The week in review: APAC PR salary survey – men earn 36% more than women | Five big people moves | Singtel reviews media | Times of India accused of ad theft | ‘Anyone with a phone can be an ad agency’ | Campaign AOY winners | News ads for AIS, Land Rover, Shark and NokScoot

Mumbrella Asia logoIn a week in which five of Asia’s leading figures in media, advertising and digital left their roles, SingTel announced a review of its media planning and buying, Pepsi China’s CMO said anyone with a mobile phone can do an ad agency’s job, Acer revealed its shortlist for its global agency review, and body builders were used as a metaphor for hard to remove grease in an ad for Shark steam cleaner in Japan.

Stories of the week

Paul SoonA busy news week, particularly for big people moves. It must be that time of year. News that Ronald Ng, the chief creative officer of BBDO Singapore, Paul Soon, the CEO of XM, Neil Stewart, the global chief client officer of Maxus, Nirmalya Sen, the president of TBWA\India, and Next Media boss Jimmy Lai were all leaving their roles got tongues wagging, particularly in adland the exit of Soon. Where will Asia’s most high profile digital agency boss go next? Stewart will move to Facebook as head of agency relations next year, and Ng – the creator of one of the world’s most awarded print campaigns of the year for Guinness – is off to the US.

Campaign Asia revealed its Agency of the Year winners, with Ogilvy taking ad agency network of the year. PHD was named the best media network of 2014, Isobar for digital, and Geometry Global for specialist agency. BBDO’s Chris Thomas was named best regional agency boss of the year.

Meanwhile in PR, a salary survey revealed that men earn 36 per cent more than women in APAC, with the gender gap biggest in China, where the gap is 53 per cent. Australians are the best paid in the region, Southeast Asians the least.

Quotes of the week

Richard LeePepsi China CMO Richard Lee, in an interview with Thoughtful China, did not put the minds of agencies in China at ease when he observed that digital giants such as Tencent are now one-stop marketing shops, capable of replacing ad and media agencies by creating and also placing ads. He also said that anyone with a handheld device can now be an ad agency:

Everyone now has a mobile. It’s so easy to take pictures. And it’s easy to pass pictures around. Theoretically anyone can be a director, an advertising agency even.

A woman who was at the front of the queue for high-street fashion label Desigual’s ‘Seminaked’ promotion told Channel NewsAsia why she stood in line from 11pm the night before the store opened on Thursday morning:

I did not know what time people were going to start queuing, being Singapore and all – people are very ‘kiasu’.

In an interview with Mumbrella, Wunderman’s regional boss Martin Conneen had a word to say about clients setting up war rooms to manage their digital and content activity.

They may save time and money, but are they good for the brand in the long run? War rooms are also very hard to scale.

Sagar MahabaleshwarkarIn an interview with Mumbrella that touched on his time working with Piyush Pandey while at Ogilvy in India, Bates CHI & Partners Singapore’s new creative honcho Sagar Mahabaleshwarkar did not hold back in his praise for his former mentor.

He didn’t just teach me about advertising, he taught me how to live life.

Best work

Shark steam cleaner. Body builders as a metaphor for hard to remove grease.

NokScoot. How to promote a merger? With a kiss, of course.

Landrover Asia. Here’s to the life yet lived.

AIS. A return to its emotive roots for the Thai telco.

Maille. The art of oversharing.

Best-read story on Mumbrella

Q&A with McCann’s regional chief talent officer Jean-Michel Wu

Good week for…

Saatchi & Saatchi, Grey, Dentsu and DDB. The foursome made a shortlist for the global creative review of Taiwanese computing giant Acer.

Riverorchid. The Indochina specialist agency won Coke’s media business from Phibious in Cambodia.

Siam Paragon shopping mall. The Bangkok shopper’s paradise featured in a ranking of the most Instagramed places in the world.



Singapore’s ad production scene. Sydney-based DD8 announced it was setting up an office in Singapore, with Fox International Channels’ Mark Garratt moving to run the new office.

Tokyo. The city emerged as Asia’s frontrunner for soft power, ahead of Singapore, according to a survey by PR agency Weber Shandwick. Kuala Lumpur trailer the pack.

McCann. The agency secured the services of DDB’s regional digital chief officer Patrick Rona for a similar role.

Uber. The taxi-sharing app landed $1.2 billion in funding, raising its value to $40 billion.

Straits Times. The Singapore newspaper emerged as the most-followed local news source on Twitter of 2014.

Bad week for…

Yahoo. The portal confirmed the closure of offices in Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia with some staff relocating to Singapore, according to report by Campaign.

Times of India. India’s best-read newspaper was not accused of story stealing, but something much stranger: ad stealing.

MEC. The GroupM media agency is on alert as SingTel announced it is reviewing its media planning and buying.

Xiaomi. The leading Chinese manufacturer of affordable Android phones lost a law suit filed by Ericsson India, which claimed that Xiaomi was violating its patents.

Uber sacking noticeUber. Fifteen contractors were fired after they allegedly used internal promotion codes for rides. The Independent newspaper drew attention to the fact that the font used to inform them of their dismissal was comic sans.

Prediction for next week

Paul Soon’s next move. When one of Asia’s top digital practitioners posted Mumbrella’s story about his leaving the digital agency on Facebook, Jean-Michel Wu, the chief talent officer at McCann Worldgroup APAC, commented: “Good times coming round the corner!” Could this mean Soon will be joining McCann? Wu tells Mumbrella this isn’t the case, as they’ve just hired DDB’s Patrick Rona as APAC digital chief. But one thing is certain. The highly regarded Singaporean won’t be short of offers.


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