Tuesday April 2, 2024

Toby Boon
'Time for the next adventure': Toby Boon to leave Powered by Nine

By Tess Connery

Boon’s departure comes after Nikki Kenyon resigned as director of Powered in December.

Toby Boon, Powered by Nine’s director of strategy and client solutions, will be leaving the business, just a few months after director of Powered, Nicki Kenyon, also departed Nine’s marketing services team. 

“From Cannes to Cairns; MAFS to the ‘Morning Herald; Origin to the Olympics; branded content to the Big Ideas Store – I have loved every adventure that a decade with Nine and Fairfax Media has gifted me,” Boon said.

“Now it’s time for the next adventure.”

Boon has been with the business since its Fairfax days, joining as a client strategist in 2014. 

After the Nine-Fairfax merger deal went through in December 2018, Boon took up the role of director of client strategy, before moving into the director of strategy and insights role. 

With no immediate plans lined up, Boon wrote on LinkedIn that he is “Sydney-based, Melbourne-friendly and Brisbane-curious. I’d love to hear from agencies, brand-owners, consultancies or recruiters, and I am open to contract or permanent roles.”

During his time with Powered, Boon played a critical role in overseeing Nine’s annual Big Ideas Store.  

2023 marked the sixth year for The Big Ideas Store, with the event highlighting a week of speakers, workshops, research, and an immersive pop-up hosted in the Beta events space in Sydney.

The week dug into topics such as greenwashing and how advertisers can be good corporate citizens; new research showing how consumers’ values towards brands will change over the coming years; the future of technology including how artificial intelligence will change creativity, and how investing in marketing will help SMEs grow.

See Also: Powered by Nine’s Big Ideas Store launches for its sixth year

After her departure in December, Kenyon was replaced by Lisa Day.

Michael Stephenson, Nine’s chief sales officer, said of Day at the time: “Lisa has been a part of the Nine family over many years, she has delivered exceptional results, has built incredible relationships, has enormous energy and loves big ideas.”

Mirror Planet by Andrew Rovenko (Creative Technologist, DDB) part of The Rocketgirl Chronicles
DDB Melbourne's Andrew Rovenko on what award-winning Rocketgirl photos say about creative limits

By Amy Shapiro

“Creative problems are the creativity itself, and the ability to come up with new things. It’s the opposite of using a formula.”

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Melbourne endured more lockdowns than any other city in the world, spanning a cumulative 262 days. For many, the period marked a dismal grind, a creative halt, an imaginative lull.

Andrew Rovenko was an exception. During Melbourne’s sixth and final lockdown, the DDB Melbourne creative technologist created the award-winning The Rocketgirl ChroniclesBackyard Space Travel photography series.

A testament to the creativity that can emerge in tough times, the series went onto collect such accolades as a finalist positionin the National Portrait Photographic Prize (2022), and Australian Photography Magazine Photographer of the Year – Overall Winner, Portrait Winner (2021).

Most recently, in October last year, Rovenko turned the series into a photographic book, which was crowned the Tokyo International Foto Awards – Book/Fine Art Winner (2023).

Rovenko believes the experience taught him the power of limitations and resilience – qualities that resonate in his work today. According to him, “embracing the limitations of technology can be used as a vehicle to shape and convey the creative idea.”

Andrew Rovenko (creative technologist, DDB)

Andrew Rovenko

Speaking to Mediaweek, he recalls, “We had to find a new way to get new experiences in the same environment.” Rovenko’s family spent their time visiting the nearby Moorabbin Air Museum, with its collection of vintage aeroplanes on the grounds. 

First picking up the camera in his native Ukraine, where he found moderate success as a young photographer, Rovenko says his passion for photography was reignited.

“I moved back to traditional film photography, because it was a bit of a slower process. You feel more in the moment.”

This momentary suspension, this quiet and considered slowness, is palpable in Rovenko’s Rocketgirl series, born from the constraints of a five kilometre radius and two hour-long outings per day permitted at the time.

Rocketgirl (officially titled The Rocketgirl Chronicles – Backyard Space Travel) follows Rovenko’s daughter Mia, dressed in a homemade spacesuit and papier-mâché helmet, crafted by Rovenko’s wife Mariya.

The Shuttle, which fronts the Rocketgirl series, depicts Mia sitting in a 1972 CAC Comair bus, watching as a thunderstorm approaches. The image is a poignant juxtaposition of the isolation and unprecedented absurdity of the lockdowns, contrasted with the enduring wonderment of childhood.

The Shuttle by Andrew Rovenko (Creative Technologist, DDB) part of Rocketgirl Chronicles

‘The Shuttle’ by Andrew Rovenko

The Green Line by Andrew Rovenko (part of The Rocketgirl Chronicles)

‘The Green Line’ by Andrew Rovenko

The Rocketgirl by Andrew Rovenko

‘The Rocketgirl’ by Andrew Rovenko

“That kind of costume and imaginative play, that was the switch to transform your environment, at least mentally. That was the creative answer,” says Rovenko.

“It’s the same with work as well.”

“Creative problems are the creativity itself, and the ability to come up with new things. It’s the opposite of using a formula.”

Rovenko describes his role as creative technologist at heritage creative agency DDB as “the glue” that synergises the pillars of creative, technology, media, and strategy.

In his words, “Functioning ADHD people will really excel at this job.”

Thanks to the rapid evolution of media and advertising over the past two decades, the creative technologist role came about, though Rovenko jokes a precise job description is somewhat of a daily struggle.

“My job is to keep my finger on the pulse of whatever is happening in the tech world,” he says. “I must be able to figure things out really quickly.

“If there’s something new that comes out, I need to make sense out of it. I need to be able to package it up in a really easy-to-understand format.”

Rovenko says his responsibility is to contextualise how technology can be relevant to the creative industry, showcasing its potential use-cases for creatives. He achieves this mostly through presentations and internal talks.

His day-to-day revolves around experimenting and prototyping alternative solutions in the face of technical limitations, aiming to preserve the integrity of original creative ideas, all while prioritising feasibility and viability.

“An original creative concept can be obviously far and wide, but then you have to put in the constraints of budget, of what technology can actually do all the time,” he says.

Rovenko explains that, just as the lockdowns demanded a “creative answer” to alleviate daily life – the “imaginative play” so vividly captured in his photography – he adopts a similar approach to creative problem-solving at work. 

In fact, Rovenko sees the film camera as a succinct metaphor for the plight of the creative technologist.

“It’s like a perfect blend of technical expertise to be able to produce a good photograph, and creative thinking to see that shot, to compose it well and to be able to tell that story.” 

Rovenko remembers the first iterations of AI generative video “became synonymous with absurdity,” due to the imperfections of the available tools.

Instead of trying to overcome those limitations, Rovenko and his team leaned into them, creating the hilariously disconcerting Office Party from Hell for Funlab.

I have to admit – I had a bit too much fun bringing it to life in just a couple of days.”

More recently, Rovenko stepped in when one of the key presenters for a highly anticipated all-staff meeting at DDB was indisposed.

“We found a way to re-create their presentation using technology, complete with realistic speech and video synthesis to the great surprise of all attendees.

“Only recently this would have been a very big task requiring significant production effort, but with some creative use of technology. We achieved quite an inspiring result with short notice and a $0 budget.”

One of his personal favourite projects which epitomises the innovation of the creative technologist, was the development of an online virtual reality test used as a recruitment tool for the Australian Secret Intelligence Service, from his time as senior developer at full service agency cummins&partners.

Rovenko describes it as a distinctly cross-disciplinary pursuit, involving the creation and integration of multiple complex task sequences into digital platforms to render them interactive, all aimed at identifying the ideal spy candidates.

“That was one of those examples where you could have gone with the standard recruitment approach … spent media budget on LinkedIn ads, or create a bunch of TVCs,” says Rovenko.

“But by giving people an experience to go through and self-align, that’s a much stronger way to engage and find that right candidate.”

The project quickly gained virality, generating $47.7 million of earned media, and prompting over 400,000 individuals to take the interview.

Reflecting on COVID and his time in lockdown, Rovenko appreciates it as a catalyst that disrupted formulaic thinking. He sees it as a reminder of the value of limitations as a pathway to meaningful transformation.

When faced with constraints that threaten comfort-zones, safety nets, tools, or time, the lesson is clear: “You have to figure out how you can communicate the same idea: how you can do it justice with less. 

“And I think that’s really a great driver for original thinking.

See also: DDB and VW launch RooBadge, designed to save kangaroos and cars

Top Image: ‘Mirror Planet’ by Andrew Rovenko (part of The Rocketgirl Chronicles)

impact reports nine
Nine staff warned against signing open letters or petitions

By Tess Connery

“The signing of open letters or petitions may constitute a breach of the code, and that signatories may be directed to undertake different work duties.”

Nine Publishing staff have been told that they may be in breach of the company’s editorial code of conduct if they sign open letters or petitions in the future.

