Daily Breaking News

27 February 2010
by SLEDGEHAMMER
ADVERTISINGH

AWARDS season is upon the Malaysian advertising industry again, starting with the Asia Pacific Advertising Festival (AdFest) on March 18-21 in Pattaya, Thailand.

And there are many more to come, culminating with the Cannes International Advertising Festival in mid-June, followed by our national Kancil Awards later in the year.

I have heard enough people decry that ad folk are too awards-crazy. In an industry that takes quite a beating every day of the year, many will argue that an award or two produces more than a balming effect on egos and nerves.
26 February 2010

As some of you may have read in the press, Thailand is currently facing a difficult political situation, which could affect visitors to the country, due to the possibility of planned political rallies, scheduled to be held in the week prior to ADFEST dates.

Broadcast stations will be once again reaping bundles and bundles of money. Ever since the lifting of political advertising in the Philippines, one of GMA’s first measures after taking office, was signed into law, political advertising has pumped a lot of money to the country’s coffers. With that and an economy that many say is on the big rebound, the May 14 elections in the Philippines are expected to generate millions of dollars for television stations as some 17,000 candidates contest 3,600 political positions across national and local levels.
What is WOM Marketing? Word of mouth is a pre-existing phenomenon that marketers are only now learning how to harness, amplify, and improve. Word of mouth marketing isn't about creating word of mouth -- it's learning how to make it work within a marketing objective.
Following up on the successful SME Business Stimulus Package last December, Google today launches its first local form of payment for several thousand AdWords customers to boost the digital economy in Malaysia. All new and existing AdWords customers,
The Tomorrow Awards is set to redefine everything about the way advertising creative work is awarded and judged around the world. Instead of placing various creative media into separate categories, which can often leave truly game changing media and technologies in limbo.
The CREAM results were tabulated by research giant TNS-RI Malaysia using TNS Research International using their proprietary TRI*M Stakeholder Management tool, advised by Agency Evaluation expert R3 and supported by Marketing magazine.
24 February 2010
IAB figures show that of the total £1.75bn spent on internet advertising, £1.05bn, or 60%, was spent on search advertising on websites including Google.

The UK has become the first major economy where advertisers spend more on internet advertising than on television advertising, with a record £1.75bn online spend in the first six months of the year.

The milestone marks a watershed for the embattled TV industry, the leading ad medium in the UK for almost half a century. It has taken the internet little more than a decade to become the biggest advertising sector in the UK.

UK advertisers spent £1.75bn on internet advertising in the six months to the end of June, a 4.6% year-on-year increase, according to a report by the Internet Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers. To put this in perspective, in 1998, when the IAB first measured internet advertising, just £19.4m was spent online.

The internet now accounts for 23.5% of all advertising money spent in the UK, while TV ad spend accounts for 21.9% of marketing budgets.

The IAB originally predicted that internet ad spend would overtake TV at the end of 2009; however, the crippling advertising recession accelerated this by six months. TV advertising fell about 17% year on year in the first half, to about £1.6bn, according to the report.

The IAB's figures show that of the total of £1.75bn spent on internet advertising, £1.05bn, or 60%, was spent on search advertising on websites including Google, up 6.8% year on year.

Online classified advertising grew by 10.6% year on year to £385m, about 22% of total internet ad spend. But online display advertising, such as banners on websites, fell by 5.2% year on year, to £316.5m. This was an 18% share of all internet ad spend.

The ray of light within the online display ad sector was the nascent, but rapidly growing, online video advertising sector. The IAB estimated that this sector grew by close to 300% year on year, to almost £12m.

Thinkbox, the UK TV marketing body, has taken exception to the IAB's figures, arguing that the internet is now mature and diverse and it is inaccurate to collate all the figures as if it is one single medium.

"It is interesting but meaningless to sweep all the money spent on every aspect of online marketing into one big figure and celebrate it," said Lindsey Clay, marketing director at Thinkbox. "Online marketing spend is made up of many things, including email, classified ads, display ads (including online TV advertising) and, overwhelmingly, search marketing. They should be judged individually."

Guy Phillipson, the chief executive of the IAB, reckoned that there is still significant growth potential left in the internet ad market.

"We could absolutely see it grow to being a 30% medium [of share of ad spend], to go past £4bn to even £5bn annually," he said. "Online display advertising has plenty of room for growth."

Despite the seemingly inexorable rise of internet ad spend, a closer examination of the IAB's figures show that the recession has had an impact. In the first quarter £920m was spent on online advertising, representing 8.6% year-on-year growth. However, in the second quarter, spend fell almost £100m to £832m, representing only a 1.1% increase on the amount spent in the same period last year.

Adam Smith, futures director at WPP's combined media operation Group M, argued that the internet's share of total UK ad spend could be close to its peak.

Smith cited factors such as the increasing share of time that users spend on social networking websites, which have not attracted huge advertising spend, and the increasing saturation of internet penetration in the UK as potential limiting factors. "This day was bound to arrive, as the internet has been attracting a huge long tail of advertisers that have not advertised before doing completely new things," he said. "It is a memorable event. However, it is a bit simplistic to make this comparison [and] it is always possible that internet's share [of total UK ad spend] could go backwards if TV has a good year."
2009 study. The CREAM results are based on 353 responses from personnel of companies who feature among the top 100 advertisers in Malaysia. Working together with research giant TNS-RI Malaysia and Agency Evaluation expert R3, Marketing magazine is pleased to share its latest Marketing cover story summarising the CREAM report in full glory.
24 February 2010
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 23 — Two of Malaysia’s oldest lawmakers — Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and Lim Kit Siang — engaged in a bipartisan debate this afternoon on micro-blogging site Twitter, backing each other in a campaign to force the federal government to pay oil royalties claimed by Kelantan.

In a series of “Tweets” and “Re-Tweets” between the DAP and Umno man which were followed by thousands, the two men stepped up their campaign for Kelantan’s oil royalty claim, and offered up lessons on how to pitch their message to a new generation of voters.

“Why don’t I put the PDA up on my blog, YB RT @limkitsiang:@razaleigh should not have to depend solely on memory.

“My fellow dinosaur w/a memory of a better day RT @limkitsiang: Najib: Razak’s son or Mahathir’s heir?” Tengku Razaleigh twittered today in reference to a statement made earlier today by Lim and the Petroleum Development Act (PDA) which he says backs Kelantan’s claims.

(In Twitter code, RT means to Re-Tweet, or send on someone else’s original message to their own followers. To preface a message with an @ sign is to reply to a specific person’s Tweet)

Lim had accused the Najib administration today of ignoring the promise made 35 years ago by former Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein in denying oil royalty payments to Kelantan.

“The full-page advertisements contain an important omission — the reply 35 years ago in Parliament by the then Prime Minister, Tun Razak to my question whether all states in Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak and Sabah had signed agreements with Petronas for oil exploration along the coastline and what were the joint profits for the state,” said Lim in his statement today.

The DAP man was referring to advertisements placed in Bahasa Malaysia newspapers to justify the federal government’s refusal to pay oil royalty to Kelantan.

Quoting the Hansard dated Nov 12, 1975, Lim said Tun Razak had promised that all states “will receive five per cent of the value of petroleum found and extracted from each of the states, whether onshore or offshore, that is sold by Petronas or agencies or contractors.”

In Lim’s Tweets, the DAP man told Tengku Razaleigh that it would be a good idea to put up the PDA on the latter’s blog.

He added that it would be a good idea for the Petronas founder to to set up a new website for all relevant documents on the issue.

“@razaleigh Let’s turn royal debate in Parliament in March into major debate on oil royalty,” Lim also told the Umno man.

