The week in review: Mumbrella Asia Awards revealed | Cummings to leave Philips | Singapore blog closed | Brands back Manny Pacquiao | Indian media criticised for Nepal coverage | Why media agency transparency saga ‘not a local issue’

Mumbrella Asia’s weekly round up of the top stories, the best work, the most memorable quotes, who had a good week, and who had a week to forget.

Story of the week

Damien CummingsDamien Cummings to leave Philips. Where does that leave the Conversation Engine? The news that one of the region’s most high profile digital marketers was to move on from Philips after just over a year came as a bit of a shock to the market. Questions were raised over the future of the Conversation Engine, a digital command centre that Cummings set up soon after joining. Cummings, who is moving to Standard Chartered Bank, says the centre, which is staffed by 40 agency personnel, is part of Philips’ plans for this year and 2016.

And Mumbrella Asia held its Question Time debate and awards yesterday. Here are the winners.

Quotes of the week

The foreign talent debate kicked off in the comment thread of a story about the winners of a MediaCorp contest to select young creatives to compete for Singapore at the Cannes Lions. Last year, MediaCorp decided that only locals would be eligible. One poster wrote:

The only time Singapore has won this competition was when they sent expats, maybe that’s got something to do with the decision? Happy to lose year on year, as long as it’s not an ang moh on stage?

Another responded:

Would you like Usain Bolt to run for your country and win the Olympics under the banner of your country? What’s the point of winning the Young Lions under the label of Singapore if it doesn’t nurture a single Singaporean creative?

As news of the Royal Baby fluttered about on Twitter, Rob O’Brien noted:

Prince William has just walked out of the hospital & told the press to “f*ck off and cover Nepal”. #RoyalBaby

One commenter on Mumbrella’s story about Damien Cummings leaving Philips questioned the viability of the brand news room.

The newsroom approach requires a fluid approach, quick sign offs, and autonomy. None of which big companies are great at.

In an opinion piece by Darren Woolley, the client-agency relationship consultant, suggested that the revelations that staff at a media agency in Australia had fudged documents to cheat their clients out of money was a regional problem.

Anyone who has followed the unfolding controversy with MediaCom in Sydney, may feel comfortable convincing themselves that this is an isolated incident. The media agencies and their holding company owners want you to believe that.

Amos Yee, the teen detained for posting a video critical of Lee Kuan Yew, was quoted in a story by The Online Citizen on how the Sedition Act.

After reading through the Act, I remained unsure as to the legality of my video.

Best work

Indian Confederation of NGOs. The advertising industry is challenged to think of ideas that do good for more than just the three months of the year when the biggest awards shows take place.

The best of brands supporting the defeated Manny Pacquiao on Twitter.


McDonald's Pacquiao tweet





NTUC Fairprice. A touching incarnation of the new ‘For the heroes of our lives’ campaign by Havas Worldwide.

Anmum. Celebrating ‘Other’s Day’ on Mother’s Day.

Nikon. Taking the road less travelled.

Best-read story on Mumbrella

Brands salute defeated Manny Pacquiao

Good week for…

Periscope. Lots of people watched the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight on this free streaming platform.

We Are Social China's Ying Chang and Peter Lin

We Are Social China’s Ying Chang & Peter Lin

We Are Social. The social media marketing agency opened its third office in APAC, launching in Shanghai.

The Philippines. The Southeast Asian country is the fastest growing in the region for programmatic video, according to a report by TubeMogul.

Bad week for…

The Indian media. An open letter to the Indian media, written by a Nepali living in India, criticised the press for covering a fight over food – without helping to resolve the incident. “Your duty as a reporter is not just to capture the scenario and interview people,” Sunita Shakya wrote. “If you have access to these critical areas hit hard by earthquake, please take some first-aid kit with you.”

Press freedom in Singapore. The Media Development Authority effectively pulled the plug on socio-political blog The Real Singapore by withdrawing its licence to operate.

Thin Kung Fu. It turned out that a group of models dressed in ripped clothing with dirt smudged on their faces, carrying beggar’s sticks and asking for food on the streets of Shanghai, were not protesting against a new ban on models at the Shanghai Auto Show. They were promoting a weight loss power called Thin Kung Fu.

Models in SH


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