A note sent to publishing staff seen by Mediaweek reads: “The Editorial Code of Conduct’s existing section on impartiality will be expanded to make clear that the signing of open letters or petitions may constitute a breach of the code, and that signatories may be directed to undertake different work duties to avoid any perceived or actual conflict of interest.”

The note was sent after 53 journalists across The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the ABC, Guardian Australia, and Schwartz Media, signed an industry open letter in November that called for increased scrutiny on the publisher’s reporting on the Israel-Gaza conflict. After signing the open letter, journalists at Nine newspapers were “unable to participate in reporting or producing coverage about the war in Israel and Gaza”.

That ban will lift on 24 May, six months after the decision was implemented

The note, signed by Luke McIlveen, executive editor of Nine’s mastheads, Bevan Shields, editor of The Sydney Morning Herald, Patrick Elligett, editor of The Age, and David King, national editor of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, opens by saying, “Our mastheads are committed to independent journalism and impartiality.”

At the time of the November open letter, Tory Maguire – who was then executive editor of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, and has since been promoted to managing director, publishing – wrote to staff: “It is a strong held-tenet that our journalists’ personal agendas do not influence our reporting on news events.

“The SMH and The Age hold a very significant place in Australian society because of the mastheads’ reputations for independent journalism and reporting bound by the highest standards of impartiality.”

AMA calls for digital ban on junk food ads
Medical Association calls for digital ban on junk food ads

By Amy Shapiro

“Allowing the processed food and advertising industries to set their own rules does not effectively protect children.”

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) is calling for an online marketing ban on junk food via a submission to the Department of Health and Aged Care, intensifying the conversation around the ad industry’s impact on children.

The submission calls for restrictions on all junk food marketing across media platforms and outlets between 5:30am and 11pm, further urging the government to implement tight restrictions on unhealthy food sponsorship of sports, arts, and cultural events.

It also strongly opposes the advertising industry maintaining a status quo of self-regulation on the issue via such organisations as the The Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA).

“Allowing the processed food and advertising industries to set their own rules does not effectively protect children from exposure to unhealthy food marketing,” said AMA president, Professor Steve Robson.

“We need to restrict placement and promotion of unhealthy food within retail environments, and we want a policy to extend beyond traditional media and include parts of our daily lives where children are influenced.”

In 2022, The Obesity Policy Coalition claimed the advertising industry’s code was failing to protect kids from unhealthy food marketing. The appeal came after an Oreo cookies ad that was shown during the Lego Masters finale was found not to target children despite appearing in one of Australia’s most popular general entertainment shows for children.

The Ad Standards Community Panel dismissed the complaint by the Obesity Policy Coalition at the time, which claimed the Oreo ad had breached the newly established AANA Food and Beverages Code, mandating ads for occasional (unhealthy) food and beverages must not target children under 15 years.

See also: Obesity Policy Coalition says new advertising code fails to protect children

In a press release, the peak industry body for doctors in Australia stated it was calling upon the Australian Government to put the health of children “ahead of the profits of harmful industries by urging for tougher laws on unhealthy food and drink advertising.”

“Limiting junk food advertisements and marketing is about nurturing health in our children, providing them with the opportunity to make healthy choices well into adulthood,” said Robson, adding that eating habits are formed young – when children are most susceptible to unhealthy food marketing efforts.

“Junk food marketing at the sports field, in the shops, on TV, or online gives the wrong message by making unhealthy food feel completely normal.” 

Last year, the AMA also championed Dr Sophie Scamps MP as she introduced The Healthy Kids Advertising Bill 2023 to Parliament, a proposition to ban junk food ads from TV and radio between the hours of 6:00am and 9:30pm. The Bill further proposed an outright ban on junk food marketing on social media and other online environments.

See also: Josh Faulks: Industry needs to work with government and consumers to overcome greenwashing

How magazine aggregator Readly convinced 30 Australian publishers to join the platform

By James Manning

Readly CEO Philip Lindqvist on the magazine sector’s revival, pitching to publishers, and securing revenue streams.

At first glance, publishers could be forgiven for thinking putting their magazines on a low-cost digital aggregation platform like Readly could be a bad decision.

Not so. The Stockholm-based Readly CEO Philip Lindqvist told Mediaweek they have had good success attracting Australian publishers to their platform.

Lindqvist explained to Mediaweek why publishers are signing up. He also shared some of the details about revenue splits. One of the attractions to publishers is a new revenue stream. But there’s a lot more to it than that.

If you are a lapsed magazine reader, the lure of Readly is hard to resist. For $15 a month, users get access to 7,000+ titles and over 35 categories. Brands from all the biggest publishers – magazines and newspapers – are represented. Get one month free when you join which gives you time to explore the offering before your first payment is due.

See also: Mats Brandt steps down as Readly CEO, Philip Lindqvist to take the role

Readly content available in Australia

Lindqvist detailed just how big the Readly gallery of Australian titles is. “We have a strong portfolio of some 30 publishers. That’s almost 200 local Australian titles.”

But having local content on Readly is only part of the attraction for users, explained Lindqvist. “It’s important to keep in mind being a big English-speaking market, we have a global portfolio. Unlike some other players, our portfolio is truly global. We have a lot of UK and US titles that are very popular in Australia. Looking at the numbers, we can see that just over half the time spent on Readly by Australian users is with international titles, mainly from the UK and US.”

The pitch to publishers

Just how does Readly convince a publisher to join its ranks? There are a few components to the pitch, said Lindqvist. “One is extending a title’s reach – digital and print combined – which these days is a consolidated number.

“Another factor is revenue. Even though a direct subscriber with a publisher generates more cash for that publisher, the revenue they get from us is accretive to that business.

“If you go back 10 years when Readly was founded, there was a bit of ambiguity among publishers. Would we cannibalise or contribute to their existing business?

Over the years, it’s been proven multiple times that we bring new revenue. New subscribers that aren’t currently customers of the publisher. It’s an additional revenue stream that we generate.

“We also have vast data access in terms of readership behaviour, interaction with titles, and interaction with advertising. We provide that to publishers, and they learn about user behaviour in a more granular way.”

CEO Philip Lindqvist and his team working hard to improve mobile phone experience when using Readly

Market penetration

When it comes to attracting subscribers to the platform, Lindqvist admitted: “Our penetration in Australia is lower than some other markets. That’s partly a function of the willingness to pay for magazines. It’s also a function of the amount of time we’ve been present with a proper strong portfolio of local content.”

The size of market penetration in Sweden leads Lindqvist and his team to believe there is scope for growth in Australia.

“Readly is a service. Historically, we weren’t as clear on the positioning. It’s a service for a target group with an established willingness to pay for editorial content. We’re not for everyone. We’re not like Netflix which was able to target the majority of households viewing.”

Lindqvist indicated Readly penetration into the target market here is still quite low.

Educating consumers about digital publishing

Part of Lindqvist’s brief when he joined in May 2023 was to make the platform profitable.

Until now, Readly has been loss-making. “Part of that is we had to educate users and explain what this category is about.

“From a consumer perspective, it was easier to understand streaming and video as the digital version of the channel. Video streaming television, where my background is, is essentially an aggregation or collection of video content from different sources.

“In the magazine publishing space, there was never a linear or analogue aggregated magazine service. This type of offering is new. It’s not only a digital transformation, it is a completely new way of interacting with content. That’s why it takes time, and we have to be patient.”

Above and below: Some of the Australian titles available on the Readly platform

Are magazines making a comeback that is sustainable?

Just how real is the apparent growing interest in magazines? It’s a question publishers and advertisers have been throwing around. So what does Lindqvist think?

“It’s too early to tell,” he admitted to Mediaweek. “I see trends pointing in the same direction on a macro level. There seems to be some resilience in the willingness to pay for editorial content.

“There was a longer-term trend where the willingness to pay for editorial content was declining over many years. That was fuelled by the internet, where all content was made available for free.

When consumers are accustomed to not paying for content, it takes a long time to get them back.

“Another factor historically has been this commingling of quality editorial content with non-editorial, fake news. Content on social media has made it difficult for users to understand what sources they can trust. What type of content is worth paying for?”

Lindqvist said he thinks those questions are now being answered as consumers realise what a real brand and editor can achieve.

“The interest in paying for an aggregated service is growing. The user knows that all content on this platform, whether you like the content or not, is proper journalism. Is proper editorial content, with an editor-in-chief behind every title.”

Where do new Readly customers come from?

Lindqvist: “One question from a publisher typically is if we gain one subscriber at Readly, have we taken that user from a direct relationship with a publisher?

“We have done extensive mapping of user behaviour. The answer to that question is typically no. We can also see that some users coming to Readly used to be magazine subscribers, maybe five, maybe even more years ago.

“For some reason, they left. It could have been that the print magazine didn’t really fit their lifestyle anymore. Maybe they felt that the digital alternative of that magazine didn’t fulfil their needs. Or they just found some other activity or media to engage with.