Tengku Razaleigh currently has 1,838 followers while Lim has 5,876 followers.

These numbers are not indicative of the number of people who may have followed their debate, because their respective followers can also Re-Tweet their messages.

The two men carried on their “debates” for quite a few hours this afternoon, with both using the UberTwitter software, which means they were using their mobile phones to talk to each other and thousands of Malaysians on the micro-blogging site.

Besides the oil royalty issue, Lim and Tengku Razaleigh also talked about the “Allah” controversy and the need to revive Tunku Abdul Rahman’s legacy of good governance and moderate politics.

To Lim’s point that “kalimah Allah controversy would not have arisen if Tunku Abdul Rahman’s Inter-Religious Organisation was not scrapped by Mahathir,” Tengku Razaleigh replied that “all Malaysians of goodwill support genuine efforts to revive Tunku’s legacy and memory... no tokenism.”

In what was described as a love-fest by some of those following the conversation, Tengku Razaleigh also agreed with Lim’s suggestion that the country must return to the basics of the Merdeka constitution.

“@limkitsiang Agreed. This is beyond politics. We need a movement to save this country.”

Local Internet and telecommunications expert Dinesh Nair was one of those who followed the Twitter conversation between Lim and Tengku Razaleigh.

“@limkitsiang @razaleigh I know my tribe’s efforts were not wasted when we see two ‘dinosaurs’ from two opposing parties discussing on Twitter.
24 February 2010
LONDON - Business and financial news channel CNBC is to launch on the subscription-free satellite platform Freesat next Tuesday as part of a free-to-air strategy to widen its distribution.

CNBC has been available on Sky, Virgin and TalkTalk since January and the addition of Freesat means the channel will now be distributed to 12 million UK households. The company said it has no plans at present to launch on Freeview.

Mick Buckley, president and chief executive EMEA of CNBC, said the decision to become a free-to-air channel in the UK, is part of CNBC's strategy to "aggressively grow" its distribution across EMEA in 2010.

CNBC broadcasts seven hours of live programming every business day from its studio in the City of London including the hour long Strictly Money targeted at UK retail investors, small business owners and people looking to build and protect their investments.

Buckley said business and financial news remains "very pertinent" in today's economy and last year CNBC "significantly grew its upscale and affluent audience, as more viewers wanted to keep abreast of the dramatic changes in the economic environment".
24 February 2010

Palani Mohan has been shortlisted in the Arts & Entertainment and Sport categories while Alex Goh got shortlisted in the Natural History category. The short list contains names of 190 outstanding photographers from 48 different countries.  From fashion to music, architecture to current affairs, the Sony World Photography Awards is one of the most comprehensive photographic competitions in the world.

John Smurthwaite, the ESOMAR (European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research) Representative for Malaysia, will feature as the Keynote Speaker. The theme of his talk is "Life After 2009". John shared with ADOI about his talk, "The economic crisis of 2009 badly affected many of our clients at the global and local level with repercussions on the Market Research Industry.  This caused some changes in the way MR is conducted, but some analysts predict more seismic changes are to come as the digital age is upon us"
These studies strongly support the philosophy that there is nothing more valuable for your brand than a personal recommendation from one friend to another. Positive word of mouth recommendation is likely to be a key factor in your brand’s current success. And simply put, Influencer-driven word of mouth marketing is your best way to amplify the amount of recommendation you brand receives. It’s your move! 
23 February 2010
You're probably among the millions who have experienced it: driving in a car, listening to the radio, and suddenly this song comes on. It is not just any song--this was your favorite song when you were a teenager. As the first few notes strike up, you're transported back in time. Everything is so vivid, and your mind wanders to parties, first kisses and sweaty palms. It's as if time stands still and you suddenly realize that for the entire duration of the song, you haven't seen a single thing on the road.

There's no doubt about it, sound is immensely powerful. And yet 83% of all the advertising communication we're exposed to daily (bearing in mind that we will see two million TV commercials in a single lifetime) focuses, almost exclusively, on the sense of sight. That leaves just 17% for the remaining four senses. Think about how much we rely on sound. It confirms a connection when dialing or texting on cell phones and alerts us to emergencies. When the sound was removed from slot machines in Las Vegas, revenue fell by 24%. Experiments undertaken in restaurants show that when slow music (slower than the rhythm of a heartbeat) is played, we eat slower--and we eat more!

Is this just coincidence, or does sound make us buy more, want more, dream more and eat more? Any 50-year-old American can sing a whole range of television jingles from the 1970s--they are all well stored in the recesses of our brain. Yet if you were to ask the same of those who have come of age recently, you will find them stumped. Has the magic of a television tune disappeared, or has the advertising world lost sight of the fact that people do indeed have speakers at home? I decided to put these questions to the test.

Buyology Inc. and Elias Arts, a sound identity company in New York, wired up 50 volunteers and measured their galvanic, pupil and brainwave responses to sounds using the latest neuroscience-based research methods. We learned that sound has remarkable power. This may not be surprising for many, but it was certainly surprising to realize just how many commercial brands over the past 20 years have made their way into the world's 10 most powerful and addictive sounds--beating some of the most familiar and comforting sounds of nature.
23 February 2010
NEW YORK: Digital marketers in the US should display "tempered optimism" about their prospects for the coming year, a study from comScore, the online research firm, has suggested.

The company's study revealed that total ecommerce spending stood at $209.6bn (€155bn, £135.9bn) in the US last year, off by 2% on an annual basis, ending almost a decade of double-digit growth.

In 2008, online retail expenditure rose by 6% as the world's largest economy entered recession, but as the country has since returned to GDP growth, comScore said firms could hope to make real progress in 2010.

More specifically, many organisations that streamlined their operations in the difficult financial conditions are now well-equipped to seek out new opportunities, especially in ecommerce and social media.

Four out of five American web users visited at least one social networking site during December 2009, with these properties accounting for 11% of total domestic internet activity over the year as a whole.

Facebook remained the most popular site of its kind, reaching 112 million visitors in the final month of 2009, while Twitter's user numbers grew from 2 million to 20 million in the closing year of the decade.

ComScore's predicted trends for 2010 included the further expansion of Twitter, and heightened marketing activity related to social media more broadly.
23 February 2010
This week's MediaShopTalk article "Responsible whingeing" looks at two instances in which the social media sphere was used by disgruntled customers, to great effect. Author Moti Grauman says: "Today 'Grumble Sites' abound, and they are taken seriously by big businesses. What’s more is that they are moderated and everyone is given a voice. That’s a useful opportunity for a company trying to defend itself."

There are still those, however, who insist online isn't going to make a difference to a company's bottom line. I disagree. Never before have consumers had this much power. Remember when we had to write a letter to an editor, buy a stamp, mail it - and then wait to see if he/she published it? Now consumers - happy or otherwise - can create a Facebook page - free and gratis - and have their say to millions. 

South African marketers, though, seem loathe to drag themselves into 2010 where the online influence is concerned. But consider this, from www.mediapost.com:

When Millward Brown's latest research (conducted in partnership with The Futures Company) reported Amazon is "the most trusted brand in U.S." (either online or off) it said as much about the way customers now relate to brands as it did about customer service or the usual metrics used to measure brand success. The new "TrustR" metric employed by Millward, which indexes for both trust and the likelihood that a person will recommend a brand, might very well have been termed the Facebook Factor. That an online brand is most trusted is significant, that it is most trusted and most likely to be recommended is even more significant.

