Friday July 5, 2024

Subaru - essencemediacom - havas media
Exclusive: EssenceMediacom and Havas Media make shortlist for Subaru media account

By Alisha Buaya

Incumbent Starcom managed Subaru’s media buying and planning until it was up for review earlier this year.

EssenceMediacom and Havas Media are in the final round of pitching for the Subaru media account, Mediaweek can reveal.

Incumbent Starcom held the Japanese car manufacturer’s media account for a number of years, managing its media buying and planning until it was up for review earlier this year.

GroupM, Havas Media, and Subaru Australia declined to comment.

The Publicis Groupe media agency had a successful 2023 which saw it retain $80 million of business and secure $51 million in new business, according to the 2023 COMvergence New Business Barometer.

Subaru’s creative agency is The Works, part of Capgemini. They delivered the 2021 Generations of Love brand campaign and the 2022 A Whole Lot of History campaign for the car brand’s 25th Anniversary.

News of Subaru’s media account pitch comes after Toyota Australia recently handed its retail and value chain communications portfolio to Publicis-owned full-service agency, Saatchi & Saatchi. 

The move marked the end of its long-standing relationship with Dentsu Creative, which began in 2015 when the holdco acquired the local independent agency Oddfellows, Toyota’s retail creative agency at the time.

Despite previous reports the win for Saatchi & Saatchi was driven by a global consolidation with Publicis, brought about from the US, both Publicis and Toyota have since confirmed to Mediaweek this was a local decision only.

At the time, Toyota Australia told Mediaweek that under the new arrangement, Saatchis will be responsible for brand, retail, value chain and select product communications.

A Toyota spokesperson said: “This decision has been made following an extensive, standard agency review process, which aims to support Toyota Australia’s future marketing priorities. We look forward to developing innovative customer-focused solutions in the value chain and retail space.”

See also: Toyota hands retail creative account to Saatchi & Saatchi
See also: Starcom and Sloane Media team up with Subaru for a new season of Great Australian Detour

Streaming Matildas
Streamers can now outbid free-to-air networks for digital sports streaming rights

By Jasper Baumann

“The Government and the Coalition have sold out free sport today.”

The Prominence and Anti-siphoning bill was passed without amendment by the Senate on Thursday, meaning subscription streamers, such as Prime Video, Netflix and Foxtel’s Kayo could now outbid free-to-air networks for digital streaming rights for Australian sporting events.

This means that while streaming services, as well as subscription TV, cannot buy the free broadcast (aerial delivered) rights until a free-to-air broadcaster, such as Nine, Seven, or 10, has acquired them, they are not stopped from bidding on the streaming rights that free-to-air broadcasters currently have on their respective BVOD services (9Now, 7Plus, 10 Play or SBS On Demand).

According to Bridget Fair, CEO of Free TV, the decision leaves an increasing number of Australians watching their free TV services through the internet and on BVOD services in the dark, with no guarantee of free sport.

“Research shows that 69 per cent of Australians access their TV via the internet, so it’s hard to understand why these laws do not like after their interests and guarantee free sport for the millions who watch TV online,” she said.

“Sadly, with the passing of this bill, we will now see a nation of the haves and have-nots when it comes to accessing the broadcasts and online services of our beloved commercial and national networks.

“How could this be allowed to happen in a country that has always celebrated the fair go for all?”

Fair continues by stating the laws contain significant gaps that will “undermine the whole anti-siphoning framework and force Australians to pay thousands of dollars to streaming services to access the sporting events that Australians expect to watch for free.”

In relation to the Prominence aspect of the bill, the regime was meant to ensure that free-to-air services are available and easy to find on connected TVs, not just streaming services that pay for prime spots on viewers’ smart TV home screens. 

The new Prominence laws will only apply to TVs that are supplied in 18 months’ time, meaning Australians with an existing connected TV will continue to see paid apps front and centre on their smart TV home screens.

“The prominence rules should apply to both new and existing connected TVs. We all know that not everyone can afford a new TV – especially at the moment – when people are already struggling to balance weekly grocery budgets and pay energy bills,” Fair said.

“Even the Government’s own research shows that less than 1 in 10 people buy a new TV set each year.”

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has slammed the Bill, stating Australians will now be forced to use their credit card to pay for sport locked behind streaming paywalls. 

“The Government and the Coalition have sold out free sport today, doing the dirty work of the Murdoch media and giant American streaming corporations like Amazon and Netflix,” she said.

“Labor, Liberal and the Nationals have colluded to ram through a law that is going to make it harder for millions of households around the country to access sport for free.

“We could have fixed this sports streaming law to protect free access to significant events like the Matildas, the rugby, the footy and the Olympics in our digital age. Now, Australians will need to pull out their credit card and pay Mr. Murdoch on Kayo for the privilege of barracking for their own team.

“Regional communities where local television stations are increasingly closing down, you’ve been sold down the river today by the National Party who chose big corporate profits over the community’s right to free sport in a digital age.

“This Government is out of touch on the cost of living, out of touch with young people, out of touch with regional Australia. They are technological troglodytes.”

See also: Free TV: Millions will miss out on free sport unless laws are updated

Federal Government rejects IMAA's master media contract proposal for indie consortium

By Jasper Baumann

The proposal would have seen a consortium of IMAA members share servicing the $163 million account.

The Independent Media Agencies of Australia (IMAA) have expressed disappointment with the Federal Government’s decision to reject its proposal for an independent agency consortium to service the Government’s master media account.

The proposal, which was developed in conjunction with an Australian-owned third-party management consultancy, would have seen a consortium of IMAA members share servicing the $163 million account.

Although the Government turned down the submission, the IMAA will continue campaigning for at least half of the Federal and State Governments’ procurement to come from Australian-owned businesses.

In 2022, the Federal Government attempted to improve the playing field for small businesses nationally, via new contracting rules, requiring department and agencies to source 20% of their annual procurement from small to medium enterprises (SMEs).

The rules are designed to give SMEs better access to large Commonwealth contracts and include a clause requiring Government departments to break down larger projects into smaller ones and approach multiple potential suppliers to maximise competition.

However, the Federal Government’s master media tender makes it unviable and difficult for the vast majority of independent media agencies to apply, the IMAA said.

Additional updates to the Commonwealth Procurement Rules, which came into effect on July 1 this year, have increased SME sourcing targets further, but seem to not apply to master media contracts.

IMAA CEO, Sam Buchanan, said: “While we’re disappointed with the outcome of our proposal, we firmly believe there is still an opportunity for the Federal Government to work with indies via a consortium master media arrangement.

This model would provide the Government with the best of indie and holdco thinking, and a fresh, modern approach that meets the updated procurement standards. We will continue to actively engage both state and Federal Governments on the importance of allowing indie agencies to have a fair go, and to keep profits in Australia,” he said.

“The Federal Government still has an opportunity to support Australian-owned businesses, however this tender appears to have been designed specifically for holdcos. A tender that the Government rinses and repeats is not suitable for today – the market has changed, and the playing field has been levelled for the best diversity of thought, and to support multiple Australian businesses. There’s more than enough business for everyone.

“The door is still open, and we are ready to assist. Our members would love to work with the Federal Government we’re waiting on their call. 

Incumbent agency UM has held the Federal Government master media account since 2022.

See also: IMAA unveils line-up for inaugural Pitch-Chella initiative

Top image: Sam Buchanan

Dancing With The Stars 2024
The celebrities stepping out of their comfort zone on Dancing with the Stars

By Jasper Baumann

“When we started formulating the cast at one stage, the overarching vibe was ‘I can’t believe that person’s doing Dancing.'”

The self-discovery for each celebrity that appears on Dancing with the Stars is different every year, which means the discovery for the audience is different every year, according to Seven’s head of entertainment, Majella Hay.

Premiering on Sunday, 7 July on Seven and 7Plus, season 21 of Dancing with the Stars will see 12 new celebrities prepare to showcase their moves on the dancefloor.

Hay told Mediaweek that the cast for this year’s season is too good to be true.

“There are some fantastic names in there,” she said. 

“When we started formulating the cast at one stage, the overarching vibe was ‘I can’t believe that person’s doing Dancing.

“For this milestone season to have a cast that is so strong, and so unexpected is fantastic. We are incredibly excited by it.”

Dancing with the Stars

This season, Sonia Kruger is joined by new co-host, Dr Chris Brown, as a fresh lineup of stars step onto the stage, giving their all to support their chosen charities.

Following weeks of rehearsals, they’ll face the eyes of judges Craig Revel Horwood, Helen Richey, Sharna Burgess, and Mark Wilson, as they strive for dancefloor supremacy. 