“We can see now that we have managed to get some of those ex-subscribers back. Subscribers that publishers haven’t managed to get. That’s one example of how the revenue we bring is accretive to these publishers. It’s new money.”

Building a publisher’s income stream

“We’ve increased prices across the board, not just in Australia, but in all our markets over the past few years, said Lindqvist. “We see so far, strong resilience in our customer base. Readly has to be a profitable company. We have taken some significant steps to that already. The reason we need to be profitable is that we need to grow to continue providing revenue to publishers.

“We’ve increased prices successfully over the past few years. We’ve also improved our marketing efficiency.”

Revenue split with publishers

Without detailing exactly how much publishers get, Lindqvist said company revenue of around 60% is going to publishers. “We keep roughly 40%. Out of that, we pay for all marketing, customer acquisition, product development and so forth.”

Cracking the mobile user experience

The best user experience is on a tablet device. Readly wants to make it just as good too on other devices.

“Our users are satisfied with the tablet experience,” said Lindqvist. “They are less satisfied with the [Readly] experience on smartphones. We need to improve that user experience.

“We’re also now experimenting with text-to-speech so that you can listen to certain articles. But the big one is cracking that mobile user experience.”

See also: Newsagent Mark Fletcher gives view on Readly, and what’s ahead for magazines at retail

Clems launches brand campaign for Racing and Wagering WA's TABtouch

By Alisha Buaya

In addition to the campaign, Clems has also refreshed the TABtouch brand identity.

Creative agency Clemenger BBDO has launched a new brand campaign for Racing and Wagering Western Australia’s TABtouch, alongside AFL spots.
The launch coincides with the start of the footy season in early March, followed by a second release of creative featuring racing spots on 29 March, in time for autumn racing carnivals.
In the launch AFL hero spot, audiences follow the elongated hand snaking through behind-the-scenes areas of a football stadium.
Reaching the playing field, the hand feels the damp grass, ‘arming’ it and the footy fans it encounters with the insight that the weather is turning and will suit the team that is good in the wet. 

The creative features two 45” executions, plus two 30”, five 15” and three 6” spots all supported by bespoke edits for online and social media channels, plus radio.
The creative strategy centres on the premise that if someone has the touch, they have a feel for what happens on the field—and if someone does have the touch, they can make things happen on the TABtouch app.
The campaign brings ‘The Touch’ concept to life through an ever-extending set of hands. The hands embody the focused and driven TABtouch punter who seeks out the best betting insights and statistics—their thirst for knowledge is quenched on the TABtouch app.

Katie Roberts, Racing and Wagering Western Australia head of marketing, said the campaign leverages “the success of our brand platform and evolve our distinctive assets, to bring to life our proposition that those with the touch, choose TABtouch.”

In addition to the TVCs, Clemenger BBDO has refreshed the TABtouch brand identity to celebrate 60 years of sharing wisdom with punters, with the new visual identity to be rolled out across all audience touch points, including social, digital, OOH and print.
Richard Williams, Clemenger BBDO ECD, added that the campaign reminds punters of the power in their hands.
“It’s not just about the laughs or dramatic visuals with this campaign – it’s about creating a connection with our audience, a reminder that TABtouch is at the heart of their sporting experience,” he added.
The campaign is running nationally on Sky Racing and in WA on subscription and free-to-air TV, print, OOH, digital, and radio. Media was led by The Brand Agency.

Client: Racing and Wagering Western Australia (TABtouch)
Chief Wagering Officer: Michael Saunders
Head of Marketing: Katie Roberts
Wagering Marketing Manager: Brian Murphy
Wagering Marketing Campaign Lead: Claire Rocca
Lead designer: Mitchell Webber

Creative Agency: Clemenger BBDO
Executive Creative Director: Richard Williams
Creative Director: Roy Leibowitz
Creative Director: Chris Wilson
Agency Producer (film): Jo Howlett
Agency Producer (stills and digital): Claire Bisset
Finished Art: Sam Tsui
Digital Design lead: Justin Tumilaar
Retoucher: Mike McCall
Craft: Ant Yee
Managing Partner: Jason Melhuish
Senior Business Director: Adriana Robbins
Business Managers: Mack Horton, Tyler Ronaldson

Production Company: The Sweetshop
Director: Damien Shatford
Producer: Allison Lockwood
Managing Director: Edward Pontifex
Managing Director: Greg Fyson
DOP: James L Brown
Art Director: Michael Iacono

Edit Post Production Co: ARC EDIT
Post Producer: Jess Ryan
Editor: Luke Haigh    

Online Post Production VFX Co: Alt.VFX
Post Producer: Malinda McGuire
VFX Supervisor: Dave Edwards
Colourist: Matic Prusnik
Online Artist: Josh Kell
Music Composition: Sonar Music
Composers: David McCormack & Josh Pearson
Vocalists: Steve Fisher & Josie Mann
Music Producer: Haylee Poppi
Executive Producer: Sophie Haydon
Final Sound mix: Rumble
Sound Producer: Irene Kakopieros
Sound Designer: Tone Aston
Casting Director: Peta Einberg Casting

Stills and Digital Production:
CGI: Paul Gawman
Photographer: Nick Bowers 
Production company Producer: Belinda Blooman 
Digital Operator: Felipe Neves 
Photo Assistant: Archie Startracom 
Photo Assistant: Mike Tinney 
Grooming / Manicurist: Jessica Diez 
Wardrobe Assistant: Brenda Hayward 
Art Director Michael: Iacono 
Standby Props: Andy Cantrell

Media Agency: The Brand Agency
Senior Media Planner: Luke Marsala
Media Buyer: Jovana Maletic
Senior Media Technologist: Morgan Bland
Media Technology Director: Asheigh Sligo

Chattr logo
Chattr surpasses 629k users in March

The entertainment site has reached over 1.14 million users in 2024.

Chattr, Australia’s fastest-growing entertainment news website, attracted 629k users in March, with the growth amounting to a 69% increase over February.

Part of the Mediaweek Group, the publication was launched in 2023 to provide exclusive and original entertainment news to consumers, growing from 10,000 to 629,000 users in 14 months.

In Q1 of 2024, the website reached 1.14 million users, establishing itself as the go-to for TV and streaming audiences around the country. 

“The strength of Chattr’s growth in March only cements the fact that Australians continue to be hungry for entertainment and we are proud to lead that narrative,” said Chattr editor Anita Anabel.

“Chattr’s success is owed, in large part, to the tremendous efforts of journalist Danica Baker and the wider team’s ongoing commitment to providing content for a growing audience. We cannot wait to see what the next quarter brings.”

Chris Murphy
The Hallway's Chris Murphy on 'small compliments along the way' building a feedback culture

By Tess Connery

“You don’t want to come across as deceptive, and that’s so easily, and so unintentionally done.”

“The more I’ve leaned into my authentic self, the better it’s actually worked out” for general manager at creative agency The HallwayChris Murphy.

The idea of a single authentic self is one that Murphy says was explored during his time with The Marketing Academy, where the difference between character and persona was pointed out.

When thinking of your character as a seed within your persona, the idea is to close that gap between the two,” Murphy says.

“Why is it important? You don’t want to come across as deceptive, and that’s so easily, and so unintentionally done.”

Dan Krigstein Chris Murphy

Dan Krigstein and Chris Murphy

Murphy was speaking on The Growth Distillery vodcast, hosted by News Corp Australia’s director of the Growth Intelligence Centre and independent think tank The Growth Distillery, Dan Krigstein.

He adds that the character and persona distinction is vital for creating a feedback-forward culture in the workplace. Another key part of creating an environment that thrives on feedback is making sure that “it’s constantly happening.”

“There’s one thing that Jules [Hall] our CEO at The Hallway always says: give small compliments along the way to just give people a barometer of where they’re standing, as opposed to waiting a year for feedback. That’s super important

“For anyone who knows me, I’m very much the same in this booth, as I am in the pub and on the footy field. They’ll know that I’ll give them a very honest depiction of where I think improvement will be.”

Speaking to Mediaweek, Murphy adds that “we’re all in this game of belief.”

“It’s an infinite game of belief, whether we’re believing that we’re good enough to work at the agency or the company that we want to work at, the belief that the campaign that we’re sending out is good enough to get the results that we need, or the belief that you’re going to sit here and be on this vodcast.

“Every person that has worked on my team has instilled this vision of belief and has left my team feeling like they believed themselves a bit more. For me, that’s me doing my job.”

Finally, for the leaders of tomorrow, Murphy shares his best piece of advice: “Have the absolute belief and conviction that you are good enough to teach someone else your learnings.”

“A lot of people have this impostor syndrome about mentorship – I, personally, felt more nervous about taking on a couple of mentees than running an agency,” Murphy says.