Singapore, In an ongoing effort to grow and develop McCann Worldgroup Singapore’s core team, the agency announced today, two promotions within the creative team and a key appointment for the planning team.
Singapore, In an ongoing effort to grow and develop McCann Worldgroup Singapore’s core team, the agency announced today, two promotions within the creative team and a key appointment for the planning team.
Droplets of rain on the window. Someone laughing. A busy traffic junction. Inspiration can come from anywhere and with Getty Images’ The Random Camera Project, conceptualized by Ogilvy RedCard Singapore, inspiration can be had through someone else’ eyes. 
23 February 2010
Former finance minister and Petronas founder Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah has questioned the federal government's wisdom in engaging in a costly information blitz to explain the Kelantan oil royalty issue through leaflets and advertisements in newspapers.
23 February 2010
Effective March 1, all radio stations are required to air songs from local singers' new albums or singles, Information, Communication and Culture Minister Rais Yatim said. The requirement, aimed at spurring the local music industry, would also be made a precondition for the issuance of radio licence, he added.
This Chinese New Year “Ang Pows” of sorts were given away by StART Society to its deserving students who have been outstanding throughout last year and this year. From drum sticks and practice drum-pads to guitars and keyboards, the staff of StART Society visited the children in their respective shelter homes to present the gifts.
22 February 2010

Agensi Kaunseling & Pengurusan Kredit (AKPK), a government agency that provides free advice on debt and financial management since 2007, is leaping into the digital space. Sources tell ADOI that Amphibia is geared to communicate AKPK’s services and expertise to Malaysian youths via the launch

19 February 2010
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 19 — Maxis Bhd, which is due to release its Q4 result for 2009 on Feb 25, is expected to see revenue growth of between four to eight per cent to RM2.3 billion compared to the RM2.16 billion in the previous quarter, according to OSK Research today.

However, the telecom company’s net profit quarter-on-quarter is likely to contract or see a low single digit growth, to bring its FY09 net profit in line or slightly below consensus projection of RM2.4 billion.

The research house, has meanwhile target RM2.5 billion as Maxis’ FY09 net profit.

It attributed an extended subscriber growth momentum, aided by its revamped mobile broadband offering and the acceleration in data revenue on the back of strong take-up of the iPhone and data offtake, as key contributors to revenue and earnings for the quarter.

“The weaker earnings sequentially is due to higher interest expense as Maxis took on additional debt pre-listing in November 2009 and our expectations of higher advertising and promotional expenses on the back of the more aggressive customer acquisition activities during the quarter,” it explained.

OSK also expects Maxis to at least match the 6.2 sen/share in dividend declared in 3QFY09, with the possibility of an upside surprise in the form of a special final dividend.

Maxis’ first interim dividend of six sen/share was declared last November. .

OSK noted that the consensus’ FY09 dividend per share (DPS) forecast of 16.2 sen/share implied a final payout of 10.2 sen/share, or a full year net payout of 49 per cent.

It also said the consensus DPS forecast for FY10, which ranges from 24-34 sen/share, may have already factored in some degree of capital management.

“While there is little clarity in a higher payout, we note that management had previously provided for a net debt/EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) target of 1.75x-2x in the longer-term from the current 1.2x, with a recurring 75 per cent payout guidance.

“Should Maxis raise its net debt/EBITDA to 1.75x, we estimate there is scope to return an additional 41 sen/share to shareholders,” OSK noted.
19 February 2010
SAN FRANCISCO — A series of online attacks on Google and dozens of other American corporations have been traced to computers at two educational institutions in China, including one with close ties to the Chinese military, say people involved in the investigation.

 They also said the attacks, aimed at stealing trade secrets and computer codes and capturing e-mail of Chinese human rights activists, may have begun as early as April, months earlier than previously believed. Google announced on Jan. 12 that it and other companies had been subjected to sophisticated attacks that probably came from China.

Computer security experts, including investigators from the National Security Agency, have been working since then to pinpoint the source of the attacks. Until recently, the trail had led only to servers in Taiwan.

If supported by further investigation, the findings raise as many questions as they answer, including the possibility that some of the attacks came from China but not necessarily from the Chinese government, or even from Chinese sources.

Tracing the attacks further back, to an elite Chinese university and a vocational school, is a breakthrough in a difficult task. Evidence acquired by a United States military contractor that faced the same attacks as Google has even led investigators to suspect a link to a specific computer science class, taught by a Ukrainian professor at the vocational school.

The revelations were shared by the contractor at a meeting of computer security specialists.

The Chinese schools involved are Shanghai Jiaotong University and the Lanxiang Vocational School, according to several people with knowledge of the investigation who asked for anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the inquiry.

Jiaotong has one of China’s top computer science programs. Just a few weeks ago its students won an international computer programming competition organized by I.B.M. — the “Battle of the Brains” — beating out Stanford and other top-flight universities.

Lanxiang, in east China’s Shandong Province, is a huge vocational school that was established with military support and trains some computer scientists for the military. The school’s computer network is operated by a company with close ties to Baidu, the dominant search engine in China and a competitor of Google.

Within the computer security industry and the Obama administration, analysts differ over how to interpret the finding that the intrusions appear to come from schools instead of Chinese military installations or government agencies. Some analysts have privately circulated a document asserting that the vocational school is being used as camouflage for government operations. But other computer industry executives and former government officials said it was possible that the schools were cover for a “false flag” intelligence operation being run by a third country. Some have also speculated that the hacking could be a giant example of criminal industrial espionage, aimed at stealing intellectual property from American technology firms.

Independent researchers who monitor Chinese information warfare caution that the Chinese have adopted a highly distributed approach to online espionage, making it almost impossible to prove where an attack originated.

“We have to understand that they have a different model for computer network exploit operations,” said James C. Mulvenon, a Chinese military specialist and a director at the Center for Intelligence Research and Analysis in Washington. Rather than tightly compartmentalizing online espionage within agencies as the United States does, he said, the Chinese government often involves volunteer “patriotic hackers” to support its policies.

Spokesmen for the Chinese schools said they had not heard that American investigators had traced the Google attacks to their campuses.

If it is true, “We’ll alert related departments and start our own investigation,” said Liu Yuxiang, head of the propaganda department of the party committee at Jiaotong University in Shanghai.

But when asked about the possibility, a leading professor in Jiaotong’s School of Information Security Engineering said in a telephone interview: “I’m not surprised. Actually students hacking into foreign Web sites is quite normal.” The professor, who teaches Web security, asked not to be named for fear of reprisal.
19 February 2010

KUALA LUMPUR: MALAYSIAN AIRLINE SYSTEM BHD [registerQuotes("MAS", "MAS_span");] has been served a notice regarding alleged price fixing related to airfreight shipping services, the company said in a statement to Bursa Malaysia today.

The complaint was filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York on behalf of Benchmark Export Services and six other plaintiffs against Malaysian Airline and eleven other defendants, MAS said.

The complaint, served on Feb 16, did not mention the damages sought and the airline is getting legal advice on the matter, the company said in the statement.

19 February 2010
The story behind the YouTube hit featuring Christian the lion
The story begins in London in the swinging '60s. In the exotic-animals section of the legendary department store Harrods, with its motto Omnia Omnibus Ubique – all things for all people, everywhere – a lion cub sits in a small cage. Two fashionably long-haired, bellbottom-wearing young Australians, John Rendall and Anthony ''Ace'' Bourke, chance upon the little African cat and decide to buy him.

Rendall and Bourke name the cub Christian and raise him as a pet in their groovy Chelsea pad. Their domesticated charge eventually becomes too big for central London, so they take him to Africa.

A remarkable story so far, but it's what occurred after this that made Christian the lion a 21st-century pop-culture sensation.

A year after parting with their pet, Rendall and Bourke travelled to northern Kenya, where Christian had been successfully assimilated into the wild. Their reunion with the lion was filmed. Four decades later, the moment was posted to the internet video sharing site YouTube, where it has generated more than 44 million hits and is now a viral e-mail staple.

