South China Morning Post, crisis comms simulator, media agency panel – Mumbrella360 Asia sessions

A crisis communications simulation, the lowdown on what can be learnt from challenger brands, a panel debate of media agency leaders, marcoms strategies in India and the South China Morning Post’s digital reinvention are among the topics that will feature on the Impact Stage at the Mumbrella360 Asia conference in Singapore this November.

The three-day media and marketing conference will return on November 5 to 7 at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre. Following the industry ‘call for submissions’, a number of key themes have emerged and the sixth stream of content to be revealed is the ‘Impact Stage’.

First up on the Impact Stage is a session titled ‘Interactive Real-Time Crisis Communications – You are just One Click Away from a PR Disaster’. Come along to this interactive session and be part of a real-time crisis communications workshop. The simulation will take you through unfolding events as disaster occurs on social media and news channels – with emails and video clips only adding to the drama.

Attendees will make strategic decisions at various points of the imagined narrative and be prepared to defend/justify them.

The decisions will be assessed by an expert panel including the Philippines-based Megaworld Corporation senior vice-president of corporate affairs Harold C Geronimo, Meltwater APAC insights director Shaz Mohapatra and Mumbrella Asia editor Ravi Balakrishnan – the latter two both being based in Singapore. 

Moderating the session will be Gerry McCusker, founder and owner of The Drill – a company which designs and runs crisis simulations. McCusker is based in Melbourne, Australia, and has more than 15 years of industry experience.

McCusker knows his crisis comms

Next up is a session titled ‘Deconstructing how Challenger Thinking can drive Brand Growth’. Challenger brands are now disrupting every industry and the media and marketing landscape is no different. Financed by a new type of investor, these start-ups are reaching consumers through entirely new systems and technology. 

On top of that, the organisational mindset and approach is completely different to the status quo and legacy companies.

Therefore, brands of all shapes and sizes – whatever their category, competition, heritage or personality – can benefit from adopting a challenger mindset, in order to drive more ambitious growth and create impact.

Come along to this session to learn how. You will hear from the PHD Asia-Pacific head of strategy and planning Chris Stephenson, who will also be moderating the panel debate in this session. He has worked for PHD in the United Kingdom, Australia and most recently in Singapore.

Stephenson will talk challenger brands

Joining him onstage will be the Mumbrella co-founder Tim Burrowes. He is based in Sydney, Australia, and has also written about media and marketing in the Middle East and the United Kingdom. Also on the panel will be DSM global vice-president of marketing – food and beverage Gita De Beer. Before joining DSM in 2017, she worked for Coca-Cola and Unilever.

This session is followed by ‘The Media Agency Panel Debate’. What do the best minds at media agencies think across a whole range of timely industry issues including brand safety, arbitrage, disruption, programmatic, artificial intelligence, in-housing and the agency brain drain – plus many more topics besides?

Media agency boss Lim

Find out in this special debate featuring the Singapore-based Mindshare chairman and CEO of AMEA and Russia/CIS Ashutosh Srivastava, UM Australia CEO Fiona Johnston and Havas Media Singapore CEO Jacqui Lim. Also on the panel will be Omnicom Media Group Asia-Pacific CEO Tony Harradine and Starcom Singapore managing director Ian Loon.

Moderating this session will be the Mumbrella co-founder and content director Tim Burrowes. He is based in Sydney, Australia, and has also written about media and marketing in the Middle East and the United Kingdom.

Then we have a session titled ‘Winning in India: Going beyond the metros for growth in India’. A new breed of consumers is emerging in India outside of the big cities. But this is new territory for marketers looking to tap into the new middle class population in those territories outside of the metros.

Learn how retail and e-commerce are transforming the consumer landscape with case studies including Tourism Australia and eBay, present by AvianWE group CEO Nitin Mantri.

He will talk about the alternatives to expensive television, radio and print campaigns – especially in a market where many different languages are spoken. 

Mantri has more than 20 years of public relations industry experience and is president of the International Communications Consultancy Organisation.

Mantri has 20 years of PR experience

Ending the day on the Impact Stage is the session ‘The South China Morning Post 2.0 – Expanding Revenue Streams to Future-Proof a Media Business’. The South China Morning Post’s digital transformation story has been touted as a true success story by the Asian news media. For we know that the last decade has been one of managed decline for most publishers, as print advertising revenue has moved over to the online world – where ad dollars are mainly spent with the Google and Facebook duopoly. 

With that challenging landscape, how do you take a 115-year old brand that had been focused on print and turn it into a digital leviathan fit for the internet age? 