“You feel an immense sense of responsibility, that you’ll shape this person’s perception of their career, potentially. But at the end of the day, they’re just happy to sit there and chat to you. It’s more about going, look, here’s my experience, here’s what I learned, and here’s what I would do differently if I did it again. Stuff like that to someone just coming into the industry is absolute gold.”

Top image: Chris Murphy

Paramount A-League
Paramount offers full support to APL as Global Advance goes into administration

By Jasper Baumann

NEP, which produces most other sports codes in Australia, is most likely to take over the contract.

Paramount has offered its full support to The Australian Professional Leagues (APL), the entity that operates the A-Leagues, as the company behind its television production went into administration yesterday.

Global Advance has been responsible for producing all A-League matches since 2021, and brings the games to the screens of Network 10 and Paramount+. 

Global Advance is employed by the APL to provide all production facilities for all matches: six games a round. The production agreement was between APL and Global Advance, meaning Global Advance was a production partner of the APL, rather than Paramount. 

A Paramount spokesperson said the company has offered its full support to the APL in securing another production facilities partner. 

“Paramount Australia has been informed that the APL’s third-party production facilities provider, Global Advance, has gone into administration. We are confident that this will not affect the coverage of the A-Leagues going forward with football fans able to watch all the live action and excitement as scheduled,” it said.

NEP, which produces most other sports codes in Australia, is most likely to take over the contract, ensuring that the rest of the 2023-24 season will continue to be televised. 

“Through a lot of hard work by a new production company, Ten-Paramount, and our team, we are close to finalising an agreement and are confident all matches will be broadcast,” an APL spokesperson said.

“There are many challenges that such a short timeframe presents, but we are working through this urgently with all of our stakeholders, and we thank the production company for their cooperation, flexibility and expertise at such short notice.”

The news comes as the APL made nearly half of its roles redundant in January, in a move to stabilise the body amid financial issues. Most of the staff let go were from the APL’s digital content arm, KeepUp. 

See also: Paramount+ boss: McGarvey’s focus is profitability in ‘key market’

Instagram and Threads are limiting political content. This is terrible for democracy

This change not only signals Meta’s retreat from politics and news more broadly, but also challenges any sense of these platforms being good for democracy at all.

By Tama Leaver, Professor of Internet Studies, Curtin University

Meta’s Instagram and Threads apps are “slowly” rolling out a change that will no longer recommend political content by default. The company defines political content broadly as being “potentially related to things like laws, elections, or social topics”.

Users who follow accounts that post political content will still see such content in the normal, algorithmically sorted ways. But by default, users will not see any political content in their feeds, stories or other places where new content is recommended to them.

For users who want political recommendations to remain, Instagram has a new setting where users can turn it back on, making this an “opt-in” feature.

This change not only signals Meta’s retreat from politics and news more broadly, but also challenges any sense of these platforms being good for democracy at all. It’s also likely to have a chilling effect, stopping content creators from engaging politically altogether.

Politics: dislike

Meta has long had a problem with politics, but that wasn’t always the case.

In 2008 and 2012, political campaigning embraced social media, and Facebook was seen as especially important in Barack Obama’s success. The Arab Spring was painted as a social-media-led “Facebook Revolution”, although Facebook’s role in these events was widely overstated.
However, since then the spectre of political manipulation in the wake of the 2018 Cambridge Analytica scandal has soured social media users toward politics on platforms.
Increasingly polarised politics, vastly increased mis- and disinformation online, and Donald Trump’s preference for social media over policy, or truth, have all taken a toll. In that context, Meta has already been reducing political content recommendations on their main Facebook platform since 2021.
Instagram and Threads hadn’t been limited in the same way, but also ran into problems. Most recently, the Human Rights Watch accused Instagram in December last year of systematically censoring pro-Palestinian content. With the new content recommendation change, Meta’s response to that accusation today would likely be that it is applying its political content policies consistently.

A person holding a smartphone displaying an instagram profile at a high angle against a city backdrop.

Instagram has no shortage of political content from advocacy and media organisations.

How the change will play out in Australia

Notably, many Australians, especially in younger age groups, find news on Instagram and other social media platforms. Sometimes they are specifically seeking out news, but often not.

Not all news is political. But now, on Instagram by default no news recommendations will be political. The serendipity of discovering political stories that motivate people to think or act will be lost.

Combined with Meta recently stating they will no longer pay to support the Australian news and journalism shared on their platforms, it’s fair to say Meta is seeking to be as apolitical as possible.

The social media landscape is fracturing

With Elon Musk’s disastrous Twitter rebranding to X, and TikTok facing the possibility of being banned altogether in the United States, Meta appears as the most stable of the big social media giants.

But with Meta positioning Threads as a potential new town square while Twitter/X burns down, it’s hard to see what a town square looks like without politics.

The lack of political news, combined with a lack of any news on Facebook, may well mean young people see even less news than before, and have less chance to engage politically.

In a Threads discussion, Instagram Head Adam Mosseri made the platform’s position clear:

Politics and hard news are important, I don’t want to imply otherwise. But my take is, from a platform’s perspective, any incremental engagement or revenue they might drive is not at all worth the scrutiny, negativity (let’s be honest), or integrity risks that come along with them.

Like for Facebook, for Instagram and Threads politics is just too hard. The political process and democracy can be pretty hard, but it’s now clear that’s not Meta’s problem.


A chilling effect on creators

Instagram’s announcement also reminded content creators their accounts may no longer be recommended due to posting political content.

If political posts were preventing recommendation, creators could see the exact posts and choose to remove them. Content creators live or die by the platform’s recommendations, so the implication is clear: avoid politics.

Creators already spend considerable time trying to interpret what content platforms prefer, building algorithmic folklore about which posts do best.

While that folklore is sometimes flawed, Meta couldn’t be clearer on this one: political posts will prevent audience growth, and thus make an already precarious living harder. That’s the definition of a political chilling effect.

For the audiences who turn to creators because they are perceived to be relatable and authentic, the absence of political posts or positions will likely stifle political issues, discussion and thus ultimately democracy.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by matt bernstein (@mattxiv)


How do I opt back in?

For Instagram and Threads users who want these platforms to still share political content recommendations, follow these steps:The Conversation

go to your Instagram profile and click the three lines to access your settings.
click on Suggested Content (or Content Preferences for some).
click on Political content, and then select “Don’t limit political content from people that you don’t follow”.

Tama Leaver, Professor of Internet Studies, Curtin University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Good Friday Appeal
Seven's 2024 Good Friday Appeal raises $23m for Royal Children's Hospital

By Jasper Baumann

This is Seven’s 67th year of broadcasting the appeal.

The Good Friday Appeal, broadcast on Channel 7 in Melbourne and nationally on 7plus on Friday, helped raise a record-breaking $23,368,724 for The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne.

Managing director of Seven Melbourne and head of network sport, Lewis Martin, said it is always touching to see Victorians dig deep for a cause so close to many people’s hearts.

“It is an honour for Seven to broadcast this iconic event, as we have for the past 67 years,” he said.

“Thank you to all of our special guests, volunteers and staff who made it all possible, and to our partners at The Royal Children’s Hospital and the Herald Sun for another outstanding year.”

The Good Friday Appeal included performances from Conrad Sewell; Kate Miller-Heidke, who is soon to debut as a coach on the upcoming season of The Voice; Mark Seymour and his daughter Eva; 2024 Australian Idol winner Dylan Wright; and a cover of Tom Petty’s I Won’t Back Down by 7NEWS’ Peter Mitchell. 

Other guests included The Morning Show and The Chase Australia’s Larry Emdur; 7NEWS’ presenters Rebecca Maddern and Abbey Gelmi; Sunrise’s Natalie Barr, Matt Shirvington, Edwina Bartholomew and Katie Brown; Dream Home host and Dancing With The Stars co-host Dr Chris Brown; and Better Homes and Gardens presenter and MKR judge Colin Fassnidge. 

Also in attendance were Home and Away stars Ada Nicodemou, James Stewart, Emily Weir, Matt Evans and Jessica Redmayne; The Chase Australia’s Goliath and Smiling Assassin; 7AFL’s Abbey Holmes and Matthew Richardson; Farmer Joe from the new season of Farmer Wants A Wife; and 2024 Dancing With The Stars contestant and comedian Nikki Osborne.

Joining these Channel Seven names on the panels were Chicago The Musical’s Zoë Ventoura and Peter Rowsthorn; and comedians Ed Byrne, Nazeem Hussein, Ivan Aristeguieta, Christine Ryan, Bron Lewis and Claire Hooper.

TV Gold
TV Gold streaming guide: Binge-watch the best TV dramas so far in 2024

By James Manning

The Gentleman, Boy Swallows Universe, High Country and 15 other great drama hits so far in 2024.

The weekly Mediaweek podcast TV Gold has reviewed close to 40 TV drama series in 2024 from January to March.

As the first quarter of the year ticks over, hosts Andrew Mercado and James Manning reveal the best so far. Each week we select a TV Gold Show of the Week and so far this year there have been 17 of them.