The three-minute clip shows Christian perched on a rock as the two men wait expectantly about 70 metres away. The animal stares at the men, before taking a few steps closer for a better look. Suddenly there is an undeniable flash of recognition and
the young lion leaps into action, grunting with excitement as he makes a beeline for the waiting pair and bounds into their open...
18 February 2010

According to Niesen's findings, DiGi topped all advertisers in Advertising Expenditure (AdEx) in Jan 2010 with almost RM8 million. Giant increased its spending to notch second place at almost RM6.5 million for Jan, followed closely by Celcom at RM6 million. The other top 10 advertisers by AdEx ranking were Panasonic, Brand's, Ministry of Health, Maybank, Ministry of Information, TM and KFC. Newspapers still garnered the majority of AdEx at 52.9%, followed by TV at 35.7% and Radio at 5.6%.

After a prolonged above-the-line absence Nestle’s Nestum brand has launched a new integrated campaign through Publicis Malaysia.
comScore, Inc. has introdcued Media Metrix 360 unified digital audience measurement solution in the Asia-Pacific region. The new service combines comScore’s proprietary Internet user panel, which measures people’s online behavior from home and work computers, with Web analytics data obtained from site server data to provide a harmonized approach to audience measurement and a uniquely comprehensive measure of Internet usage, including traffic from Internet cafes and mobile devices, which are both significant drivers of Web usage in this region.
The following Video you will watch the new campaign (4 spots) developed by FRED & FARID PARIS for United Biscuits BN.
18 February 2010
LONDON - The Advertising Association has hit out at a left-wing think-tank report that calls for a complete ban on outdoor advertising and other stringent restrictions on commercial messages.

The report by Compass, called 'The Advertising Effect', claims that advertising creates a "mood of restless dissatisfaction" which encourages consumers to buy products and services they do not need.

It calls for a complete ban on outdoor advertising and restrictions on in-store marketing. Compass also wants to ban all advertising targeted at children under 12 as well as all alcohol ads. It also suggests the imposition of new taxes and regulations on advertisers.

Compass has close links to the left of the Labour Party and was one of the key drivers behind the recent Government investigation into the commercialisation of childhood.

Tim Lefroy, chief executive of the Advertising Association, attacked the call for a ban on advertising in public spaces. He said: "Outdoor advertising generates income for national government, and local authorities, which in turn funds free amenities such as bus shelters, and a number of free sites for local messaging.

"To suggest that a free society requires the state to dictate when, where and how we communicate with each other contradicts the concept of liberty and free thought and speech."
18 February 2010
BEIJING: Online advertising expenditure rose by 21.2% in China last year, to 20.61 billion yuan ($3.01bn; €2.21bn; £1.92bn), according to figures from iResearch.

The consultancy, which has offices in Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai, recently published its 2009-2010 China Online Advertising Research Report.

It suggested that the 7.9% uptick in GDP recorded by the world's most populous nation over the last 12 months helped insulate the advertising market as a whole from the slowdown witnessed elsewhere.

Online search, dominated by companies like Baidu, saw totals grow by an estimated 38.2%, to 6.95bn yuan, with video-sharing sites and social networks also registering an increase in ad sales.

Revenue levels are predicted to reach 30.1bn yuan in 2010, an improvement of 46.1%, boosted by high-profile events including the World Cup in South Africa and the World Expo in Shanghai.

Looking further forward, this rate of expansion is likely to climb to 49.2% in 2011, when marketers will direct 44.9bn yuan to the internet.

Adspend through this medium will jump by a further 51.2% in 2011, to 67.9bn yuan, and by 46.4% in 2013, to 99.4bn yuan overall.
18 February 2010
LONDON - YouTube, the world's largest video-sharing website, finds itself at a cross-roads as it celebrates its fifth birthday this week.

The video-sharing site used its anniversary to underline its founding commitment to be a place where "anyone with a video camera and an internet connection can share a story with the world", but that only tells half the story.

Formed by three former PayPal employees in February 2005, YouTube has come to epitomise the explosion of user generated content, ushered in by the technology of the Web 2.0 era.

The site's ability to display and share video clips, uploaded by anyone for everyone, made it an instant global attraction.

By the summer of 2006, more than 65,000 videos were being posted each day, and it was soon catapulted into the elite league of the biggest websites in the world, a position it maintains today.

Chad Hurley, the site's co-founder and chief executive, said he had pinned his hopes for YouTube on the basic premise that "everyone in the back of their mind wants to be a star".

Alex Burmaster, director at The Nielsen Company, said: "The fact that almost half of the world's internet population now visit the site is testament to his understanding of this need."
17 February 2010
LONDON: New media and user-generated content are providing fresh opportunities for brands in the financial crisis, Sir Martin Sorrell, ceo of WPP Group, the holding company, has said.

In an interview with PBS, Sorrell argued that print, radio and free-to-air television have suffered particularly heavily during the downturn.

While certain platforms – like satellite, cable and the web – have proved somewhat more resilient, the long-term prospects for media owners remain uncertain.

"I don't think it will ever be the same. To use Jeff Immelt's phrase, the industry has been ‘reset‘. Anybody who believes that we [will] go back to where we were, say, 10 or 15 years ago, I think is deluded,” said Sorrell.

With regard to current trading conditions, WPP's chief executive stated "things are less worse. They've stabilised. I think as we go into 2010, 'stabilise' means we're seeing, top-line, like-for-like sales growth flat to last year."

He added that clients in the US will also "have to feel more confident" before the broader situation improves, a development that is not wholly evident in the market as yet.

"I think what we've seen, if you look at corporate results... when they've been good, they've got there what I call 'ugly', by cutting costs rather than by growing revenues," Sorrell said.

In this environment, many brands are "looking for alternatives" when it comes to marketing, often taking advantage of the cheaper prices offered by the web as budgets are stretched.
17 February 2010
The venerable icon of male sexuality, Hugh Hefner, is being sued – by his own shareholders.

Playboy shareholder David Brown will represent his fellow minority shareholders in a suit filed against Hefner for “unspecified damages,” reports BusinessWeek. Despite shares dropping from $30 to $10 within ten years, Hefner has refused to relinquish his lavish lifestyle, and shareholders are not fine with that. Abigail O'Donnell, a spokeswoman for the company, refused to comment on the issue.

In the suit, Brown addresses Hefner's unabashed flaunting of excess: “[He] has continued to live the good life and make sure everyone knows it.” Furthermore, Brown and the shareholders are upset that the self-proclaimed senior playboy would place “his personal interests above and ahead of the interests of other shareholders and to their detriment."

The Playboy brand has been steadily on the decline for years, largely due to the proilferation of online porn that is easily accessible to men of every sexual inclination. The Playboy brand is simply another print publication that has been undermined by the prevalance, ease, and niche-specific reach of online content.
Shop windows and glass partitions are usually covered either with static images or unimaginative graphics. A revolutionary new MACtac Glass Movie film allows rear projection to animate shop windows. These filmic constructions can be applied onto synthetic or natural glass and the movie-style pictures are projected from behind the glass surface, enabling them to be viewed by those passing by outside for added impact.
16 February 2010

Cable and satellite TV in Thailand has been transformed into a magnet for investment, targeted by a raft of local media companies eager for a slice of a dynamic medium that expanded household reach by more than 50% last year.

Recently two major music and entertainment groups, GMM Grammy and RS, revealed that they would be joining the likes of production studio, Media of Medias, radio operator INN News and media conglomerate Live (which has shuttered its radio and film businesses to pursue more profitable areas) in launching new channels to capitalize on rapidly-growing cable and satellite platforms.