Some stars set to appear include AFL star Ben Cousins, chef Julie Goodwin, Samantha Jade, Nikki Osborne and – in a shock to many, including Hay – SAS Australia chief instructor, Ant Middleton. 

“I think if you did a list of people that you thought would do dancing at some point, I don’t think you’d ever have Ant on that list,” she said.

“He’s an incredible surprise package, however, it’s no surprise for people who know that he throws his all into what he does, and dancing was no exception.

“I also had some tricky conversations with Ben Cousins, trying to convince him that Dancing would be great for him. Once he got the dancing bug, he loved it.”

Other stars set to hit the floor include Adam Dovile, Hayden Quinn, James Stewart, Lisa McCune, Nadia Bartel, Nikki Osborne, Nova Peris and Shane Crawford.

Dancing With The Stars is produced by BBC Studios Australia and New Zealand from a format created by the BBC and distributed by BBC Studios.

The new season premieres Sunday, 7 July on Seven and 7Plus.

Mediaweek - Media Movers
Media Movers: James Warburton, Nikki Clarkson, Marty Sheargold, Ryan Moloney, and Lisa Millar

By Alisha Buaya

Plus: Nine cuts 200 jobs, Stacey Karayannis, Peter Zavecz, Katie Finney, and Lucio Ribeiro.

Mediaweek’s Media Movers charts the biggest people moves in the industry over the past week.

This week:

James Warburton, former managing director and CEO of Seven West Media, has joined the board of photo-sharing app Tinybeans as a non-executive director. His tenure began on 1 July.

After 16 years with the business and five years in the chief marketing officer role, Nikki Clarkson is exiting SCA.

Marty Sheargold and Triple M have confirmed that Sheargold will step down from the 105.1 Triple M Melbourne Breakfast shift.

First appearing on screens in 1995, Ryan Moloney will farewell Ramsay Street later this year after a long career with the Australian soap, Neighbours.

After five years on the couch, Lisa Millar is leaving ABC News Breakfast to focus full-time on other projects across the ABC.

Leo Burnett Australia has promoted associate creative director Stacey Karayannis to the position of creative director in Melbourne.

Thinkerbell has announced a host of leadership appointments across its Melbourne (The South), Sydney (The North) and New Zealand (Aotearoa) offices.

In Melbourne, Nick Bennett has been promoted to general manager, and Tom Wenborn to chief creative Tinker. Paul Swann has been promoted to chief creative Tinker in Sydney. The creative agency has also appointed Jacqueline Archer as national head of integrated production, who joins from Bastion Make.

Melanie Withnall, SCA’s head of news and information, and Jennifer Goggin, LiSTNR’s head of factual and drama have left the broadcaster

Seven West Media has appointed Chris Jones to the new role of director, network sport. In further appointments, Seven’s AFL executive producer, Gary O’Keeffe, has been elevated to the new role of head of AFL and sport innovation; horse racing executive producer Andrew Hore-Lacy has been named head of horse racing; motor sport executive producer Kirsty Bradmore becomes head of sport digital; and cricket and horse racing producer Joel Starcevic has been appointed head of cricket.

Cosmopolitan magazine will return to the Australian market on 12 August under the leadership of publisher Katarina Kroslakova and her publishing house, KK Press, in collaboration with Hearst Magazines International. 

Leading the charge as editor-in-chief is Tessa Ogle, whose career has spanned several notable publications, including The Age newspaper and The Conversation. Ogle moved from news to fashion and beauty, launching Harper’s BAZAAR and Esquire online as digital director.

McDonald’s Australia’s director of marketing, Samantha McLeod, has announced her departure from the fast food giant after ten months in the position.

Bohemia has appointed Natasha Young to the newly created role of group trading and partnerships director. She has been with the M&C Saatchi Group media agency for the past six years and was previously the client lead on several key accounts, including the Australian Retirement Trust.

Adobe has appointed Keith Eadie to general manager, APAC, to lead the business across the region. Eadie will report to Stephen Frieder, chief revenue officer of Adobe Enterprise.

Interbrand has promoted design director Megan Schierhout to associate creative director. She will lead creative for Interbrand in Australia, using design to develop brand solutions for a range of clients, while also overseeing the creative talent within the team.

Rachel Walker joins Saatchi & Saatchi Australia as chief strategy officer, overseeing its national strategy and planning practice. She brings more than 30 years of experience from the UK and Australian markets to the creative agency. She replaces Iona Macgregor, who joined whiteGREY in October as its chief strategy officer.

Neon Black has appointed Leela Maclean to the newly created role of affiliate marketing director, strengthening its affiliate marketing arm.

iProspect has announced the appointment of Patrick Doble to senior client partner based in Melbourne.

Nine CEO Mike Sneesby has announced to staff that the company will be cutting “around 200 jobs” in its publishing business to “offset the loss of revenue from the Meta deal and challenges in the advertising market.”

Seven West Media has appointed Katie Finney to the new role of national television sales director, effective immediately. She will be responsible for Seven’s national television sales team

Finney will work closely with Seven’s national digital sales director, Rachel Page, and with Vikki Friscic, who was appointed to the new role of head of sales strategy and enablement earlier this week.

Lucio Ribeiro departed Seven West Media, taking a voluntary redundancy for his role as director of digital marketing and innovation in a series of large-scale redundancies. Ribeiro had just marked his one-year anniversary with the network.

Peter Zavecz, News Corp managing director for Victoria and Tasmania Publishing, has departed from News Victoria (aka The Herald & Weekly Times)

Zitcha has appointed Kate Marshall and Genevieve Cleaver to newly created senior roles, strengthening its customer success team’s capabilities. Marshall joins as customer success director across international markets including, US, Canada, UK, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Cleaver takes on the role of customer success lead across APAC.

Vistar Media has launched its new Melbourne office and the appointments of two new hires as it expands its capabilities and operations in Australia and the APAC region.

Leading the company’s Melbourne office is Ben Swaik in the newly created role of account director, demand sales, Melbourne, alongside Alice Aram who joins as account director.

Brittany Banfield: SCA lives and breathes by 'We Captivate Audiences' ethos

By Tess Connery

“While our team does produce world class creative, there is so much more to what we do day in day out.”

Marketing director of LiSTNR at Southern Cross Austereo, Brittany Banfield, says the SCA team lives and breathes their team purpose: “We Captivate Audiences.”

Winning the Marketing – Media Company category at Mediaweek‘s Next of the Best Awards, Mediaweek caught up with Banfield to discuss the award’s significance to her, common misconceptions she faces, and what the industry can expect from her and the LiSTNR marketing team next.

The awards have been judged by an all-star line-up, what does it mean to you to be recognised by this group?

Being recognised by so many of Australia’s top names in the industry, whom I truly admire, means the world to me. It really validates the team’s hard work that’s contributed to the incredible growth we’ve seen for LiSTNR in recent years. While it does say my name on the award, it’s absolutely an award for the entire team who have been instrumental in the success of LiSTNR’s establishment as the fastest growing brand in the fastest growing media category of digital audio.

In three words, how would you describe the SCA team?

The SCA marketing and comms team lives and breathes our team purpose ‘We Captivate Audiences’ (which funnily enough is three words). I think this perfectly encapsulates everything our team is about – we are a high-performing team who take creative risks, constantly seek a better way forward and push doors open to unlock new opportunities.

In a competitive radio landscape, how do you make sure that SCA stands out?

We know that new brands can grow quickly off a low base and stand out when they first hit the market, but with LiSTNR now over three years old, we recognised we needed to sustain this initial growth and continue to cut through. ​

While we are competing in the radio landscape with our Hit and Triple M networks, we are also competing in the fastest growing category of digital audio, so our audiences and competitive set is broad.

We start by ensuring our campaigns are meeting a consumer need, and we are providing solutions to those needs. We have resisted the urge to reinvent the wheel with every campaign, rather we are focused on driving recall and recognition through consistency. Marketers can tend to move on from campaigns more quickly than their audience needs them to, so we ensure that we are making data-informed decisions by observing what is working, what’s not and taking those learnings into the next campaign. This gives us the best chance of standing out for all our audiences whether they are listening to radio, podcasts, music or sport.

What is the most common misconception about what you do?

That our work is just about making things ‘look pretty’ – and while our team does produce world class creative, there is so much more to what we do day in day out. Behind everything we do is a plethora of data led insights, and we’ve embraced a ‘test, learn, scale’ approach, which we’ve seen drive a culture of innovation across the team. Our team has evolved into a group of data-informed, agile, and customer-centric experts who are always looking for a better way forward with our best work ahead of us.

Being Next of The Best – what can the industry expect next from you?

