quotes of the week

Aida GreenburyAida Greenbury, the managing director of Asia Pulp & Paper, the logging firm that last year committed to stop destroying indigenous rainforests, tweeted:

Sustainability is not simply about preserving a company’s reputation, it is about securing its survival

Rob Campbell, head of strategy at Wieden + Kennedy, wasn’t convinced by the Institute of Advertising Singapore’s claims that the much-derided ad for an anti-gambling group. A interesting comment thread ensued.

I haven’t seen the case study submission, but based on what is being claimed as demonstrating effectiveness, I’m wondering what odds I’ll get if I say that I bet it isn’t?

Someone else, however, called themselves ‘Judges ererred’, took a different view:

The unintended global viral effect for “I hope Germany wins’ was a collateral bonus. It was entertaining. And it didn’t adversely damage the effectiveness of the campaign. The judges shouldn’t have wimped out by giving it a bronze. It should be a silver or gold.

In an article on Mumbrella on the jobs the bigwigs of adland would do if they weren’t in advertising, Bates CHI & Partners Asia boss David Mayo commented:

I’ve learned that the most rewarding and stimulating jobs are generally not the highest paid, but the ones with the most human interaction. That said if you can mix human interaction with plenty of money, the best job NOT in advertising has to be Terry Savage’s job as chairman of Cannes.

In the same piece, Y&R Asia boss Matthew Godfrey said:

If there really was a dream job that I truly should be doing, my advice to myself would be to quit and go try it. Life’s too short to simply be dreaming from a vanilla cubical.

Valerie ChengAnd there was a touch of irony in Valerie Cheng‘s response to the same question, given her role as global creative director for the lubricants arm of oil giant Shell:

It must be very magical to work with larger, wild animals, and to help right the wrongs humans have done to species that are under threat.

One of Australia’s most influential media agency bosses, Mat Baxter of UM, suggested that CMOs lack the clout to reign in procurement from squeezing agencies on price.

If you had marketers on boards they could put procurement back in their box which is where procurement really belongs.

Simon Kemp, Asia boss of social media marketing firm We Are Social, tweeted yesterday that the region’s top marketers and agency bosses lack of personal social media presence.

As much as it worries me, I think the answer is that they don’t see any value in it. They don’t seem to understand it.

A conversation Mumbrella had with an automated ad trading firm in Singapore went well, until a certain issue was brought up that may have fallen on deaf ears. They said:

What does arbitrage mean?

Best work

Kindle India. Celebrating the joy of reading

Beats by Dre. Boxer Zou ShiMing stars in this slick spot for the headphones brand.

Turkish Airlines. Another footballer feast, this time with Didier Drogba.

Mulberry. Win Christmas.

Best-read story on Mumbrella

Asia’s funniest advertising case study videos

Good week for…

Saatchi & Saatchi. PR stunt or not, the agency’s announcement that it is to mandate its staff in China, starting off in Hong Kong, to go home early (at least twice a month) is a welcome signal to the market to place more emphasis on work-life balance.

DTAC's 'The power of love'

DTAC’s ‘The power of love’

Thailand. Two ads from Thailand, for DTAC and Thai Life Insurance, featured in a ranking by Unruly of the world’s most shared commercials. Thailand was the only country from Asia featured in the top 20.

Sean Seamer. The former head of business development for MediaCom Asia Pacific is returning to his home country to lead a new GroupM offering there.

TBWA. The agency extended its contract with Singapore’s most prestigious client, Singapore Airlines.

Hossein Derakhhshan. The Iranian blogger was freed from jail after six years. He sent his first tweet since 2008 last night.

Himanshu Shekhar. The boss of Mindshare Indonesia was promoted to CEO of the media agency’s Southeast Asia operation. Shekhar is the only agency boss with a regional title to be based in Jakarta.


Big Brother India. The reality show is to feature Kim Kardashian, who is always likely to attract a big audience.

Magazines. Airbnb is to become a publisher, with a glossy magazine titled Pineapple to be produced by the popular room rental service.

Ogilvy. The agency won the advertising business of telco Indosat from WPP sibling JWT.

Bad week for…

Uber. It emerged that an executive at the ride-sharing app firm had been tracking a Buzzfeed reporter without her consent while she was working on a story about the firm. The hashtag #BoycottUber emerged on Twitter. The story showed Buzzfeed’s strengths in news reporting, the social news and entertainment site’s international head Scott Lamb said at an event in Sydney this week.

CCTV. Sales at China’s state TV giant have slowed markedly compared to last year.

Edelman. An email leaked to Greenpeace revealed that the PR firm had advised Canadian pipeline firm TransCanada to spread any unflattering findings about those who oppose it.

Prediction for next week

Upheaval in the marketing department of one of the Philippines’ largest advertisers sees a number of key executives head for the door.


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