Terrestrial stations Channel 3 and Channel 9, as well as telco CAT Telecom, are also looking to enter the sector.

The PITCH-Madison Media Advertising Outlook 2010 is on stands now! After a tough year, 2009, the study shows a positive trend for the Indian advertising industry in 2010. The study predicts the advertising pie to be worth Rs 21,145 crore, a 13 per cent increase over 2009.

'Bringing the first nationwide 4G mobile internet network in the world!

13 February 2010
You forgot the design of the Sea-to-Sky highway which takes people along the spectacular coastline through the mountain passes to Whistler mountain. The Canada Line which connects visitors on a train from YVR to downtown. Enjoy the celebrations. Norbert Jakubke
12 February 2010
KUALA LUMPUR: MALAYSIAN AIRLINE SYSTEM BHD [registerQuotes("MAS", "MAS_span");] (MAS) aims to boost the number of domestic passengers travelling to Sabah by teaming up with Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment in a holiday travel programme.

MAS managing director and CEO Tengku Datuk Azmil Zahruddin said Sabah had been a key destination for MAS as demonstrated by a 16% growth in passenger numbers in 2009 amid the economic slowdown.

"Over the last two years, we carried 1.6 million passengers on the Peninsular Malaysia-Sabah sectors, which constituted about 25% of our domestic carriage," he told reporters at the launch of "Saya nak cuti – Jom Sabah" campaign today.

"We have realigned our business there to better serve the community, promote business and tourism, providing better connectivity to Sabah with the introduction of direct services to Sandakan and Tawau last year," Tengku Azmil said.

He added that MAS now had twice daily direct flights to Sandakan and Tawau.

The national carrier also serves Kota Kinabalu with subsidiary MASwings providing access to destinations like Lahad Datu.

"With eight new ATRs delivered to MASwings and two more by April, we will be equipped to meet future demand in air travel within Sabah and connect more customers worldwide to the state for business and tourism," Tengku Azmil said.

The "Saya nak cuti – Jom Sabah" campaign will run until June 30, with travel period up to Dec 31, 2010. It offers four deals, which include return airfares from Kuala Lumpur to Tawau, Sandakan and Kota Kinabalu from RM399 per person and one-trip for a family of three (two adults and one child) to the same destinations from RM399. 
11 February 2010
NEW YORK: Interpublic Group, the advertising agency holding company, has formed a new online advertising partnership with Microsoft, the IT giant.

Under the terms of the deal, Microsoft will be the first port of call for a range of services linked to web-based campaigns developed by agencies like McCann-Erickson and Deutsch.

More specifically, Atlas Worldwide, which offers a range of ad serving and analytic tools, will become the "default" system utilised by these shops.

IPG boasts global annual billings of around $30 billion (€21.9bn; £19.2bn), and holds accounts for major marketers including Coca-Cola, Dunkin' Donuts, Volkswagen and Wal-Mart.

Alongside creating bespoke applications for IPG's clients, Microsoft will use its "engagement mapping" system to assess the impact of communications.

This approach is argued to show how "each ad exposure – whether display, rich media or search, seen multiple times on multiple sites and across many channels – influenced an eventual purchase."

While Interpublic's agencies and their clients will still be able to work with Google, Yahoo and other rival operators, Microsoft will take on a preferred status.

Scott Howe, corporate vice president of Microsoft's advertising and publisher solutions arm, said "we take this as a sign that we're a good partner and that it's a sign of future things to come."
Celcom Axiata Berhad creatively designed an advertisement for their latest campaign named the Celcom Sale on the Menara Celcom building located at Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz next to Marinara building.
Creative Juice-Sil were tasked by Alamanda Shopping Centre to handle their Chinese New Year campaign. Alamanda shopping centre was looking for a creative agency that could recommend and deliver CNY promotions with style.
MBF Cards was recently awarded the Best Cardholder Promotion Award for its Saturday Got 5 Fever promotion at the inaugural MasterCard Hall of Fame Awards held in Singapore.
As more marketers turn to loyalty and rewards programs to spark business growth, a new report from the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council report indicates that marketers are under-valuing these often costly programs even as customers give the perks, discounts, deals and additional service opportunities high marks. Both customers and marketers agree: deeper engagement and personalized contact drives loyalty, not mass blast communications and gimmicks.
F&N Beverages Marketing Sdn Bhd, the soft drinks arm of Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, has sealed an agreement with Allexcel Trading Sdn Bhd for the exclusive sales and distribution of Red Bull energy drink in Malaysia.
11 February 2010

The Gunn Report for Media, the global evaluation of media creativity launched in 2004, has today released its fifth report on the state of the industry. 

PETALING JAYA – Packet One Networks (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. (“P1”), in a very rare occasion, today unveiled its overall strategy for 2010; calling the year as the beginning of the WiMAX decade and the year of the devices. In the presentation, P1 which is the world’s leading 2.3Ghz 4G WiMAX operator announced that it will be launching a complement of WiMAX embedded devices starting with Malaysia’s first WiMAX embedded netbook developed by its parent company Green Packet Berhad, by the second half of the year.
10 February 2010
KUALA LUMPUR: GUINNESS ANCHOR BHD []'s second quarter net profit rose 26.4% to RM43.82 million from RM34.67 million a year ago and it expects a better year ahead for its brands.

It said on Tuesday, Feb 9 revenue rose 15.1% to RM378.13 million from RM328.52 million. Earnings per share were 14.5 sen versus 11.48 sen. It declared an interim dividend of 10 sen per share.

For the first half, net profit was RM70.56 million, down 14% from RM82 million in the previous corresponding period. Revenue was also lower at RM679.1 million versus RM694.32 million.
10 February 2010
KUALA LUMPUR: MALAYAN BANKING BHD [] posted a strong second quarter net profit of RM993.50 million, up 35.3% from the RM734.56 million a year ago on improved loan volume and it declared an interim dividend of 11 sen per share.

Revenue was marginally lower by 1.22% at RM4.67 billion from RM4.73 billion a year ago. Earnings per share were 14.04 sen compared with 13.35 sen, the bank said in a statement issued on Tuesday, Feb 9.

According to its financial statements, the higher earnings were due to higher non-interest income (RM1.22 billion vs RM832.18 million a year ago), lower allowances for losses on loans, advances and financing (RM243.55 million vs RM321.1 million) and lower impairment losses on securities, net (RM9.83 million vs RM22.56 million).

For the six months, Maybank's net profit rose 43.5pct to a record of RM1.88 billion underpinned by higher revenue of RM9.23 billion from RM8.46 billion a year earlier.

Commenting on the half year financial results, Maybank president and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar said the banking group was especially pleased with the performance seen at its international operations, particularly Singapore and Indonesia.

"We have set our sights for more dynamic growth in the years ahead and are confident of exceeding our key targets set for the year," he said.
10 February 2010
LONDON - Google is reported to be ready to unveil social media additions to its Gmail email platform that will allow it to challenge Facebook and Twitter.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Google will initially add status updates to Gmail as well as the ability for users to add photos and video. It will do this by harnessing its Picasa and YouTube services.

Google is expected to announce the new Gmail features as soon as this week. The addition of social media to Gmail could open new opportunities for brands.


Gmail currently offers uses text based ads that users can scroll through at the top of their inbox. If users were to add more social networking details about their lives Google could improve its targeting or come up with new ways for brands to interact with Gmail users.

The WSJ said the additions will enhance Gmail's current chat bar, which displays a short 'away message' for each user's contacts.

The new interface will have an area where users can click through to see updates from more friends in a stream similar to that of Facebook and Twitter.