I’m so excited to see what, together with my wonderful team, we can achieve next. In just the last few years, LiSTNR marketing activity has grown substantially in sophistication and impact – and we’re just getting started! We’re striving to continue momentum for LiSTNR’s audience growth, with focus on finding meaningful ways to captivate audiences to deliver impactful results.

Top Image: Brittany Banfield

meeting of the minds logo - June 5
Meeting of The Minds: Braedy Neal and Francesca Casti from Wellcom

By Alisha Buaya

Neal and Casti share their best career advice, hot takes, and what they currently have on repeat.

This week’s Meeting of the Minds sees Braedy Neal and Francesca Casti from creative production agency Wellcom reveal their leadership heroes, current streaming binge, and career goals.

The Mediaweek series showcases diverse perspectives, thoughts and opinions by bringing together two different points of view from an industry rookie and an experienced expert.

Braedy Neal, head of production, Wellcom

Wellcom - Braedy Neal

Favourite Podcast/Read – My favourite podcast is the ABC’s Future Tense. So much of what we do requires us to understand, prepare for and embrace future trends and future tech. I love this podcast because it seeks to understand the future from a philosophical perspective rather than the cultural and technological futures we love to imagine.
Current streaming binge – I don’t get a lot of time to binge (don’t worry, I watched Baby Reindeer), but I’ve recently finished watching 3 Body Problem. Having already read the novels, I was really satisfied with that first series. It was a faithful rendition of the first novel.

Guilty pleasure content – Any cooking, food or wine show. I love them all, and I have no standards. I’m just as happy watching the badly made ones as I am watching those with high production values.

What do you have on repeatEasy Lover by Phil Collins with Philip Bailey. Just that one old song over and over in the headphones, the car, the kitchen. My wife and I are learning how to sing the two distinct harmonies so we can OWN our next karaoke duet but it’s really quite hard to master. “And I’m just tryna make you seeeeeee”. In hindsight we should have chosen an easier track. It’s just going to take more time/rehearsal than we initially thought.

Best career advice – An old mentor of mine told me this and I will always remember her words: “Know the people in the room.” It’s such powerful advice. When you walk into a meeting or a briefing session knowing as much as possible about who you are meeting with, putting some thought into why that particular person is here, now, meeting with you, it empowers communication and helps everything else (all the details) fall into place.

Leadership hero – Ok this is going to seem like a terrible suck-up to the boss but I’m at a point in my career where any potential benefit of sucking up will be negligible. My leadership hero is my current GM Marnie Darren. I’ve seen many people lead, sometimes effectively, but I’ve never seen someone unify a large team towards a common goal in the way Marnie has. Her empathy and support for every person on her team is a big part of this success. Her uncompromising drive to push every one of us to be the best we can be is as well. The balance between those two critical factors is something Marnie has mastered.

Best training course/session – Defensive motorcycle riding. I wish someone had told me – When it’s your turn to do the talking, respect your listeners. Say what you need to say, clearly, and don’t say more than you need to – they will thank you for it.

Favourite place to network – Industry events and awards nights.

Something that surprised you about the industry – I always thought there would be more dickheads. That’s the stereotype of the advertising industry I guess. Sure there are some but I’ve mostly been surrounded by amazing, inspirational people and met some of my best friends in this industry.

What is your hot take on the industry – Expect change. Expect to have to be agile and learn new things, and also expect things to stay the same. This was as relevant to people dealing with the introduction of TV to a world that had previously only known radio – as it is for us trying to integrate ever-evolving AI models into existing workflows.

Career goal for 2024 – Achieving growth for the company that exceeds expectations. Keeping myself and my team agile, effective and happy.

Francesca Casti, account manager, Wellcom

Wellcom - Francesca Casti

Favourite podcast/read – Too many to choose from! The Imperfects for thoughtful and vulnerable conversations, Straight Talk with Mark Bouris for business insight, Cancelled by Mamamia to laugh, Darling Shine for an easy listen. I could go on forever!

Current streaming binge – Bridgerton

Guilty pleasure content – Shamefully, fantasy novels. They are insanely addictive.

What do you have on repeatLizzy McAlpine or Leon Bridges.

Best career advice – In an industry like ours, the landscape is constantly evolving. It pays to keep up, ideally stay ahead, and continuously take on as many alternative perspectives that challenge your beliefs and opinions as possible.

Leadership hero – It changes all the time but at the moment it’s Lewis Hamilton. I don’t really follow much sport, but I’ve been in awe at his continuous drive for improvement on and off the track. He is a perfect example of an individual who uses his platform and success to advocate for important issues. 

Best training course/session – Any Ted Talk

I wish someone had told me – Trust your gut, in retrospect, I’ve found that it’s almost always right

Favourite place to network – Aside from the obvious one (LinkedIn), anywhere where casual conversation with intelligent people flows. So maybe Bill and Toni’s!

Something that has surprised you about the industry – Hard work doesn’t necessarily equal success. You have to make sure your finger is on the pulse and that you’re consistently working with purpose and towards a goal.

What is your hot take on the industry – I think that the constant push for shorter, more attention-grabbing ads is contributing to the decline in consumers’ attention spans and patience. At some point, the effect this is having on our psyche is going to take centre stage, and we will be challenged to produce different kinds of content, whatever that might look like!

Career goal for 2024 – Be a part of a pitch that wins us a new client

To take part in future editions of Meeting of the Minds, please email: [email protected]

Past editions of Meeting of the Minds.

Top image: Braedy Neal and Francesca Casti

Gambling, fertility shaming and graphic violence: Ad Standards’ latest rulings
Gambling, fertility shaming and graphic violence: Ad Standards’ latest rulings

By Amy Shapiro

Sportsbet, Gyna Fertility, and ThePhoenix.cau all faced the gavel.

Gambling while golfing, women-shaming fertility ads, and sexualised violence were all subjects of the latest round of Ad Standards rulings, released this week.

This round of offenders of the AANA’s Codes of Ethics included Sportsbet, fertility nutrition company Gyna Fertility, and ticket outlet


A video ad (featured) for the online wagering platform was flagged after it raised concerns about safety, depicting a man watching racing on his phone while driving a golf buggy. The ad’s voice-over states:

“Nobody does it easier than Tee Time Tim Callaghan. He streams Sky Racing on the Sportsbet app. All while tackling the Southern Hemisphere’s scariest slice. Yep. Whether he’s driving a buggy or trying to dig one out of a bunker, this Sultan of swing doesn’t miss a second.”

The Ad Standards’ Community Panel found the ad to be in breach of the Code of Ethics as well as the Wagering Code: that advertising or marketing comms for a wagering product or service must not portray, condone or encourage excessive participation in wagering activities.

The panel cited it was widely recognised that using mobile phones while driving any moving vehicle is unsafe. Further, the ad showcased the man engaging in the wagering activity to an excessive degree – unable or unwilling to put the phone down to play golf with his friends.

Sportsbet confirms it has discontinued the video, and removed the ad from all media channels.

Last December, Sportsbet was part of a crackdown targeting a host of popular betting operators by ACMA after the industry watchdog identified violations of interactive gambling regulations. Others in the firing line included Ladbrokes, Neds and bet365.

The breaches concerned the use of “Fast/Quick Codes” that facilitated in-play betting on sports events, contravening regulations outlined in the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001.

Gyna Fertility

An Instagram ad for a fertility program shows a woman waiting for a pregnancy test with two characters, ‘Time’ and ‘Food’ discussing and predicting the result. The following dialogue played during the advertisement:

VO: Does fertility really decline after 35?
Food: What’s going on with her?
Time: Oh, she’s just waiting for another pregnancy test. It will be negative and I’m really not on her side. After 30, it only gets harder.
Food: What does she think is the problem? I probably can’t be helping.
Time: Like most women her age, she thinks that it’s up to fate and that she should just keep on trying and eventually something will stick, but, she’s almost too old. It’s a shame, really.
Woman: Oh my gosh, I’m pregnant!
Time: How is that possible?
Gyna: Oh, hey guys!
Food: Who are you?
Gyna: I’m Gyna, a program that helps women boost their fertility naturally. Look at her now.
Food: Oh I love babies!
Gyna: And it couldn’t have come at a better time. He couldn’t take much more ovulation tracking. We finally got rid of you [Food] and other sneaky fertility blockers that were preventing her from conceiving.
Time: So she doesn’t have to do IVF? Everyone is doing it now.
Gyna: Why would she do that for $12,000 without first taking our free fertility quiz and learning exactly how to boost her fertility naturally? We gave her an estimate of five months, and she was pregnant in four. 