For 13 weeks we have agreed on the same show eight times. That’s often, but not always!

Best of Netflix

Netflix has provided some memorable TV so far in 2024. It was Netflix drama series that book-ended the first quarter of 2024. Both Andrew and I agreed on these:

Boy Swallows Universe in January and The Gentlemen in March. Both series have spent time at the top of the Netflix TV chart.

One other show from Netflix got a Show of the Week nomination this year. This time only from me though – the comedy series Loudermilk which ended up this year on Netflix after first launching on Prime Video.

The Gentlemen poster set

Stan gets religious

In January this year, both co-hosts got excited by the new Stan Original Prosper.

Also making this Show of the Week list is the US drama Three Women. That was a nomination from Andrew, although both hosts spoke glowingly about the series’ star – Shailene Woodley.

Crime and fashion at AppleTV+

Both co-hosts liked the look of AppleTV+ UK crime drama Criminal Record.

Later on in the quarter, I was the only one to nominate The New Look to Show of the Week status.

A third series from AppleTV+ was a late nominee this quarter with Andrew voting for Manhunt, the drama about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln in the Easter TV Gold episode.

Mr Bates

Mr Bates vs The Post Office

Just one FTA commercial TV drama

Australian commercial FTA television is largely the domain of reality programming in primetime. A handful of dramas are either commissioned or acquired. Just one of them made our list for a first-quarter Show of the Week. And what a series it was. Four short episodes that gripped the UK and made politicians squirm about their inactivity – Mr Bates vs the Post Office.

ABC double

Two series feature on the list from the ABC this quarter. It is also worth noting that the third series of Total Control was also screened in that time. Both hosts have enjoyed that series in the past, but second or third seasons of shows rarely get a Show of the Week trophy.

What did get some silverware though was House of Gods (James) and the New Zealand acquisition Double Parked (Andrew).

Best of British on BritBox

BritBox is a platform both co-hosts like prowling for its UK drama offerings. There were two new good finds in the first three months of 2024.

Maryland was chosen by Andrew at the end of January. High on the reasons to watch list was the great cast, including TV Gold favourite Suranne Jones.

Next up from BritBox was one chosen by me just this week – Obituary. A dark Irish comedy about an obituary writer at a village newspaper.

High Country

High Country: Aaron Pedersen, Leah Purcell and Sara Wiseman

Three Shows of the Week on Binge

Three series on this Q1 list come from the TV offerings from Foxtel and Binge. The first was the second season of Feud. Both hosts had a few reservations, but the impressive cast won them over.

Next was Mary & George, a British historical drama that stars Julianne Moore.

Then just earlier in March was the Leah Purcell crime drama High Country.

Also on my list was a sole entry from Prime Video – the Nicole Kidman series Expats.

See also: Best streaming services 2024: What’s essential to watch the world’s finest TV

TV Gold Shows of the Week January – March 2024


TV Gold

Boy Swallows Universe (Netflix) Travis Fimmel, Phoebe Tonkin

An epic coming-of-age story set in 1980s Brisbane that blends the magic and innocence of youth with the brutal reality of the adult world. A lost father, a mute brother, a recovering addict mum, a heroin dealer for a stepfather, and a notorious criminal for a babysitter. Eli Bell is just trying to follow his heart and understand what it means to become a good man, but fate keeps throwing obstacles in his way.

Adapted from Trent Dalton’s iconic Australian novel, Boy Swallows Universe explores the crossroads where a boy becomes a man, good toys with evil, and the everyday meets the extraordinary.

Rebecca Gibney

Prosper (Stan)

Prosper (Stan) Rebecca Gibney, Richard Roxburgh

Stan Original Prosper follows the Quinns, the founding family behind one of the fastest growing megachurches in the world, U Star, based in Sydney. Poised on the precipice of a lucrative American expansion, the family is about to catapult into a whole new stratosphere of wealth and unchecked power. But behind closed doors, the Quinns are a family protecting shameful secrets – all while preaching a message of faith, love and acceptance to their many thousands of followers. At its heart, Prosper is a study of a damaged family inextricably bound together while tearing themselves apart.

TV Gold

Criminal Record (AppleTV+) Peter Capaldi, Cush Jumbo

An anonymous phone call draws two brilliant detectives into a confrontation over an old murder case – one a young woman in the early stages of her career, the other a well-connected man determined to protect his legacy. The series touches on issues of race, institutional failure, and the quest to find common ground in a polarised Britain.

Maryland (Britbox) Suranne Jones, Eve Best

Maryland is a three-part relationship drama created by BAFTA and RTS award-winning actress, Suranne Jones, and screenwriter Anne-Marie O’Connor, about two sisters who have grown apart over the years, but through tragic events learn to love and respect one another all over again.

Nicole Kidman in Expats (Prime Video)

Expats (Prime Video) Nicole Kidman, Sarayu Blue

Set against the vibrant and tumultuous tapestry of 2014 Hong Kong, Expats centres on three American women—Margaret (Nicole Kidman), Hilary (Sarayu Blue), and Mercy (Ji-young Yoo)—whose lives intersect after a sudden family tragedy. The series interrogates privilege and explores what happens when the line between victimhood and culpability becomes blurred. Brian Tee plays Margaret’s husband Clarke and Jack Huston plays Hilary’s husband David.

Naomi Watts in Feud S2 (Binge)

Feud S2 (Binge/Foxtel) Naomi Watts, Diane Lane, Chloë Sevigny, Calista Flockhart

The second instalment in Ryan Murphy’s Feud anthology, Binge’s Feud: Capote Vs. The Swans is an eight-episode limited series based on the bestselling book Capote’s Women: A True Story of Love, Betrayal, and a Swan Song for an Era by Laurence Leamer.

The cast of Mr Bates vs The Post Office (7plus)

Mr Bates vs the Post Office (7plus) Toby Jones, Julie Hesmondhalgh

The true story of Alan Bates’ 20-year fight against wrongful accusations by the British Post Office, exposing one of the biggest miscarriages of justice in British legal history.

Sharlene Woodley in Stan’s Three Women

Three Women (Stan) Shailene Woodley, Betty Gilpin, Blair Underwood

Three American women from very different walks of life take radical steps to explore their true desires, while struggling to emerge from a prison of expectations.

The New Look (AppleTV+) Ben Mendelsohn, Juliette Binoche

The revelatory dramatisation of how fashion icon Christian Dior and his contemporaries, including Coco Chanel, Pierre Balmain and Cristóbal Balenciaga, navigated the horrors of World War II and launched modern fashion.

House of Gods

House of Gods (ABC iview)

House of Gods (ABC) Osamah Sami, Maia Abbas, Safia Arain

An ambitious Iraqi Australian family grapples with newfound power and privilege when their charismatic patriarch is elected head cleric of The Messenger mosque.

Double Parked

Double Parked (ABC iview)

Double Parked (ABC) Madeleine Sami, Antonia Prebble

New Zealand comedy Double Parked follows lesbian couple Steph and Nat who are ready to start a family. After a long and disappointing run of IVF, Steph and Nat decide to take matters into their own hands – quite literally.

Loudermilk (Netflix)

Loudermilk (Netflix) Ron Livingstone, Anja Savcic, Laura Mennell

Grumpy former music critic Sam Loudermilk grudgingly navigates the world of sobriety with surly rants, even as he guides others in recovery.

Mary & George (Binge)

Mary & George (Binge/Foxtel) Nicholas Galitzine, Julianne Moore, Tony Curran

The Countess of Buckingham moulds her son to seduce King James I and become his powerful lover, through intrigue, becoming richer and more influential than England has ever seen.

High Country (Binge/Foxtel) Leah Purcell, Ian McElhinney, Sara Wiseman, Aaron Pedersen

Detective Andie Whitford gets transferred to the High Country, where she is tasked with investigating the mysterious disappearances of five locals.

The Gentlemen (Netflix)

The Gentlemen (Netflix) Theo James, Kaya Scodelario, Joely Richardson, Vinnie Jones

Created by Guy Ritchie, The Gentlemen sees Eddie Horniman (Theo James) unexpectedly inherit his father’s sizeable country estate – only to discover it’s part of a cannabis empire. Moreover, a host of unsavoury characters from Britain’s criminal underworld want a piece of the operation. Determined to extricate his family from their clutches, Eddie tries to play the gangsters at their own game. However, as he gets sucked into the world of criminality, he begins to find a taste for it.

Manhunt (AppleTV+) Anthony Boyle, Tobias Menzies

Based on The New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award-winning nonfiction book from author James L. Swanson. Manhunt is a conspiracy thriller about one of the best-known but least understood crimes in history, the astonishing story of the hunt for John Wilkes Booth in the aftermath of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination.