The move comes as Facebook's user numbers pass the 400 million mark. This easily outstrips the 176 million unique visitors that Gmail had in December according to ComScore.
10 February 2010
We've seen and heard this commercial a thousand times, the one with the flawless model posing in an ad for facial-blemish cream... an extremely powerful cleaner that removes every trace of dirt in one effortless wipe... the picture-perfect baby modeling the 100% waterproof diaper. In these scenarios, there's not even a hint of a single red spot, a stubborn stain, or a bedraggled mother. This is the story of the past 50 years of commercials, and they all have one thing in common: perfect brands in perfect environments.

But there is a strong case to be made for imperfection. Nothing is ever perfect, and even when it appears to be so, we are subconsciously looking for the flaw. Because our point of connection lies in imperfection--it's what makes something unique and, ultimately, authentic. Since perfection can now be had at the stroke of a digital brush, and the food we eat can be manipulated to look brighter and fresher, rounder, and yes, perfect, we have an increasing need to know what's real.

Let me share a story about what happens when a brand does give in to imperfection. Some months ago a major European cosmetic brand was forced to cut costs. They were not alone, but the only way they could do this was by reducing the length of their TV commercials. They decided to cut their regular 90-second spots down to 30 seconds. The big dilemma they faced was about which scenes to cut out. Instead of taking the conventional route--opinions and guesswork--they used a neuro-scientific tool based on EEGs whereby brainwaves of consumers were measured and evaluated. By scientifically analyzing the commercials they were able to assess which scenes were the most emotionally engaging.

To everyone's surprise, one scene--the one all the senior executives wanted to cut out--showed to be the most powerful of them all. It was a scene in which two ladies were huddled close, with one touching the other's cheek as she was crying. For want of a more diplomatic description, the client referred to it as "the lesbian scene." Whether it was the notion of lesbians or crying women, the prevailing thought the client had was that this particular scene would negatively affect their brand.

But based on the EEG results, the 30-second commercial was cut and tested. To everyone's surprise it showed that not only were consumers substantially more emotionally engaged, but when asked to pick a product in a simulated retail store, they ended up 'buying' 35% more of the brand. Consumers embraced what advertisers were scared would not be perfect enough for them. In fact you may very well recognize the commercial--it's still running.

When you stroll down the aisles of a supermarket, every product stacked on the shelves--from bread to bath salts--features perfect pictures of the perfect fruit or the perfect smile or the perfect cookie. But if you ask customers about the criteria they want their products to have, more and more will say they're looking for a product that's authentic. The thought of gigantic factories churning out millions of cookies, or food being injected with additives that boost the 'natural' color or enhance the aroma, or irradiation processes that keep old fruit looking new--well, all these sophisticated processes just seem to generate feelings of enormous distaste and even horror in the minds of consumers.
10 February 2010
LONDON - The advertising recession is expected to end in the third quarter of 2010, according to new figures released today by the Advertising Association and research specialists Warc.

Total adspend is expected to return to growth in Q3 this year, with spend rising by a modest 2.8%.

However the recession has clearly taken its toll, with the latest data showing that for the full year 2009, adspend is now expected to be down to 12.7% year on year.

If the prediction is correct, the ad industury will have endured nine consecutive quarters of decline since spend first went negative in Q2 2008.

The extent and length of the decline represent the worst ad industry recession since Warc began its quarterly survey in 1982.

Only two media sectors saw an increase in ad spend during Q3 last year, according to the latest confirmed data.

Spend on the internet rose by 4.2% year on year and cinema spend increased by 10.2% year on year.

TV adspend fell by 12% during the quarter, with radio adspend dropping by a similar amount.

Press was the biggest casualty during the period though, with adspend falling by 21% year on year.

Tim Lefroy, the chief executive of the Advertising Association, said: "The underlying data shows not just the painful recession effect overall but the dynamic reshaping of the UK advertising landscape. For some it's the perfect storm, for others the perfect opportunity."
09 February 2010
The hitting and slapping that’s going on between journalists, editors, marketers and FIFA is – apparently – nothing new. Other countries have been ticked off with the organisation during other World Cups, too. But there’s something about the way FIFA’s message is coming across that is making people who would normally hiss and boo at ambush marketing practices take another look at their standpoint.
Brandchannel.com writer Abram Sauer* suggests ambush marketing is like hosting a party for which your "deadbeat roommate" offers no help at all . . . and then steps in at the last minute to accept all the glory when the party's a success. "Now imagine," Sauer says, "that the party cost you $20-million." Well, I'd be ticked off, too.

However, I have to say that there's enough rebel in me - and I believe in our industry - for me to feel as if FIFA has walked in and taken over our country, our press and our marketing. And my reaction - like most rebels - is to be childish and do something baaaad . . . like publishing "2010" and "South Africa" in the same sentence; or putting tiny, non-sponsor's billboards in our now-famous potholes all over Johannesburg. (Who knows, by June we may be able to fit regular sized billboards in the potholes!)

From what I'm hearing, people aren't upset by the costs of sponsorships so much as the "strong arm" tactics and threats they perceive are being used the football organisation and its sponsors. Most will do nothing about it at all. But some want to . . . badly! It will be interesting to see if anyone will come up with anything smart that doesn't break laws, like Nike does when it spots a gap (see http://www.optimum7.com/internet-marketing/sem/what-is-ambush-marketing.html )

BMW Group Malaysia has appointed Leo Burnett & Arc Worldwide as its Digital and CRM agency partner of choice. In announcing the new partnership, Raymond Tan, Head of Marketing, BMW Group Malaysia said, “The proposal presented by Leo Burnett & Arc Worldwide proved that they have a keen understanding and insights into the premium market. They understand strategic digital communications as well as the effective CRM approach that is needed to communicate BMW’s core philosophy of JOY.”
Seoul, Korea – February 8, 2010: Cheil Worldwide, South Korea’s largest advertising and marketing agency, today announced that it is expanding its presence in China and has relocated to a new office space in Beijing, China. Previously, Cheil Worldwide’s office was located at the Samsung China headquarters in China Merchants Tower, Chao Yang District.
09 February 2010
YouTube delivered on its promise to upload all the Super Bowl Ads as soon as they aired today, with users voting to choose which one will grace the YouTube front page on Thursday.

The tech and web ads were a mixed bunch: Both the established GoDaddy “Too Hot for TV” schtick and Motorola’s decision to put Megan Fox in a bathtub stuck to the “sex sells” mantra, while Monster.com returned with a “Fiddling Beaver.” Intel went for a quirky “lunch room” ad while Vizio chose star power in its Beyonce (beyonce) commercial. We don’t know what inspired Boost Mobile’s ad, meanwhile, but the humor appears to miss the mark [Update: Commenters say it's a remake of the "Chicago Bears Super Bowl Shuffle"].
09 February 2010

KUALA LUMPUR: This year, the first speaker session at ADFEST will be the most important Seminar of the year – a heartfelt tribute to the inspirational Yasmin Ahmad, presented by ADOI’s Harmandar Singh in collaboration with Michael Conrad (Berlin School of Creative Management) and Akira Kagami (Dentsu Inc).

The Tribute will take place at the Pattaya Exhibition and Conference Hall, Thailand on Thursday 18 March 2010 at 11:15am.

In the following edited except, Harmandar Singh shares his memories of Yasmin Ahmad – who was a critically-acclaimed film director, writer and scriptwriter from Malaysia and was also the Executive Creative Director at Leo Burnett Kuala Lumpur – with ADFESTbuzz readers…
For those guys who just want a night out at the bar with their buddies, down beers like they were Rip Torn and avoid getting the third degree from their girlfriends, Del Campo/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi has devised the Teletransporter--a soundproof booth that gets "men out of the bar without actually leaving it."
08 February 2010
NEW YORK - A BBDO-created Snickers spot topped a poll of America's favourite commercials from this year's Super Bowl, which included a rare sortie from Google into TV advertising.