Gyna Fertility ad

The ad was flagged for concerns about its targeting of people with fertility issues. One complainant commented:

“The ad is both misleading in content and offensive in the way it is targeting a vulnerable group – women with fertility issues and struggling to get pregnant. It implies that the fertility issues are their fault because of their age, and that diet can solve their problems. Completely dodgy content being plugged on social media feeds.”

The ad was found to be in breach of the Code of Ethics for discrimination or vilification. The tone of the ‘Time’ character in the ad was deemed to be humiliating and ridiculing, implying that any difficulties the couple have had conceiving were solely the woman’s fault.

The advertiser has not responded to the Panel’s decision. As a next step, Ad Standards will notify Meta of the breach.

In May, City Fertility Centre’s radio ad was similarly flagged for its inclusion of a voiceover repeating the line “you’re still not pregnant,” raising criticisms from complainants concerned the ad could potentially trigger and bully those facing fertility issues. The Community Panel concluded that the ad did not treat the highly sensitive topic with the expected level of respect for the audiences it serves, finding it in breach of Section 2.6 (health and safety) of the Code of Ethics.

A digital ad promoting the upcoming tour of the band Cradle of Filth was criticised for its depiction of a giant biting a naked woman, with blood dripping down her body. The ad raised concerns about violence towards women. Cradle of Filth ad

One complainant stated: “We are in the middle of a crisis about male violence towards women. This was posted on Facebook and is on the Metro’s website.”

The Community Panel found that while the image might align with the band’s extreme gothic metal genre, it was overly graphic as an ad, and that the use of sexualised violence was not justifiable. The ad was found to be in breach of the Code of Ethics for violence. has responded saying it has notified the artist and the venue, and assured it would be replacing the artwork with something generic, and will make a media announcement regarding the Panel’s decision.

See also: Racing Toyotas, sexual sauce ads, and child safety concerns: Ad Standards’ latest rulings

DDB - Rupert Price - chief strategy officer
Rupert Price joins DDB as chief strategy officer

By Alisha Buaya

He joins the agency’s Sydney office after spending the last 12 years as DDB Group Aotearoa’s chief strategy officer.

DDB Sydney has appointed Rupert Price as chief strategy officer.

He joins the agency’s Sydney office from DDB Group Aotearoa where he spent the last 12 years as its chief strategy officer. Price brings with him 25 years of industry experience in agencies across London and New Zealand.

During his time at DDB Group Aotearoa, Price was instrumental to the agency’s success as it won a series of accolades ranging from Cannes Gold Lions to a D&AD Black Pencil.

At the 2024 Cannes Festival, DDB Group Aotearoa won seven awards for clients Samsung, Volkswagen, McDonald’s and Correct the Internet. He has steered the agency to four NZ Effies Agency of the Year titles, as well as winning many effectiveness awards at both regional and global shows.

During his career, Price has also worked with Interbrand as director of strategy, head of planning at Ogilvy NZ and Ogilvy London and was board planning director at Saatchi & Saatchi London.

As the new chief strategy officer at DDB Sydney, he will lead the planning department in its sharp focus on effectiveness delivered through the power of emotionally charged creativity across clients such as Westpac, Volkswagen Group and McDonald’s.

“I couldn’t be happier to have Rupert joining the team,” DDB Group Sydney CEO, Sheryl Marjoram said. “We’ve long been admirers of his impact and momentum across the Tasman and it’s always a special moment to be able to recruit much loved and respected DDB’ers within the network. His passion, commitment and results speak for themselves and I can’t wait for everyone to see what’s next for DDB Sydney.”

DDB Group New Zealand CEO, Priya Patel, added: “We’re incredibly proud of the strategic powerhouse Rupert has built here and want to thank him for over a decade of incredible work. The team and I will miss him but we love the fact that he is only a short flight away.”

Price said of his new role: “It was a tough decision to leave the agency I’ve called home for the last 12 years but the opportunity to work with the Sydney team to continue their trajectory was too good to pass up.”

Price will commence his transition immediately to DDB Sydney dividing his time equally between Sydney and New Zealand until the end of August before taking on the Sydney role permanently from September 1st.

Top image: Rupert Price

Melanie Williams: Omnichannel optimisation is a non-negotiable for brands to prevent falling behind
Omnichannel optimisation is a non-negotiable for brands to prevent falling behind

“Simply optimising your website to attract and manage these interactions means that you’re missing the big picture.”

By Melanie Williams, optimisation director, Resolution Digital

Traditional marketing is guided by the ‘Rule of seven’, which states that it takes an average of seven interactions with your brand before a customer makes a purchase. This rule still holds true, but those interactions are now spread far and wide.

In today’s world, consumers can now interact with brands via innumerable touchpoints along their journey, from physical stores and pop-up retail experiences to websites, apps, chatbots and social media. This means that simply optimising your website to attract and manage these interactions means that you’re missing the big picture.

Without an omnichannel view, you’re flying blind. It’s also impossible to improve upon the user experience if you don’t fully understand all the moments that customers go through as part of their brand experience.

These various touchpoints mark the critical moments when potential customers are making up their minds as to whether they want to purchase from your brand. To successfully influence these visitors and convert them into paying customers, brands need to be present to deliver a superior experience in the ways that meet the customer’s individual needs.

Adopting a customer-centric, omnichannel marketing strategy ensures consumers have a positive, interconnected, and frictionless experience at every touchpoint. Resolution Digital’s Evolution framework serves as an umbrella for various customer experience (CX) and transformation methodologies. The framework encompasses three different stages: Evaluation, Discovery, Strategy, and Delivery to guide the process of enhancing customer experiences and achieving strategic business goals.

This proprietary framework ensures that business growth is structured, based on solid information, and includes only those activities that drive results.

Adopting this framework assists in evolving their omnichannel customer experiences, staying competitive, harnessing new technologies and continuously improving results.

A well-considered omnichannel strategy lays the groundwork for success; more revenue for sales teams and a better customer experience all around. The consistency of interactions builds a more recognisable and identifiable brand image and tone, which enhances brand visibility and reputation.

At Resolution Digital, our Evolution framework brings together all services within the Resolution environment to assess, align and provide tailored, personalised, omnichannel solutions to drive meaningful business growth.

Let’s take Target in the U.S. for example, which discovered that customers who utilise multichannel touchpoints spent four times as much as in-store customers and spent 10 times more than digital-only customers.

These insights were then applied locally when we teamed up with Target Australia. We rolled out omnichannel optimisation tests across various channels and audiences, which drove a revenue uplift of AUD$8.3mil over 12 months.

Successfully aligned with audience needs and values, this approach translates into increased awareness and brand loyalty.

Omnichannel optimisation also unlocks deeper audience understanding through more in depth user insights and data analytics.

Tracking engagements across all channels delivers a holistic view of how customers are digesting your brand. From here it’s much easier to see what they like and don’t like about the brand, which can underpin your personalisation efforts and allow wider improvements to be made to the offering – as well as where, when, and how it is offered.

This is where the role of first-party data becomes critical, as we say farewell to third-party cookies.

First-party data provides credible, first-hand insights into which customers are most likely to convert, along with their needs and wants. Resolution Digital’s State of MarTech report highlighted that 35% of Australian marketers had not yet implemented a first-party data strategy. This is interesting as not only is this information crucial in optimising your omnichannel strategy, but it also allows a brand to tailor the user journey and deliver content that is relevant.

This deeper understanding of the touchpoints that drive the most engagement enables marketing campaigns to be more targeted and messaging to become more refined, to deliver a higher quality of outcomes. The result is increased conversion rates and return on investment to ensure you get more bang for your marketing buck.

As with Target’s experience, research has shown that customers who engage with multiple touchpoints have a higher rate of conversion, brand loyalty and repeat purchase, ultimately delivering increased revenue for the business.

Brands that fail to embrace omnichannel optimisation will pay a high price; consumers now have more options and expect more from brands than ever before. 59% of customers would buy from a competitor that offers a better user experience, according to Digizuite.

If you are not making the most of omnichannel optimisation to reach your audience at the time and place that suits them, you are leaving money on the table by missing a valuable opportunity to engage them and make a sale. Worse yet, you’re leaving the door open for your omnichannel-savvy competitors to swoop in, hijack the conversation and steal away that business.

Achieving an Omnichannel strategy and implementation is no easy feat. The CRO experimentation matrix is a good starting point to have a clear view of the different vendors across the complex landscape to choose from.

See also: Resolution Digital wins myPlates media account

Top image: Melanie Williams

Airtasker raises $5m in media capital from ARN to boost growth

By Jasper Baumann

The ARN partnership expands Airtasker’s Australian media capital reserves over two years to $11m from both partners.