Obituary (BritBox) Siobhán Cullen, Danielle, Michael Smiley, Ronan Raftery

Siobhan Cullen plays the prim reaper in the Irish black comedy Obituary. She’s a young obituarist at a newspaper in the fictional village of Kilraven who must take drastic measures when the locals aren’t dying quickly enough. Cutbacks are biting at the newspaper and her editor can’t afford to pay her a regular wage.

TV Gold

TV Gold bonus episodes

Don’t miss these bonus TV Gold episodes we have released over the past few months where we focus on just one series with a key creative.

Leah Purcell on High Country and The Drover’s Wife

Rebecca Gibney on Prosper

Kick Gurry on C*A*U*G*H*T

Finding the Voice: The inside story on the making of the John Farnham documentary

Inside the making of The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart

Marta Dusseldorp on Bay of Fires

Find all episodes of TV Gold and Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favourite podcast platform here.

ACM and Play HQ extend partnership to cover local football

By Tess Connery

Through the partnership, ACM will offer updates on local Aussie Rules games.

Australian Community Media (ACM) has extended its collaboration with provider of local sports data, Play HQ, to bring local scores and statistics to regional Australians.

Through the partnership, ACM will offer updates on local Aussie Rules games. This includes coverage of fixtures, results, ladders, and game statistics like goal scorers and standout performers.

The Play HQ data will be prominently featured in the sports section of ACM’s network of regional digital subscription brands – the AFL Canberra competition in The Canberra Times and the Northern Tasmanian Football Association in The Examiner.

ACM chief technology officer, Bruce Levine, said that the partnership would bring footy “from grassroots to first grade” to readers.

“We are committed to adding value to the experience of our 140,000 digital subscribers – as well as creating unique environments for our partners to connect with regional Australia. And this project delivers both.” Levine said.


Play HQ chief customer officer Neil Mackay said the partnership with ACM “enabled us to extend our local sports results to passionate Australians across regional cities, immediately expanding our audience.”

“We are excited to see local sport grow with the help of ACM’s extensive network.”

Last year, as part of enhancing the digital sports experience, ACM collaborated with Champion Data to provide live scores, ladders, and match content for national AFL, NRL, and A-League competitions. This effort resulted in a +17% increase in engagement with the sports section in less than 12 months, ACM said.

“ACM is well on the way to becoming the number one choice for local sport in each of the markets we cover,” added ACM national sales director, Sam Westaway.

“Our strategic investment in sport and diverse array of digital products has opened up conversations with big brands. They’re seeing the growth in our sports audience, which is more than 3.1 million online, and value in our local content.”

Top Image: Sam Westaway with ACM digital marketing manager Tom Woodcock

Assisterhood 2024 applications open as program expands across AUNZ

By Alisha Buaya

The program provides the opportunity for mentees to learn from industry leaders in a six-month mentorship that values quality over quantity.

Applications for Assisterhood, the communications industry’s mentorship program, have opened for 2024 as the program expands across Australia and New Zealand.
Aspiring mentees from outside New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland can now apply for the online program. Now in its seventh year, the initiative provides the opportunity for mentees to learn from industry leaders in a six-month mentorship that values quality over quantity.

Linh Diep, founder of Assisterhood, said that expanding the program “makes so much sense.”
“No matter where you live, everyone deserves to be able to access Assisterhood, and we’ll continue to build on this year on year. The calibre of mentors this year is second to none.”
Past mentees include Colleen Gao – head of Askable UK, Anais Read – copywriter, Ogilvy Australia, Tish Jenkins – assistant accountant at Focus Features, Kayla Malss – head of agency at Allies Management and Clare Farrugia – performance director at Hatched.
Assisterhood’s recent Info Night welcomed more than 200 attendees and special guests, including mentor-and-mentee pairings Souad Saied and Vicky Stewardson in NSW, and Jessamy Ross and Claire Bass in QLD, who spoke about their experience in the program.
Assisterhood COO Polina Shilenina and NSW State Lead Charlotte Goodsir also shared insights into the application process.
Shilenina said the program’s online mentors are all exceptional. “I’m so excited about making Assisterhood accessible to people all over Australia and Aotearoa,” she added.
Assisterhood strongly encourages people of all backgrounds and identities to apply for the 2024 program. The application process takes approximately 20 minutes.

Applications close at 11:59pm AEST Tuesday 16 April 2024.


Online Mentors: 
Haylie Craig – Creative Director, Colenso NZ 
Elena del Villar – Senior UX designer, The Brand Agency, WA
Katie Moon – Creative Director and Founder, Moonhaus
Chelsea Sietses – Senior Art Director, Ogilvy NZ
Jenny Travers – Group Account Director, Ogilvy NZ 

VIC Mentors:
Amber Bonney – Founder, Executive Director – Creative & Strategy 
Dan Chapman – Managing Partner, Ogilvy Melbourne 
Rebecca Den Braber – General Manager, Hatched Media 
Shyaire Ganglani – Associate Creative Director, Ogilvy 
Olivia Gatt – Associate Creative Director, Scooter
Katrina Khao – Head Brand Thinker, Thinkerbell 
Nomfundo Msomi – Executive Strategy Director, CHEP Network 
Jasmine Parisram – Design Superwoman, Pricing Queen
Jordan Smith – Group Business Director, PHD 

Mirella Arapian – Founder & Creative Director, MEK STUDIO 
Nancy Bugeja – Managing Director of HM Group 
Yasha Chandra – Client Partner, iProspect 
Sheridan Devereux – General Manager, HBK Agency
Stefanie DiGianvincenzo – Creative Strategist, Meta  
Ella Keddie – Senior Client Partner (Retail, Finance & Government), Snapchat 
Michila Macleod – National Sales and Partnerships Director, Broadsheet Media 
Naomi Mulholland – Producer, Cloudberry Films
Dr Marion Piper – Creativity Coach & Copywriter, Marion Piper Creative
Virginia Sculley – Head of People & Culture, Hatched

NSW Mentors:
Mehnaaz Ahmed – Senior Brand Strategist, Uberbrand
Lisa Aitken – Brand and Growth Consultant
Rebecca Chan – Marketing Manager, Arnotts
Alicia Doumanis – Industry Lead, TikTok
Samantha Heckendorf – Head of Brand, Tourism Australia

Penny Brown – Head of Production, The Monkeys part of Accenture Song
Olivia Chen – Creative Director, Studio Chenchen
Carolyn Cho – Client Partner, INNOCEAN Australia
Niall Hughes – Group Account Director, Icon Agency
Feryx Hui Ming Lim – Creative Copywriter, Paper Moose
Maddie Marsh – Client Services, Meta
Tamara McCann – Head of Traditional Media Agencies, Google
Souad Saied – Managing Director, HERO
Hannah Sturrock – National Head of Engagement, Advertising Council Australia
Bronwyn van der Merwe – VP of Design, Culture Amp
Lea Walker – Founder, Mrs Walker Talent Consultancy
Renata Yannoulis – Senior Strategist, TBWA/Australia
Trang Young – Digital Marketing Expert and Change Leader

QLD Mentors: 
Liz Ballantyne –Director of Strategy & Growth, Media Mortar
Kell Darling – General Manager, Flip Isabelle Debnam – Head of Marketing (AU, NZ & US), Tes
Jennifer Garner – Senior Vice President, Sales Operations (APJ), CitrusAd
Carissa Jackson – Associate Creative Director, Publicis Worldwide
Belinda Lloyd – WID Award Winner, Founder Marketing Consultancy, SheCodes Mentor
Natalie Mitchell – Senior Broadcast & Content Producer, Publicis
Samantha Shah – CMO, Raging Bull Consulting
Hannah Statham – CEO & Founder, Media Mortar
Alicent Wong – Account Director, Excite Media

Georgia Ball – Director, SoPost
Kelly Brightwell – Strategy Director, Khemistry
Clare Dlugosz – Group Director Tech and Transformation EssenceMediaCom
Christine Gannon – Managing Partner, CHE Proximity
Megan Henderson – Global Brand Experience Leader, Flight Centre
Keisha Leon – Director, Cause/Affect
Kate Lippett – Chief Client Officer, Publicis Groupe
Ash Ivory – Chief Product Officer, Ivory Common
Laura Jiew – Marketing and Events Advisor, CSIRO
Camilla (Gautam) Marshall – General Manager, Marketing, Endeavour Foundation
Pamela Okada – Marketing & Fundraising, Royal Flying Doctors Service (RFDS)
Kylee Ratz – Group General Manager, Cutting Edge
Jessamy Ross – Senior Copywriter at VML & QLD AWARD School Head
Emmagness Ruzvidzo – Marketing Strategist, Coach and Trainer | Podcaster
Amber Snow – Managing Director, Rehaula
Caroline Starecky – Founder, Caroline Starecky
Lisa Summer-Hayes – Director, Audiences and Visitor Experience, Queensland Ballet
Lieve Torbeyns – Founder/Creative Director, Sgt Purple
Ashton Tuckerman – CMO | Marketing Leader | UQ MBA Candidate
Sara Tweedly – Chief Marketing Officer, Canstar