Nearly 60 ads were shown during yesterday's game, which was won by underdogs the New Orleans Saints, by 31 points to the Indianapolis Colts' 17 points.

The earliest feedback on how brands' efforts went down with the audience was supplied by USA Today's Ad Meter, which measures the response of focus groups as they watch the game.

Snickers topped the poll with a rating of 8.68 out of 10. BBDO secured the services of well-known octogenarian actors Betty White and Abe Vigoda, who gamely got dumped in the mud in a game of American Football in a park.

The ad showed a young man literally playing like an old woman, until he ate a Snickers bar.

08 February 2010
Negotiations have ceased and Cadbury is now officially a Kraft brand, but it didn't come cheap: Kraft spent $18.5 billion. (What a difference one month makes since AP published a $19.5 billion estimate in January.) Nevertheless, Cadbury's majority shareholders agreed to an acquisition that will allow Kraft to take the reigns. 

Kraft's CEO and chairwoman, Irene Rosenfeld, explained that "the combination of Kraft Foods and Cadbury creates a global powerhouse in snacks, confectionery and quick meals. Together we have impressive global reach and an unrivaled portfolio of iconic brands, with tremendous growth potential."

The deal comes after five months of intense back-and-forth negotiations between the two brands. Such a pricey purchase, however, does have consequences, and many at the UK-based Cadbury will lose their jobs. But such sacrifices are protocol when forming a major conglomerate that is poised to take over grocery store shelves everywhere -- particulary during tough economic times.

Though the specific number of cuts weren't announced by Kraft, Cadbury employees fought back with a protest. Unite, the largest union in the UK, represented the workers. "Specific questions have been put to Ms Rosenfeld by our European colleagues, including will the takeover lead to the closure of existing plants and will there be lay-offs? All these questions need urgent answers," said spokesperson Jennie Formby.
08 February 2010

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- In a move that demonstrates a hardened stance on the issue of intellectual property, the 4A's is urging agency search consultants to adopt contract language that reflects advertising agencies' right to retain creative ideas presented during new-business pitches.

In a letter sent last night to some 30 major industry consultants -- which marketers hire to help find and evaluate prospective agencies to handle their ad business -- the trade organization wrote: "Members of the 4A's new business committees would like to encourage you to consider including a stipulation in all of your agency search agreements that specifies the rights to intellectual property created by agencies during the review process remain the property of the agency until the marketer either hires the agency to execute the work or the parties agree to a commercially equitable payment for the assignment of usage rights."

The 4A's letter was endorsed by nearly 50 Madison Avenue standouts, such as JWT, Anomaly and R/GA, which sit on the 4A's new-business committee.

08 February 2010
Using social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to keep in touch with friends and family is a ubiquitous activity that has kept teenagers, adults and even the elderly glued to their computer screens perusing the latest updates.

While large firms are waking up to the myriad business opportunities available through these networks, small and medium-sized enterprises are using these tools in a much more effective manner to achieve a truly personal relationship with their customers -- going beyond traditional marketing tactics and instead building unique communities.

The explosion of Internet use in Turkey and its enormous young population -- dwarfing many European nations’ populations -- has pushed Turkey up to the third largest user of Facebook in the world, behind only the United States and the United Kingdom. The use of other networks like Twitter, where users send out short “tweets” or messages into cyberspace for their friends, or the professional pseudo-resumé and profile maker LinkedIn is also gaining popularity, as social networking becomes deeply embedded in everyday life in Turkey.
MNC Wireless Berhad (“MNC”) has entered into a strategic partnership agreement with research process outsourcing provider, Pulse Group PLC (“Pulse”) for the provision of online redemption services in Malaysia to its www.planet-pulse.com Online Research Community.
09 February 2010

Both local and international brands contribute tremendously to our country's economy. That's why the 4As created the Putra Brand Awards. As the only brand award endorsed by MATRADE, BAM, MAA and MSA, this award was conceived to recognise the most outstanding brands in the market.

Celcom Axiata caused a thunder of hurried footsteps from its customers, who were rushing to get in line at Chinoz Suria KLCC for the exclusive BlackBerry Storm2 9520 discount offer. The offer rewarded the first 150 customers with a new Storm2 9520 device priced at only RM888 instead of its actual price of RM1,988. As it was only available from 4.30pm to 10pm, customers began lining up in front of the restaurant from as early as 2.30pm.
05 February 2010

Val Morgan has announced that it has developed an in-house facility to create 3D enhancements to existing 2D cinema advertising.

According to the media company, in the past 12 months there has been a 10-fold growth in the number of 3D screens in Australia, fuelled by the big budget sci-fi release Avatar.

The cinema industry posted a record box office of $1.09 billion in 2009 – the highest grossing box office year in Australian film industry history. This was a 15% increase on 2008’s results with annual admissions increasing by 7% to 90.7 million according to the Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia.

“This will be the first opportunity for advertisers in Australia to capitalize on the 3D boom with a 3D enhanced commercial,” Val Morgan CEO Graeme Yarwood said.

“This is a significant step for Val Morgan to offer advertisers the opportunity to become involved in the 3D cinema experience in a way they have never been able to before. We are committed to providing advertisers innovative opportunities and solutions and this is our latest demonstration of that commitment.”

From 8-10 February, London will host One Young World – the world’s first global youth leadership summit. Through the utilization of social media in the delegate selection process and in engaging young people in a global conversation, the event has enjoyed a groundswell of interest, and is fast developing the kind of following normally reserved for major film or album launches.
The Tribute will be the very first Seminar to take place during ADFEST’s 3-day Festival, which runs at the Pattaya Exhibition and Conference Hall from 18-20 March. It will document Yasmin’s incredible career, showcasing excerpts from her best films, and will be presented by ADOI’s Harmandar Singh, with presentations from Akira Kagami and Michael Conrad.
05 February 2010
National Geographic’s International and US divisions have joined together to launch the company’s first global brand campaign and tagline.

The ‘Live Curious’ tagline is the result of consumer research looking to find common values for local campaigns with a global concept. It will run across consumer and print ad platforms including broadcast, print, outdoor and digital. Digital consumer touch points are also in development such as a microsite, social networking applications and games.

National Geographic plans to begin by developing local campaigns in Australia, Hong Kong, Italy, Spain, Turkey, UK and the US. The aim is to promote key programming such as World’s Toughest Fixes, Dogtown and Rescue Ink featuring the likes of Sean Riley, John Garcia and Johnny O.

The campaign will be rolled out until March across 166 countries in 34 languages. It is the latest development from a strategic partnership between National Geographic Channel US (NGC US) and National Geographic International (NGCI).

NGCI’s executive vice president of creative & marketing, Rafael Sandor and Kiera Hynninen, executive vice president of marketing at NGC US oversaw the development of the campaign. Meanwhile, Mercurio Film and creative consultant Patrizio Marini developed the primary 60 and 30-second spots.
05 February 2010
KUALA LUMPUR: Broadband penetration in Malaysia is expected to surge to between 70% and 80% in the next five years from 25% now, according to YTL Group managing director Tan Sri Dr Francis Yeoh Sock Ping. He said for every 10% increase in broadband penetration, the country's gross domestic product (GDP) should grow by 1.5%.

Greater penetration would create more job opportunities and in turn, attract foreign investors and encourage domestic investors to stay, he said.

"If we have 100% broadband penetration in Malaysia, we can imagine a sustainable growth in the country," he told reporters after International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed announced the performance of the manufacturing and services sector here today.