Airtasker has raised $5 million in media capital from ARN. The partnership will accelerate Airtasker’s media partnership strategy to boost brand awareness in Australia.

Building on Airtasker’s recently announced agreement with oOh!media, the ARN partnership expands Airtasker’s Australian media capital reserves over two years to $11m from both partners.

Airtasker will access ARN’s Australian network of 58 radio stations including KIIS FM, Pure Gold and CADA – which feature Kyle & Jackie O, Will & Woody and Jonesy & Amanda – as well as digital entertainment platform iHeartRadio.

The terms of the partnership provide Airtasker with $5m in ARN audio media inventory in exchange for a 2-year $5m convertible note with a 5.8% coupon rate (Note).

At maturity, Airtasker has the option to convert the outstanding Note and coupon into ordinary shares at a 10% discount to Airtasker’s 30-trading day volume-weighted average share price or repay the outstanding Note and coupon in cash.

In the quarter ending 31 March 2024, the company reported positive free cash flow of $2.5m and $19.7m in cash and term deposits on balance sheet with zero debt.

Airtasker CEO Tim Fung said: “We are thrilled to be building on the momentum of our global media partnership strategy by partnering with ARN and their enormous audio network. With podcasting and digital radio more popular than ever, audio is having a huge renaissance and presents a massive opportunity.

“The sheer ARN audience numbers – including for Kyle & Jackie O and Will & Woody – will amplify the stories that come with millions of tasks completed each year in the Airtasker community.

“This partnership, combined with our recently announced agreement with oOh!media, brings our available Australian media capital to $11m from both partners. This follows on from our $6.7m Channel 4 media partnership in the UK in June 2023, which is already delivering results.”

See also: Airtasker is ‘taking a step forward’ as other businesses ‘take a step back’

Commenting on the partnership, ARN national agency sales director, Angus Leech said: “We are thrilled to be welcoming Airtasker to the ARN network in this way. This audio partnership is representative of the types of long-term, multi-dimensional relationships that we aspire to with clients. Mutually beneficial by nature, the partnership will deliver the brand results that Airtasker seeks, while also allowing ARN to get closer to the community of listeners that we create content for each day.”

Mason Rook - Guardian Australia
Mason Rook resigns from Guardian Australia's commercial director of sales role

By Alisha Buaya

“It has been an incredibly tough choice, but I believe it is the right time for me to take on my next challenge.”

Mason Rook has resigned from his role as commercial director of sales and operations for Australia and New Zealand at Guardian Australia.

He joined the publication as the c

Rook said in a statement: “After much reflection over the past six months on everything the Guardian advertising team has achieved, as well as contemplating my own future and career aspirations, I have made the difficult decision to step away.

“It has been an incredibly tough choice, but I believe it is the right time for me to take on my next challenge. Leading this globally recognised advertising team has been a true privilege, and I am immensely proud of our collective accomplishments.”

In the statement, the Guardian Australia also wished Rook well in his future endeavours.

Rook is an

His career began at Seven before moving to Nine in 2005 where he rose through the sales ranks over a decade to become sales director. 

Rook then jumped ship to Daily Mail Australia where he was AUNZ commercial director from 2015 to 2018, before taking on the same post at ARN.

News of Rook’s departure comes after the editorial side of Guardian Australia recently saw a chain of leadership movementsled by David Munk moving from his role as deputy editor into a senior managing editor role due to a return to the UK.

His former role of deputy has been split in two, and is now shared by Patrick Keneally – who moves from national news editor-  and Gabrielle Jackson, who moves from associate editor, audio, and visual.

Former deputy news editor Josephine Tovey has been promoted to national news editor. Julian Drape has been appointed deputy national news editor, moving from his former role of associate editor. Sam Strutt becomes associate news editor for Queensland.

See also: Senior editorial promotions spark leadership shuffle at Guardian Australia

Top image: Mason Rook

AiMCO - Gavin McLeod, Shivani Maharaj, Dan Young
AiMCO to host Best of Cannes Lions webinar for members

By Alisha Buaya

Patrick Whitnall: “We want to continue to provide support for our content creators as they navigate this brave new world.”

The Australian Influencer Marketing Council (AiMCO) will celebrate Cannes Lions Festival’s creator offering in its upcoming member webinar, the Best of Cannes Lions, to be held on 9 July.

The industry body‘s webinar will delve into the 2024 festival’s specific content creation focus, showing marketers and creators how they can leverage trends in the global creator economy to create their own compelling campaigns.

This year’s Cannes Lions festival, held in June, featured its inaugural, dedicated LIONS Creator Program, as well as exclusive sessions and a designated space for creators to better understand creative potential and form brand partnerships. 

AiMCO’s webinar will explore the impact of creators, the work at this year’s Cannes and what it means for the creator economy, along with emerging trends, building successful creator partnerships, new monetisation models, the evolving relationship between creators and audiences, and key international influencers and campaigns.

The webinar will be hosted by Shivani Maharaj, chief content and partnerships officer at Wakemaker. It will feature some of Australia’s best creative talent with speakers Gavin McLeod, chief creative officer at CHEP, and Daniel Young, managing director, consumer PR and influence at Ogilvy PR AUNZ.

Maharaj has 18 years of experience driving creativity in media, spanning most major categories and brands, including brokering partnerships with Audi, VW, Colgate-Palmolive, FCA, KFC, Jetstar, Hungry Jacks, and Mondelez. She was most recently the driving force in propelling the growth of new economy brands in Australia, including Airbnb, Audible, DoorDash, and Netflix. 

McLeod has global leadership experience in agencies such as R/GA, AKQA, and CHEP Network. His work has been recognised with 15 Grand Prix awards at Cannes Lions, along with nods at Spikes, AWARD and Effies, amongst others.

Young leads consumer PR and influencer practice at Ogilvy PR AUNZ – a team of experts in publicity, social media, and influencer marketing. His experience in social strategy goes back to the mid-2000s, when influencers were called “bloggers”. He was previously the director of digital and led social strategy at Ogilvy PR.  

AiMCO managing director, Patrick Whitnall, said: “This year’s Cannes Festival was the first time we’ve seen the creator economy recognised in a formalised way at the prestigious event. It’s demonstrative of the momentum behind influencer marketing globally – this sector is now an international force to be reckoned with.

“We’re seeing the same groundswell across Australia’s marketing sector, and we want to continue to provide support for our content creators as they navigate this brave new world. This webinar is a critical part of our offering as an organisation – it’s an opportunity for our members to draw inspiration from this year’s Cannes Festival and use it to take their brand’s social and influencer marketing to the next level.”

The Cannes Lions webinar is the latest in AiMCO’s member webinar series, designed to address hot button topics for creators and influencers, including safe mental health content, influencer agreements, and inclusivity and diversity in the industry.

See also: Subway becomes first major food brand to join AiMCO

Top image: Gavin McLeod, Shivani Maharaj and Dan Young

Rodica Titeica - Subway
Subway becomes first major food brand to join AiMCO

By Alisha Buaya

Subway has used influencers as part of its overall marketing strategy for several years.

Subway has become the newest member of the Australian Influencer Marketing Council (AiMCO) and the first major food brand to join the organisation.

The sandwich chain joins AiMCO’s 100-plus strong membership base, which includes several large consumer brands.

Subway has used influencers as part of its overall marketing strategy for several years, working with health and foodie creators like @thefoodinbox, @bechardgrave and @scarlactive to promote its products.

Rodica Titeica, Subway Australia and New Zealand director of marketing, said: “Influencer marketing adds another level of authenticity that isn’t as easily conveyed in conventional advertising. It’s a powerful way to make brand messaging more relevant, segmented and niche to groups of like-minded audiences.

“This is of course only successful when like-minded content creators are engaged and then create content in line with their own personal brand and values. For Subway, we’re proud to have built a strong and loyal influencer network that we regularly engage with because we know they also enjoy working with the brand and genuinely love our products.

“Having run some of Australia’s largest influencer campaigns over the last couple of years, it’s important that as a brand we’re employing best practice in influencer marketing and support our content creators in this too. As such, we’re proud to be officially joining the AiMCO network.”

Patrick Whitnall, AiMCO managing director, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Subway as a member of AiMCO. As influencer marketing grows in this region as a successful marketing channel, brands such as Subway understand the importance of having both a best practice influencer marketing industry and a supported and nurtured creator community.

“AiMCO’s mission and work has great momentum, and we look forward to continuing to build a stronger, trusted influencer marketing landscape. Our Accreditation program, Code of Practice and Ad Disclosure Guide are just some of the initiatives and resources that have made a positive difference to our industry.”