2024 Assisterhood Squad:
Founder + CEO + VIC Lead – Linh Diep, Account Director at Ogilvy
COO + Online Lead – Polina Shilenina, Digital Director at Publicis Worldwide 
NSW Lead – Charlotte Goodsir, Marketing Strategist at TikTok
QLD Lead + Creative Lead (Art) – Elle Whittaker, Art Director at Publicis Worldwide
Creative Lead (Copy) – Anais Read, Copywriter at Ogilvy

VIC Squad:
Caitlin Alcock
Isabelle Beaupré
Tyler Cicerale
Anoushka Praveen
Anais Read
Sarah Vanderschoot

NSW Squad: 
Rebecca Chan
Rosalinde Czysnok
Charlotte Goodsir
Sophie Gallager
Vicky Stewardson

QLD Squad:
Molly Atkinson
Liz Ballantyne
Claire Bass
Maddie Cristaldi
Isabelle Debnam
Bryony Hardy
Peatrice Koutsis
Elle Whittaker

Online Squad:
Elise Le-Galloudec
Polina Shilenina

BMF - Simone Takasaki
BMF appoints Simone Takasaki as head of creative services and integrated production

By Alisha Buaya

Takasaki’s appointment comes after Eileen Cosgrove-Moloney joined BMF as joint-general manager alongside Richard Wood.

Simone Takasaki has joined BMF in the newly-created role of head of creative services and integrated production.

Prior to joining the creative agency, Takasaki was Google APAC’s head of production, Brand Studio. She also spent three-and-a-half-years leading Google APAC’s production offering for its brand studio, and nine years at Wieden+Kennedy Portland and Tokyo as a production and operation lead.

As head of creative services and integrated production at BMF, Takasaki will work across the agency and its portfolio of clients to drive efficiency and effectiveness throughout the production process.  

She will also help bolster the creative agency’s innovation offering, alongside Google APAC’s former head of creative and BMF’s chief innovation officer, Tara McKenty.

Stephen McArdle, CEO at BMF, described Takasaki as “somewhat of a production unicorn” with “progressive tech and digital production skills as well as extensive experience leading production at a world-class creative agency.”

“Simone’s skillset, ambition, and credibility makes her the perfect person to enhance the holistic agency process and further drive our innovation offering alongside our chief innovation officer Tara McKenty,” he added.

Takasaki said she was looking forward to the team after four years working in big tech and added: “BMF has an incredibly strong reputation for its creativity, culture, and craft.”
Her appointment comes after BMF appointed Eileen Cosgrove-Moloney as joint general manager alongside Richard Wood.
In her new role, Cosgrove-Moloney, who was formerly general manager of Special, will lead the ALDI Australia account, which has been a cornerstone of the BMF portfolio for the past 23 years.
Prior to joining BMF, Cosgrove-Moloney spent four years at creative agency Special, where she led the Uber and Uber Eats APAC account, based in Tokyo, were she was involved in launching the lauded ‘Tonight I’ll Be Eating’ platform into the US with a star-studded campaign featuring Mark Hamill and Patrick Stewart.
See also:
BMF nabs Special’s Eileen Cosgrove-Moloney for joint GM role

Top image: Simone Takasaki

nike TDA
The Daily Aus and Nike extend The Training Squad program

By Tess Connery

The 10-week program aims to equip five aspiring journalists with the tools, connections, and confidence to succeed in sports media.

The Daily Aus (TDA) and Nike Australia are extending The Training Squad program launched in 2023, working to help young female and gender diverse sports journalists break into the professional field. 

The Training Squad is now accepting applications from female journalists aged 18-35 across Australia who are passionate about sports journalism and ready to take the next step in their careers.

The 10-week program aims to equip five aspiring journalists with the tools, connections, and confidence to succeed in sports media. Emphasising digital storytelling, it seeks to nurture the next generation of Gen Z sports journalists who engage their audiences online.

Throughout the program, participants will learn from journalists at The Daily Aus and Nike, gaining access to storytellers, trainers, and product experts. They’ll also get hands-on experience reporting on live sporting events to sharpen their skills.

Speaking on the renewal, TDA co-founder Sam Koslowski said: “We are so proud of what we were able to achieve with the first round of this program. Our aim has always been to provide the next generation with the tools, connections, and confidence to grow their careers and we can’t wait to invite the next cohort of participants in.

“We are committed to offering the personalised support from top media operators and leaders who will help them navigate the media world with confidence, and will know we’ve done a good job when we look at who makes up the Australian sports media landscape over the next decade.”

Alumni from the 2023 program have gone on to positions in broadcast television, content production for major sports tournaments, and social media management and production for leading sports organisations.

“This program gave us a chance – which isn’t what a lot of people do these days,” 2023 program participant Maddie Date said. “It seems kind of daunting for a business to take in a couple of rookie gals and train them up, but TDA and Nike had that vision.

“It has given me the extra drive to achieve what I really want to and has removed any self-doubt I had those months ago. I’m now also connected to some amazing young journos. These ladies are definitely going to be my friends in the industry for a long time.”

Abbey Wirth, Nike Pacific communications lead, added: “Women and girls are leading positive change in sport, creating space for even more young people to see themselves represented. At Nike, this drives us to think bigger to grow women’s sport, support the work towards equality, foster ambition and remove barriers, not only for those on the field, but those reporting on it.

“To see the first years’ cohort go on to see success with some dream media roles is testament to the program with TDA. We look forward to continuing to see the sports journalists, content creators, and presenters of the future come through this Squad.”

See Also: The Daily Aus on Meta, international expansion, and remedying ‘Fontgate’

Snap - IAS
Snap and Integral Ad Science partner on brand safety reporting solution

By Alisha Buaya

Snap said it is confident the platform provides a premium, brand-safe advertising experience.

Snap and IAS have partnered to develop a new brand safety reporting solution that allows advertisers transparency into the percentage of safe and suitable content their ads are appearing against.

This will be aligned to the Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM) framework for brand suitability and available to all advertisers in the coming months.

Lisa Utzschneider, CEO of IAS, said the partnership will deliver best-in-class measurement solutions for marketers to safeguard and scale their businesses on Snapchat.

“Snap is focused on developing ad offerings in a premium and safe content ecosystem, and our partnership will give advertisers actionable data to maximise their investment across Snapchat.”

Snap has also recently worked with IAS on a measurement sample study on the advertiser suitability of its public content, specifically Spotlight and Creator Stories. According to the study, both Spotlight and Creator content on the social media platform is 99% brand safe.

Snap said it is confident the platform provides a premium, brand-safe advertising experience based on these results, and remains committed to establishing a broader ecosystem of brand safety measurement solutions later in the year.

The platform noted that it will give advertisers brand safety controls at the campaign level when launching new campaigns. It noted that the first-party tool will let advertisers ensure their ads are shown alongside the premiere content on the platform, specifically for creator mid-roll ads.
Snap launched Creator Stories placement last year, which allows advertisers to place ads within creator content.
When the filter is turned on, ads will appear near content that has passed additional brand safety content moderation filters. Otherwise, ads will be shown next to all available inventory.
Snap said it will be further enhancing this solution over the coming months, with the goal of providing additional transparency and sophistication later in the year.
Snap said it is committed to prioritising the platform as a safe environment for all users. This includes participation in GARM’s Aggregated Measurement Reporting and expanding on existing brand safety solutions and partnerships.

Jessica Mauboy on how Stan's Windcatcher highlights rarely-seen side of Aboriginal culture

By Anita Anabel and Jasper Baumann

Windcatcher premieres 28 March on Stan.

Jessica Mauboy has traded in her microphone for her acting hat, playing the protagonist in Stan’s new original film, Windcatcher. 

The 34-year-old singer plays Aunt Cressida in the film, which centres around Percy Boy (Lennox Monaghan), a First Nations kid who is given the gift of seeing Lost Souls – a concept, Jessica says, “we don’t ever get to see” portrayed.

“I think for First Nations mob and particularly for Aboriginal culture, we don’t ever get to see that and we don’t get to see it in this light,” Jessica told Chattr during an interview before the film’s 28 March release.

“And so this [Windcatcher] is going to be very important and such an insight of a young boy and how he deals with it.”

Jessica Mauboy Windcatcher

Lennox Monaghan, Windcatcher.

Mauboy continued, saying that the spiritual practice was “something that we rarely speak about in public.”

“We do speak about it to our mob and our circle of mob that do go through that experience,” she said. “And being passed on that ability to do so is a huge deal.

“It’s something that I am extremely proud for young mob to do.

“I think when you come out of the community, there’s a sense of lost belonging. There’s a sense of disconnection and a struggled connection because you want to live in a Western World, but you also want to remain connected to your culture and what you believe in.

“It’s a lot of weight to carry.”