In this session, you will hear how the SCMP did just that. The company laid a new foundation for cultural change and business transformation. You will hear from its progressive chief operating officer Elsie Cheung, who will explain how the commercial arm of the company was rebuilt from the ground up.

As SCMP’s head of business operations, Cheung drives the company’s revenue and international growth, and spearheads commercial innovation She is also the chairperson of the Interactive Advertising Bureau of Hong Kong.

The SCMP’s COO Cheung

Meanwhile, over on the Wisdom Stage, two new speakers have been added for the ‘The Mumbrella Wheel of Truth’ panel session. Joining the fun will be Ogilvy Singapore chief executive officer Chris Riley and Golin managing director for Singapore and South East Asia Tarun Deo.

The panel of senior executives will be challenged to share the uncomfortable truths about the industry in the finale of the Mumbrella360 Asia conference. The session will feature a giant wheel, spun by a special guest still to be announced, which will randomly decide the question the panel will face next.

The Mumbrella Wheel of Truth will also feature Sentosa Development Corporation chief marketing officer Lynette Ang, World Association of News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) Asia director Joon-Nie Lau and consultant and former vice-president of marketing at Honestbee Christina Lim.

Ogilvy Singapore CEO Riley

Deo has been with Golin since 2013 and before that he worked at Fleishman-Hillard and Text100. Ang has been at SDC for nearly three years. She is also a member of the executive council at the Institute of Advertising Singapore and previously worked at the National Trades Union Congress, OCBC, Coca-Cola and Unilever.

Lim left Honestbee earlier this year to set up her own consultancy. She is an advisory board member of the CMO Council and has also worked agency side at Dentsu, TBWA and JWT.

Lau has been at WAN-IFRA since 2016 and is a former vice-president of Singapore Press Club. She previously worked at Singapore giant Mediacorp and studied journalism at Columbia University.

Meanwhile, Riley has been joined Ogilvy back in 1995 and has worked for the network in Hong Kong and Singapore. Before that, he worked for Omnicom in the United Kingdom.

Ang runs marketing at the Sentosa Development Corporation

This session will be moderated by the Mumbrella Asia publisher Dean Carroll. He is an experienced British journalist, who has worked in a number of international markets including Singapore, Australia, Dubai, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. As well as his media work, he is also a published academic.

It is the second time the conference will be held. Back in 2017 the first event saw more than 1,100 delegates attend 70 sessions with 150 speakers across five streams – over the three days.

Some of the industry’s most prominent speakers from across Asia and the rest of the world will feature on the programme. The format also includes one-to-one networking, a large exhibition zone and masterclass workshops as well as the four main content stages.

The annual Mumbrella Asia Awards ceremony will also take place during the same week as Mumbrella360 Asia – November 5 to 7 – meaning that those coming from outside Singapore only need to make one trip to attend both events at the Marina Bay Sands convention centre.

This year, earlybird tickets can also be purchased on the event website for delegates wanting to benefit from the discounted price by buying early. If you are booking a three-day all access pass, for example, you can do so until September 3 and save $400 on ticket prices – paying just $799 instead of $1,199.

The conference is targeted at client-side marketers, ad agencies, media owners, adtech players, consultancy firms and related segments like recruitment and executive education. It has already attracted a headline sponsor in Bonsey Jaden. The other sponsors onboard so far are Getty, IPG Mediabrands, Brave Bison, Unruly, CodeCo, Omnicom Media Group, Wunderman Thompson and Verizon Media. The Singapore Tourism Board is also supporting the event financially.

“This year, Mumbrella360 Asia is going to be even bigger and better than 2017,” Mumbrella’s Asia general manager Dean Carroll said previously.

“It is about the industry telling us what is interesting and should be on stage at the conference. It comes from the grassroots up with our industry-owned curated sessions. 

“Without a doubt, this is again going to be the region’s best media and marketing conference this year. And for those delegates wanting the cheapest ticket price possible, now is the time to buy while the earlybird offer is on.”

More speakers will be announced in the coming weeks and months so stay tuned for updates. Already onboard as sponsors are Bonsey Jaden (headline), IPG Mediabrands, Wunderman Thompson, Omnicom Media Group, Unruly, Brave Bison, Verizon Media, Getty Images and The Code Co. Singapore Tourism Board is also supporting the event financially.

For further information on the conference and to buy tickets go to the Mumbrella360 Asia website here. In addition, for information on the remaining sponsorship and exhibition opportunities at the event contact the partnerships manager Wilfred Wong on – and for content inquiries you can reach out to the Mumbrella Asia general manager Dean Carroll on


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