AiMCO recently announced its 2024 Guiding Council, which includes representatives from Tourism Australia, Wavemaker, Hello Social, Social Law Co, among others.

See also: AiMCO reveals 2024 Guiding Council

Top image: Rodica Titeica

Brandbank Group x The Pistol - Jaime Nosworthy
The Pistol wins Brandbank Group digital media account

By Alisha Buaya

Brandbank Group is behind Australian brands such as Seed Heritage, Commonry and Unison, as well as lifestyle brands kikki.K, Fine-Day, and Allkinds. 

The Pistol has been appointed as the digital media partner for Brandbank Group to manage paid media for the Group’s multiple fashion, lifestyle, and beauty labels, helping to boost sales and brand awareness.
Brandbank Group is the company behind Australian brands such as Seed Heritage, Commonry and Unison, as well as lifestyle brands kikki.K, Fine-Day, and Allkinds.

The retail company manages the stores, strategy, design, manufacturing, and digital experience for the brands, implementing customer-centric strategies across its network of physical and online stores.

A key part of The Pistol’s paid media strategy will focus on quantifying the impact of long-term brand building while delivering sustainable and profitable revenue streams, all centred around exceptional omnichannel experiences.

Natalie Motta-Reeves, Brandbank group GM, marketing and e-Commerce, said: “Brandbank Group is excited to announce our partnership with The Pistol, who brings an innovative perspective to our digital media strategy. We are impressed by their expertise at the intersection of creative, media and technology. We’re confident this partnership will lead to incrementality and profitable business growth.”

Natalie Motta-Reeves - Brandbank

Natalie Motta-Reeves

Jaime Nosworthy, The Pistol CEO, said: “Brandbank Group has a deep understanding of brand-building as a long-term investment, and we look forward to being part of that plan for growth. Working with some of Australia’s most popular fashion, skincare, and lifestyle brands, this new partnership is a chance to bring our marketing and media expertise to Brandbank’s retail offering.
“Its brands are brilliantly designed and carefully curated, with the customer at the heart of every offering – it’s a solid business model, and one we’re excited to strengthen and grow.”

The Brandbank Group appointment adds to the agency’s growing retail client stable, which includes UNIQLO, Purebaby and Liquor Marketing Group.

Earlier this year, The Pistol strengthened its senior leadership team with a slew of appointments. Ashley Grey and Yulia Edirisinghe were appointed as group account directors, while Julia Lake stepped up to the role of measurement lead.

See also: The Pistol appoints Ashley Grey, promotes Yulia Edirisinghe and Julia Lake

Top image: Jaime Nosworthy

Tesla tops Australia's top 10 favourite brands- lowercase. Pictured - Matt Morgan and Jasmin Bedir
Tesla comes out on top in list of Australia's 10 favourite brands

By Amy Shapiro

Matt Morgan: “Consumers reward brands that consistently fulfil their promises across every interaction with unwavering trust and loyalty.”

To be loved by loyal consumers, a brand needs to be perceived as premium, align with its customers’ values and beliefs, and provide consistent experiences. This is according to the 2024 True Brand Experience (TBX) report, Building Brand Love & Loyalty, by lowercase, Innocean Group’s brand experience advisory.

The TBX report by lowercase surveyed 1,000 Australians aged between 18 and 80 on their views of 25 brands across sectors including retail, automotive, tech, banking, beauty, and online delivery. Of these 25, the study identified common characteristics of the nation’s top 10 brands that are ‘bought most often’ and considered ‘favourite’ by the Australian public.

The aim was to uncover the strategies employed by these beloved brands and the secrets behind their success in cultivating brand love and loyalty.

Tesla, Dyson, and Bunnings topped the list. Brands with a focus on providing strong solutions for Australians, like Canva and MilkRun, also made the top 10, along with smaller brands such as Messina and Oatly.

TBX by lowercase - Australia's top ten favourite brands

Australia’s top ten favourite brands (TBX)

“The top 10 brands list looks quite different to other brand rankings because it is based on what is most important to consumers – true brand experience and their expectations from brands,” said lowercase managing director, Matt Morgan.

“Our research delivers a powerful message: consumers reward brands that consistently fulfil their promises across every interaction with unwavering trust and loyalty.”

To achieve brand love and loyalty, the TBX report determined the three most important factors were value for money, good customer service, and relevance to the respondent’s life.

Additionally, the brands possessed the following key attributes:

• Value Alignment: 88% of consumers favour businesses that resonate with their personal values, such as ‘standing for more than making money’.
• Consistent Experiences: TBX brands excel in delivering consistent and authentic experiences across all customer interactions, from marketing to post-purchase.
• Shared Beliefs: TBX brands put customer beliefs at the heart of their brand promise, making them 2.3 times more likely to resonate with customers on an emotional level.
• Customer Recommendations: Consumers are four times more likely to recommend TBX brands to friends and family, significantly boosting word-of-mouth marketing.

True Brand Experience by lowercase- Secret Sauce

The study showed that price, brand distinction, personal connection, and consistency are critical factors in shaping consumer preferences and loyalty in Australia.

Price and budget were primary reasons for not classing a brand as a favourite for 35% of respondents. While favourite brands excelled in distinguishing themselves from competitors. A strong sense of familiarity with the brand was also found to be crucial, highlighting the importance of cultivating a personal connection with customers.

Moreover, 85% of respondents indicated their favourite brands had product descriptions that matched advertising promises, and 77% felt they had a clear understanding of what their favourite brands stood for. Finally, 76% of respondents highlighted the importance of a consistent look, feel, and personality in their favourite brands.

Morgan continued: “This report is a wake up call for Australian brands drowning in the noise of big data to start truly listening to their customers once more. By embracing the art of listening, brands can build meaningful two-way relationships, ensuring differentiation and consistency across all touch points.

“Despite the challenges posed by internal silos and business complexity, the data proves that leading Australian brands have found a way to streamline their operations and place the customer at the heart of their brand experience.”

See also: Innocean wins creative, media, and strategic consulting for Geotab

Top Image: Matt Morgan & Jasmin Bedir

Val Morgan Digital
Val Morgan Digital unveils Greenlight, a tool for streamlined content campaigns

By Jasper Buamann

The Greenlight is slated for launch next month with select agencies currently participating in test campaigns. 

Val Morgan Digital has unveiled The Greenlight – a project management tool designed to simplify and streamline content campaigns for its agency partners.

The Greenlight will give agencies a centralised platform for managing every aspect of a campaign, from initial briefing to final delivery and reporting. 

Val Morgan Digital says The Greenlight eliminates the need to juggle multiple platforms, “fostering seamless collaboration and enhanced efficiency.”

“We understand the challenges agencies face in managing complex content campaigns across various platforms,” said Liam O’Meara, national sales director, Val Morgan Digital.

“The Greenlight was developed with the specific needs of our partners in mind. This intuitive tool streamlines the entire process, from capturing client briefs and managing collateral like logos and creatives, to sharing draft, preview, and live links, and ultimately delivering final assets all in one place.”

The Greenlight is slated for launch next month with select agencies currently participating in test campaigns. 

Sophie Walsh, head of OMD Create said: “We’re incredibly excited to be among the first agencies to utilise The Greenlight. The potential to streamline our content campaign workflows and improve efficiency is significant, and we look forward to an ongoing successful partnership with Val Morgan Digital.”

Key features of The Greenlight include a centralised hub which will allow users to manage the entire content creation process within a single platform; a streamlined collaboration; enhanced efficiency; improved transparency and simplified reporting.

The digital youth publisher brings together BuzzFeed, Fandom, LADbible, The Latch, POPSUGAR and Tasty under one roof and reaches 4.25 million 14-39-year-olds each month.

In May, Val Morgan Digital announced its expansion into APAC, and will manage commercial representation for LADbible Group across markets including India, Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines.

The move is effective immediately and builds on the five-year commercial partnership between the company and LADbible Group in Australia and New Zealand.

See also: Val Morgan Digital and LADbible Group expand into APAC

Colgate launches 'Game Face' campaign for footy season via VML and Wavemaker
Colgate launches 'Game Face' campaign for footy season via VML and Wavemaker

By Amy Shapiro

“The aim is to change the perception of  what a ‘game face’ should be – moving away from intimidation to  empowerment.”

Oral health brand Colgate, the ‘Official Smile of the AFL,’ has launched its latest campaign for the 2024 footy season, Game Face, via creative agency VML and media agency Wavemaker.

The inspiration behind Game Face comes from research published in the Psychology of Sport and Exercise journal, suggesting that smiling can instantly improve an individual’s mood, helping athletes feel more relaxed and confident. On a broader scale, the campaign promotes the idea that smiling can improve everyone’s physical and mental performance.