Growing up in Darwin, NT, Mauboy says she has a very close connection to her familial roots and admitted that “it should be taught that you can have both worlds.”

“I think this film will be able to show that it is possible,” she said, before describing Windcatcher, as “incredibly heartwarming.”

“It’s got such a warmth…and it has a lot of hope,” she said.

The Stan Original Film Windcatcher premieres 28 March, only on Stan.

TV Report
TV Report April 1, 2024: Who's still together? MAFS couples decide fates during Final Vows

By Jasper Baumann

Denise Drysdale made her grand entrance on I’m A Celebrity.

TV Report April 1, 2024:

Nine TV Report

Married at First Sight

Nine’s evening began with the remaining couples making the ultimate choice on Married at First Sight. 

Tori and Jack stood face to face at their Final Vows ceremony on the brink of a decision that could irrevocably alter the course of their relationship. Tori vows that she is prepared to uproot her life and move to the Gold Coast to cement her future with Jack and is head over heels for him. But Jack fears uprooting Tori’s life for the uncertain prospect of a future on the Gold Coast with him, especially given they are not in love. Nevertheless, Jack announces that the risk is worth it, and although his vows leave Tori confused, the couple ultimately decide to pursue a future together.

Next up is Sara and Tim, and Tim is excited about where they are as a couple, but as they say their goodbyes before separating to deliberate on their future together, Tim is flooded with memories of Sara’s regrettable behaviour. 

In a romantic barn setting, Eden and Jayden are reunited at their Final Vow Ceremony. Surrounded by a sea of candles, the couple declare their love for one another and share their hopes of a happily ever after.

The day of Final Vows arrives for Sara and Tim. Sara is more certain than ever that there is a future for her and Tim and cannot wait to be reunited with him.

But it’s a different story for Tim who is still struggling to decide whether to follow his head or heart.

As Sara and Tim reunite at their ceremony, she is filled with hope that they will continue their relationship beyond the experiment. For Tim, after reminding Sara of the pain she has caused him, he declares that he does want a future with her. Sara cries tears of joy, before walking off into the sunset hand in hand.

A Current Affair

Over on A Current Affair, food charities are pleading for a lifeline as the cost-of-living crunch cuts supplies and the program met with locals who are fighting a plan to build 78 homes on a Victorian ‘floodplain’. 

Seven TV Report

Highway Patrol

Over on Seven, Highway Patrol saw officers Brian West and Peter Shrimpton in for the most frustrating night of their life when they met a drunk woman who was confused about how to use the breathalyser. 

Home & Away

Before Australian Idol was Home & Away as Cash struggled to wrangle Stevie, Bree tried to smile through her pain and Theo and Valerie betrayed Justin. 

10 TV Report

The Project

The Project on 10 looked into the Ozempic revolution, female tradies leaving the industry and welcomed comedian Mel Buttle to the desk. 

I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!

On 10’s I’m A Celeb, the celebrities were in for a shock as Denise Drysdale made her grand entrance into the South African jungle. 



On 7:30, the program investigated why Australian start-ups are struggling, met with a couple trying to save Bondi’s sharks and met with Australian conductor Simone Young.


Finding Your Roots

Henry Louis Gates maps the family trees of actors David Duchovny and Richard Kind as they trace their roots from Jewish communities in Eastern Europe to the US – telling stories of triumph and tragedy that laid the groundwork for his guest’s success. 

Business of Media

Network 10’s last-minute application to introduce new evidence in Bruce Lehrmann’s defamation case could delay judgement

The Federal Court will today be asked to re-open the defamation case brought by former Liberal staffer Bruce Lehrmann, over an interview with Brittany Higgins on The Project in which she first alleged she had been raped, reports the ABC’s Elizabeth Byrne.

Network 10 says there is new evidence it wants the court to take into account in the case and the court has agreed to a hearing about the matter at 5pm this evening.

The new evidence is most likely to be relevant to Network 10’s defence seeking to prove that the allegations were true — but it will have to be compelling to warrant re-opening the case.

If that is allowed, the parties will then have to argue over whether it should be included. That could delay the judgement beyond this week.

[Read More]

Force Meta to host news to combat spread of disinformation, Rod Sims says

The Albanese government should consider forcing Meta and other social media giants to host news content on their platforms to help combat the scourge of misinformation that threatens to undermine Western democracies, former competition watchdog chair Rod Sims says, reports The Australian’s Jared Lynch and Noah Yim.

Meta will switch off its news tab this week after it abandoned content deals with Australian media companies – a move that will rip about $70m a year from Australian newsrooms and breach a three-year-old code


[Read More]

Meta shuts monitoring tool CrowdTangle

A digital tool considered vital in tracking viral falsehoods will be decommissioned by Facebook owner Meta in a major election year, a move researchers fear will disrupt efforts to detect an expected firehose of political misinformation, report AFP’s Anuj Chopra and Athur MacMillan.

The tech giant says CrowdTangle will be unavailable after August 14, less than three months before the US election. The Californian company plans to replace it with a new tool that researchers say lacks the same functionality, and which news organisations will largely not have access to.

[Read More]

Discord to start showing ads for gamers to boost revenue

Social-media startup Discord plans to start showing advertisements on its free platform in the coming week after long dismissing them, becoming the latest tech company to turn to ads to try to boost revenue, report The Wall Street Journal’s
Salvador Rodriguez and Sarah E. Needleman.

The paid promotions are from videogame makers and will offer users gifts for completing in-game tasks while their friends watch on Discord.

Discord is looking to hire more than a dozen people for ad-sales positions, according to people familiar with its plans.

[Read More]

News Brands

Not so Good Friday for Channel Nine as staff told they must wait until after the Easter long weekend to be paid

Staff at Nine Entertainment can’t have been too pleased upon receiving a notification on Good Friday that they would have to wait until after the four-day break to receive their fortnightly pay, report The Australian’s Sophie Elsworth and James Madden

Nine’s group director of fin­ance operations, Danielle Abandowitz, was the bearer of the bad news, emailing holidaying staff to tell them that they wouldn’t be receiving their pay cheques until Tuesday. But hey, happy Easter!

“We are writing to you tonight because we have been advised that the pay transfer due to happen on Saturday 30th March has been delayed,” she wrote in the emergency internal memo.

[Read More]


Beyoncé’s Cowboy Carter boosts streams for black country acts on Spotify

Beyoncé’s Cowboy Carter is galloping on Spotify and bringing other Black country-based artists for the ride, reports The Hollywood Reporter’s Mesfin Fekadu.

Since the album’s release on Friday, the number of first-time listeners for acts like Brittney Spencer, Reyna Roberts and Shaboozey — who all appear on Cowboy Carter — has increased in the past week.

Spencer saw an uptick of 170 percent in first-time listeners, Roberts and Tanner Adell both went up 125 percent, and Tiera Kennedy’s first-time listens were increased by 110 percent. Spencer, Reynolds, Adell and Kennedy collaborated with the Grammy-winning superstar on a cover of The Beatles’ Blackbird, the second track on Cowboy Carter.

[Read More]


It’s slim pickings for viewers as local kids’ content plummets

If you’ve struggled to find something to watch on family movie night recently, you’re not alone. Australia is experiencing a dearth of family-friendly content that has industry experts worried. Streaming services and commercial networks alike have shown a reduced appetite for locally made G and PG content, reports Nine Publishing’s Kate Jones

It’s slim pickings for new and homegrown viewing, says Bernadette O’Mahony, acting chief executive and head of content at the Australian Children’s Television Foundation.

“For kids and families, the market is nearly non-existent,” she says. “If you take out what we would call general viewing, game shows and reality television, there’s not much in the drama space for families to watch together. There’s back-catalogue shows on platforms, but there’s not a lot of new commissions coming from any of the broadcasters.”

[Read More]

I’m A Celebrity star who broke contract as show’s strict measures are revealed

A few years ago, just before a dozen celebs were gearing up to enter the South African jungle for I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here!, crew members were alerted to the fact that one of the high-profile contestants was drinking in a local pub, reports News Corp’s Lexie Cartwright.

Sounds innocent enough.

But the well-known Australian athlete had gone rogue from his strict contract, escaping his hotel room and breaking cover to hit up the public watering hole.

[Read More]

Sports Media

‘Embarrassing disaster’: A-Leagues narrowly avoid Easter TV blackout

Organisers of the A-Leagues have signed a new broadcast deal just two hours before the first match in the competition’s weekend fixtures kicks off, after its existing television production partner went bust in another blow for the body behind Australia’s top football competition, report Nine Publishing’s Vince Rugari and Calum Jaspan.

Late on Thursday afternoon, the APL released a statement confirming it had reached agreement with NEP Australia to produce all matches for the remainder of the regular season and the 2024 Finals Series. Arrangements beyond the current season have not been finalised.

NEP previously oversaw production of the A-Leagues when they were on Fox Sports and produces the telecasts for most other codes in Australia.

[Read More]

To Top