“The aim is to change the perception of what a ‘game face’ should be – moving away from intimidation to empowerment,” explained Colgate senior marketing director, South Pacific, Anthony Crewes.

The campaign is led by a 30-second film featuring athletes such as the Sydney Swans’ Isaac Heeney and Melbourne Demons’ Christian Petracca. It is supported by out-of-home, digital, in-stadium, and social media executions.

VML and Wavemaker 'Game Face' OOH Ads for Colgate

“Our new campaign is designed to encourage everyone to liberate the power of their smile,” Crewes continued.

“Working with Isaac Heeney from the Sydney Swans and Christian Petracca from the Melbourne Demons really made the idea a reality with exceptional success.” 

VML & Wavemaker 'Game Face' Colgate Ad

“This campaign marks the beginning of our mission to connect people to one of the simplest, and most uplifting, ways to improve performance… to smile,” said VML APAC CCO, Paul Nagy.

“Sport is meant to be about a game… joyful competition of the human spirit. But these days it’s very disconnected from that. It’s more a business than a leisure activity… even at the most junior level. Colgate understands we can’t change that, but what we can do is connect people to a simple truth they’ve probably forgotten – enjoying the game makes you better at it. That’s not wishful thinking: it’s a fact.”

Wavemaker ANZ’s group director of content and partnerships, Alexia Antonis, added:  “Colgate has been a long-standing official partner of the AFL, a sport anchored in Australian culture.

“Seven’s AFL broadcast has been a strong launch pad for Colgates’ Game Face film, reaching large audiences and delivering impactful integrated and contextually relevant placements that strengthen the campaign message – putting smiles on more fans’ faces.”

VML was created in a merger by WPP in October last year  after joining two of its creative agencies – Wunderman Thompson and VMLY&R. Its latest work follows a June campaign for Queensland University of Technology, in which VML refreshed the university’s long-standing The University for the Real World creative platform.

Last month, VML also launched a new campaign for Cuddly, Love that Lingers, aiming to connect the fabric softener brand with modern families.

See also:
Queensland University of Technology refreshes its platform via VML
Cuddly Fabric Softener launches Love that Lingers campaign with VML

Client: Colgate-Palmolive
Creative: VML
Media: Wavemaker ANZ
Production: Collider
Audio and music composition: Sonar
Voice over: Tasman Keith
Casting: Citizen Jane

Top Image: Isaac Heeney

True North - Today the Brave (1)
True North unveils 'Life's Different After' platform via Today the Brave

By Alisha Buaya

Jade Manning: “‘Life’s different after’ felt like it bottled the magic of a True North trip.”

True North has unveiled its new brand platform, ‘Life’s Different After,’ in partnership with independent full-service agency Today the Brave.

The luxury cruise line’s brand positioning has been designed to differentiate its product in the competitive cruise market. The agency has reimagined the CX experience while maintaining its existing heritage as an adventure cruising expert.

“We spent a lot of time speaking to guests and understanding how people were affected by the experience on board,” Jade Manning, creative partner of Today the Brave, said. “It was clear that it was something that lived on long after the trip ended. ‘Life’s different after’ felt like it bottled the magic of a True North trip.”

The luxury travel brand has been providing adventure experiences for travellers since 1987. With True North now operating two small ships across Australia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, the business is providing their most popular itineraries at a higher volume resulting in a need to drive sales of cabins among new and existing customers for a forward-looking 24-month period.

Jacqui Capel, head of media at Today the Brave and winner of the Media Agency – Independent category at Mediaweek‘s 2024 Next of the Best Awards, said: “Domestic travel is booming, and it takes a high-impact media approach to cut through with consumers.

“We’re pushing True North into new strategic territories, something we can only do thanks to the trust and partnership we have developed with Chad and the team.”

Today The Brave

Today The Brave

In market now, ‘Life’s Different After’ is running across Large Format Outdoor, the first time the brand has played in this space, including Airport Advertising to capture HNW travellers, Spotify placements that create binaural experiences in audio and a range of high-impact digital executions.

Chad Avenell, director of True North, said: “Life after an immersive True North experience will never be the same. Your perspective on the world shifts and the ordinary, little things in life have a whole new meaning. Today the Brave was able to capture this sentiment, building upon the momentum we’ve gained throughout our partnership over the past 12-months.”

Today the Brave has been working with True North since June 2023, with the partnership stemming from an ambition to spread the luxury adventure brand’s reach an international audience of luxury travellers, while also increasing investment in the domestic market.

Mercado on TV: Must-see documentaries on Faye Dunaway, Celine Dion and Barry Otto

By Andrew Mercado

A new standard is set for celeb docos with Otto By Otto on the life of Barry Otto by his director daughter Gracie

It’s all about celebrity documentaries this week with Otto By Otto (Stan), Faye (Binge) and I Am: Celine Dion (Prime) all out now. These all-new retrospectives feature unique performers who get to tell stories on their own terms. 

A new standard is set for celeb documentaries with Otto By Otto as it looks at the life of actor Barry Otto by his director daughter Gracie Otto. There are home movies, his theatre career, iconic movies like Bliss and Strictly Ballroom, and his family that are letting him live his best life.

Not seen is Otto’s first TV role in Brisbane-made daytime soap Until Tomorrow (1975, Seven). He played a car salesman who pushed his pregnant wife down the stairs and then had an affair with the woman in the corner shop. When the show was axed, Otto told TV Times: “Perhaps the script was sometimes overwritten but the writing never at any stage embarrassed me as an actor.” 

Until Tomorrow wasn’t great, so that is a very gracious thing for Barry Otto to say. That positivity and optimism seem to have been a feature of his entire life. This beautifully made tribute to him is a delight from start to finish.

Faye (Binge) is about the incredible Faye Dunaway and she isn’t here to mess around. No subject is off limits, with her childhood, theatre years, and iconic cinema roles from Bonnie and Clyde to Network. It even discusses why she was considered “difficult” like so many other women in Hollywood.

Dunaway’s career was spectacularly derailed after playing Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest. This is the first time she has spoken about a movie she didn’t expect to turn into a camp classic. However, she won’t be turning up at any midnight screening soon. She will make you reconsider that performance.

I Am: Celine Dion is an intimate look at the shocking disease that has ruined her singing career. It is very revealing and often shocking, but there are also some of her greatest performances and an over-the-top Las Vegas warehouse that stores all her costumes. She can tell you a story about every pair of shoes. Stunning.

This week on the TV Gold podcast:

TV Gold

Men Up, Land of Women, My Lady Jane, The Responder S2, Otto by Otto

New TV series and movies reviewed this week include:

Men Up (Britbox, movie) tells the story of the first clinical trial of the drug Viagra and the impact it had on the men and their partners.

Land of Women (AppleTV+, 6 episodes) stars Eva Longoria who suddenly flees New York for Spain with her mother and daughter.

My Lady Jane (Prime Video, 6 episodes) mixes period drama and fantasy in this story about Lady Jane Grey who was Queen of England for just 9 days.

The Responder (S2, SBS On Demand, 6 episodes) continues the story of corrupt Liverpool policeman Chris Carson as played brilliantly by Martin Freeman.

Otto by Otto (Stan documentary) is written and directed by Gracie Otto, celebrating her father, Australian theatre and film icon Barry Otto.


Listen online here, or on your favourite podcast platform.
Read more Mercado on TV columns here.

TV Ratings
TV Ratings 3 July 2024: Emotions run high as MasterChef cooks battle for final immunity

By Jasper Baumann

Tane asked Harper to lie for him during Home & Away.

Wednesday 3 July 2024: VOZ Total TV Ratings Overnight Top 30 – Programs ranked on reach

Total People TV Ratings

Nine’s Wimbledon – Day 3 recorded a total TV national reach of 1,066,000, a total TV national audience of 263,000, and a BVOD audience of 22,000.

Seven’s The Front Bar recorded a total TV national reach of 1,088,000, a total TV national audience of 506,000, and a BVOD audience of 18,000.

Also on Seven, Home & Away recorded a total TV national reach of 1,255,000, a total TV national audience of 801,000, and a BVOD audience of 104,000.

10’s airing of MasterChef Australia recorded a total TV national reach of 1,220,000, a total TV national audience of 700,000, and a BVOD audience of 61,000.

See also: TV Report 3 July 2024: Thanasi Kokkinakis stuns in comeback win at Wimbledon

People 25-54

Nine’s Wimbledon – Day 3:
• Total TV nation reach: 323,000
• National Audience: 88,000
• BVOD Audience: 12,000

10’s MasterChef:
• Total TV nation reach: 426,000
• National Audience: 254,000 
• BVOD Audience: 34,000

Seven’s The Front Bar:
• Total TV nation reach: 344,000
• National Audience: 166,000
• BVOD Audience: 10,000

Seven’s Home & Away:
• Total TV nation reach: 424,000
• National Audience: 277,000
• BVOD Audience: 57,000

People 16-39

Nine’s Wimbledon – Day 3:
• Total TV nation reach: 133,000
• National Audience: 44,000
• BVOD Audience: 6,000

10’s MasterChef:
• Total TV nation reach: 193,000
• National Audience: 118,000 
• BVOD Audience: 18,000

Seven’s The Front Bar:
• Total TV nation reach: 125,000
• National Audience: 54,000
• BVOD Audience: 5,000

Seven’s Home & Away:
• Total TV nation reach: 177,000
• National Audience: 117,000
• BVOD Audience: 34,000

TV Ratings

Grocery Shoppers 18+ 

Nine’s Wimbledon – Day 3:
• Total TV nation reach: 845,000
• National Audience: 206,000
• BVOD Audience: 17,000

10’s MasterChef:
• Total TV nation reach: 966,000
• National Audience: 561,000 
• BVOD Audience: 50,000

Seven’s The Front Bar:
• Total TV nation reach: 849,000
• National Audience: 409,000
• BVOD Audience: 14,000

Seven’s Home & Away:
• Total TV nation reach: 986,000
• National Audience: 641,000
• BVOD Audience: 83,000

TV Ratings

Data © OzTAM and Regional TAM 2024. Not to be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) in whole or in part, without prior written consent of OzTAM and Regional TAM.

TV Report
TV Report 4 July 2024: Rabbitohs record fifth-straight win after beating Parramatta

By Jasper Baumann

The Project spoke to Dylan Alcott.

TV Report 4 July 2024:

Nine TV Report

NRL – Eels v Rabbitohs

Nine’s draw for the evening was the Eels v Rabbitohs, which saw the Rabbits dominate, beating the Eels 32-16 at CommBank Stadium in Sydney.

A Current Affair

The program spoke to a Policewoman who opened up about helping fellow DV victims while facing abuse at home and also spoke to experts who weighed in on President Biden’s political future.

Seven TV Report

Britain’s Got Talent

On Seven, Britain’s Got Talent saw judges Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and Bruno Tonioli as they searched for golden-buzzer-worthy talent.

Home & Away

Earlier in the night was Home & Away as Cash convinces Felicity to take a chance, Irene’s generosity inspired Leah and Dana is ostracised for her hard stance on Bronte.

10 TV Report

The Project

The Project on 10 reported on Senator Fatima Payman quitting Labor and spoke to Dylan Alcott, Asher Keddie & David Wenham.

Taskmaster Australia

On 10’s Taskmaster Australia, contestants Josh Thomas, Jenny Tian, Lloyd Langford, Anne Edmonds and Wil Anderson were instructed to show how ‘strong’ are while the teams also got to flex their improv muscles in the live task.



7:30 reported on Senator Fatima Payman quitting the Labor Party to now sit as an independent and British voters are now heading to the polls.

Grand Designs Revisited

Back in 2017, Leigh and Richard fell head over heels in love with a listed but derelict 17th century Cornish flour mill.

Grand Designs: The Streets

Kevin McCloud follows more innovative and pioneering community projects across the British Isles and revisits the ambitious self-builds in Graven Hill and Glasgow.


Guillaume’s French Atlantic

Guillaume Brahimi took viewers through the aquatic treasures of the Pays de la Loire and the Dordogne for an exploration of the region’s castles, culture, and cuisine, including the world’s most expensive potato.

Business of Media

Airtasker bets $10m stake on radio, outdoor media surge

Airtasker has inked two deals with Australian media companies, swapping equity for advertising to build an $11 million war chest to capitalise on record interest in side hustles amid a cost of living crisis, reports Nine Publishing’s Sam Buckingham-Jones.

The company, which lets people post or accept tasks ranging from household cleaning to assembling IKEA furniture, announced a $5 million deal with ARN Media on Thursday. ARN is the ASX-listed owner of the KIIS and Pure Gold radio networks.

See also: Airtasker raises $5m in media capital from ARN to boost growth

[Read More]

TV ‘can’t get free pass’ on cost control: Ryan Stokes

All businesses need to keep a sharp eye on costs in a high inflation economy – and television is no exception, says Ryan Stokes, who controls the biggest stake in the under-pressure broadcaster Seven Network, reports News Corp’s Eric Johnston.

His comments come as both Seven and arch rival Nine have outlined aggressive cuts, with Seven targeting a wholesale management and newsroom shake-up under new chief executive Jeff Howard. Seven’s plans, involving the loss of about 150 jobs, are designed to save $100m in annual costs.

See also:
Seven West Media reportedly making 150 roles redundant
Nine to cut 200 jobs after Meta pulls the pin on Media Code deals

[Read More]

Opinion: Sorry, but rugby players posing in lingerie in 2024 is not ‘regressive’

It was in 2007 that David Beckham stripped down for his debut Emporio Armani underwear campaign. The photos, featuring a very famous footballer open-shirted and lying on a bed wearing only a pair of briefs, did not ask the audience to imagine much. Designer Giorgio Armani said his spread-eagled muse represented “modern masculinity: as a sports hero, husband and father,” reports Nine Publishing’s Emma Kemp.

[…] More than two decades later, some female rugby players are wearing lingerie and some (let’s be honest, mostly older) women are outraged. The photoshoot, featuring Team GB sevens stars Ellie BoatmanJasmine Joyce and Celia Quansah, is the latest iteration of the #BeStrongBeBeautiful campaign run by British brand Bluebella since 2016. Its aim is purportedly to show girls “how they can look muscular and strong, as well as feeling feminine”.

[Read More]


Ellen DeGeneres cancels shows just two weeks after starting ‘comeback’ tour

Ellen DeGeneres is facing backlash from fans after she cancelled a string of US shows as part of her Ellen’s Last Stand … Up tour, reports News Corp’s Tiffany Bakker.

The 66-year-old had just started a US tour, billed as the “last opportunity” to see the comedian in her “final curtain call” and would “reintroduce her trademark wit and laughter-inducing anecdotes” to her audiences.

However, some fans wouldn’t be able to see her perform after Ticketmaster issued a statement saying that four upcoming shows have been cancelled.

[Read More]


Auditions: Jeopardy Australia

Casting is underway for a second season of Jeopardy Australia, hosted by Stephen Fry on Nine, reports TV Tonight‘s Davkd Knox.

Filming by Whisper North takes place in the UK, but travel is only offered for Aussie expats within Europe.

To be eligible you must be aged at least 18, hold Australian citizenship and are currently living in the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, or an EU member state.

[Read More]

From Port Arthur to racism in sport, You Can’t Ask That creators tackle Australia’s biggest moments

“The trick with formats is creating rules,” says documentary director Kirk Docker. “And now we know how this thing works, I think we can plug in different events and different ideas, and it’ll be far easier if we get a second crack at it,” reports Nine Publishing’s Karl Quinn.

The “it” in question is I Was Actually There, a six-part factual series for the ABC in which people recount their first-hand experiences of a range of Big Moments in Australian history: the Port Arthur massacre; the Boxing Day tsunami; the Beaconsfield mine collapse; the Beatles’ tour of Australia; AFL footballer Nicky Winmar’s bold stand against racism; and the Woomera detention centre breakout.

[Read More]

Chit Chat: Below Deck’s Captain Sandy Yawn on why she got married on camera and why she loves the sea so, so much

With more than 30 years of sailing experience, Captain Sandy Yawn rarely breaks a sweat on Below Deck: Mediterranean – the reality TV show hit that follows superyachts chartered for luxurious holidays, reports ABC‘s Jared Richards.

Since taking the wheel in 2016 for Mediterranean’s second season, Captain Sandy has become an unlikely star of the dramatic Bravo-verse. She’s a conflict-resolver rather than a starter, who steers her ship (and young, excitable crew) straight, all in the name of professional luxury service.

[Read More]

Ryan Moloney teases “bloody big storyline” ahead of Neighbours exit

After announcing his departure as Ramsay Street’s own ‘Toadie’ Ryan Moloney has teased a dramatic exit, in an interview with ITV’s This Morning, reports TV Tonight‘s David Knox.

“I actually wanted to leave before Neighbours finished, the last time. But (when) it was going to finish, I thought I’d stick around.”

Pressed on being persuaded to return for the revival he added, “Basically, it’s like a once in a life time thing that a show gets axed and then brought back. … I think you’d be silly to say no to it.”

[Read More]

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