YTL POWER INTERNATIONAL BHD [registerQuotes("YTLPOWR", "YTLPOWR_span");] has invested RM500 million up in the provision of broadband services. Its total investment is expected to be RM 2.5 billion over the next five years for services including WiMAX.
05 February 2010
It appeared today as if Digg had been hacked. If you visit Digg.com and view the page source, you will see the following in the code.

However, if you notice the url near the bottom, http://hellisnigh.com points to a page which is advertising Dante’s Inferno, an EA game to be released shortly.

Which makes you wonder if this might not be a hack after all, but rather a pretty clever marketing campaign made to look like a hack.

Updates: Which makes you wonder if this might not be a hack after all, but rather a pretty clever marketing campaign made to look like a hack.
04 February 2010

Big brands have a lot going for them. They hire famous people to influence their brand name, and everywhere you go consumers know their name and love the products. Still, if you’re interested in building your brand, you can learn a lot from knowing how the big boys play.

For instance, look at how big brands use brand advocates — people who talk favorably about the brand and pass on positive word-of-mouth (WOM) messages to other people.  Brand advocates are just as important to a small business as they are to the bigger corporations out there

04 February 2010
NEW DELHI: A majority of TV ads in India currently feature at least one celebrity, but this strategy does not appear to be delivering the results hoped for by marketers.

A well-known "endorser" appeared in 25% of all spots broadcast on television in the Asian nation in 2001, a share that had increased to 62% by 2008.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar, two of India's leading cricketers, were among the figures most regularly playing such a role last year.

Shahrukh Khan, Katrina Kaif and Priyanka Chopra, all Bollywood stars, joined these sportsmen in the top five "brand ambassadors" for 2009, with this group promoting more than 70 products overall.

Dhoni had the most individual deals, on 26, including agreements with Pepsi and Dabur in the FMCG sector, with Khan in second, on 21, according to AdEx India, the research firm.

However, a study from MEC MediaLab suggested that the near-saturation of the market means this tactic may not actually have the impact intended by brands.

The company surveyed 1,000 people in the fast-growing economy, and discovered that 66% of respondents found it difficult to identify which goods were linked to different celebrities.
04 February 2010

STAR WORLD has topped the primetime chart with the latest US smash hit American Idol Season 9 and the launch of Glee. According to the 20 and 27 January 2010 rating reports released by AGB Nielsen Malaysia.

04 February 2010
SAN FRANCISCO: Brands hoping to make an impact on Twitter must establish clear goals and decide whether marketing departments should manage their overall activity, according to Forrester.

The research firm recently analysed the performance of 30 major corporations on the San Francisco-based portal, in order to establish the emerging best practices in this area.

Nate Elliot, principal analyst at Forrester, argued that a nuanced approach is required when utilising this fast-growing growing channel, with the exact strategy depending on certain, specific needs.

"Do companies want to get the message out and talk directly to consumers and fans? Or do they want to get new ideas to improve their business? These are so many things you can do as a business," he said.

"As a company you have to ask yourself: what are our objectives and would Twitter help us? Who is the right person to manage our Twitter account?"

Honda, the automaker, has failed to achieve this objective, Elliot suggested, as it has several dealers communicating separately, but no centralised unit responsible for co-ordinating these efforts.

"Honda Motor has several dealerships tweeting locally, but no easy way for consumers to find specific streams for their areas – and no obvious objective for what each local dealership should be tweeting," Elliot stated.

A spokesman for Honda said it was currently developing a "system" to manage this process, but added that its dealers could write "within reason, whatever they want."

Forrester reported that retailers often prove highly popular on Twitter, with Topshop, the UK-based apparel chain owned by Arcadia, one of the most successful, with 45,000 "followers" overall.

One piece of advice it offered to marketers was to ensure that people are easily able to locate their official Twitter accounts.

Dell, the computer manufacturer, has a dedicated section of its website, www.dell.com/twitter, providing details of the name and purpose of its more than 30 different feeds.

This was said to be particularly useful when the name of a specific stream does not feature the word "Dell", such as @Digital_Nomads, which is aimed at global travellers.

Providing such a list also serves to reassure web users that the organisation concerned has not been the victim of "brand-jacking", as has occurred on a number of high-profile occasions.

In 2008, for example, a university student set up a fake offering from Burger King, the fast food chain, and soon built up a reasonable fan-base.

Similarly, Exxon Mobil was forced to contact Twitter to ask it block a user of the site operating under the title "ExxonMobilCorp" despite having no relation to the energy giant.

Personalisation is another area where many brands under-perform, Forrester said, although Toyota, the Japanese auto firm, is one successful example, as it identifies each of the four employees responsible for running its @Toyota platform.

Similarly, providing regular updates can prove highly effective, and Forrester found that of the 30 businesses it reviewed, some 80% uploaded "tweets" on at least a daily basis.

Within this, 40% did so between four and ten times a day, with 13% posting comments at least ten times in a given 24-hour period.

However, Nike is one operator that has failed to maintain its Twitter presence, having not made any additions to @nikeplus since April last year, despite the fact it has more than 5,000 "followers".

Similarly, Opel, the German automaker owned by General Motors, last provided fresh news in September 2009, and has been silent at a time when it has been very much in the public eye.
04 February 2010
You may be lucky enough to work in an office that doesn't restrict social networking, but that doesn't mean your bosses trust you. According to a new survey conducted by British research firm Sophos, 72% of firms believe their employees' activities on social networking sites could endanger their business's security. Other data backs up that fear: The number of businesses that were targets for spam increased from 33.4% in April 2009 to 57% in December, a dramatic increase in such a short time period.
04 February 2010

KUALA LUMPUR: DIGI.COM BHD [registerQuotes("DIGI", "DIGI_span");] posted net profit of RM246.48 million in the 4Q ended Dec 31, 2009 versus RM282.24 million a year ago.

It declared a second interim dividend of 54 sen single-tier exempt dividend to be paid on March 26, bringing the total payout for the year to RM1.78 per share or 138% of net profit in 2009.

DiGi said on Wednesday, Feb 3 that 4Q revenue was RM1.247 billion compared with RM1.231 billion a year ago while earnings per share were 31.7 sen versus 36.3 sen a year ago.

For FY09, net profit was RM1 billion versus RM1.14 billion in FY08 as average revenue per user (ARPU) decreased to RM55 from RM59. The lower ARPU was primarily due to reduced spending by the low income segments affected by the economic slowdown, and increased competition.

However, DiGi expected overall usage trend to stabilise and business to continue to grow arising from big pent-up demand for quality broadband and internet access.

Year-on-year, revenue grew by 2% to RM4.91 billion, underpinned by steady demand for mobile services from its 7.7 million subscriber base, up 8% year-on-year.

DiGi chief executive officer Johan Dennelind said DiGi had improved its operational cash flow and maintained a strong balance sheet with high flexibility this year.

"This coupled with continuous growth in the business enabled us to keep to our promise to return excess cash and deliver yet another good year to our shareholders,” he said.
04 February 2010

Asia’s most highly anticipated and long-awaited multi-continental race has made its return and wants you to be a part of it! After receiving countless queries and requests from television viewers, AXN brings back its biggest Original Production success, The Amazing Race Asia (TARA)!  Last season (Season 3) was billed as the toughest race ever, where endurance was the name of the game. Expect no less from the new and sleek Season 4, which will up the intellect ante with the most sophisticated demands on top of the already tough challenges the race will impose on contestants.

Following the announcement of the Chrysler account win in Melbourne, Leo Burnett (“LB”) is pleased to announce that Beacon Communications (“Beacon”) in Japan and Leo Burnett Korea have also been appointed the creative agency of Chrysler in the respective countries, after going through competitive pitches locally.
02 February 2010

LONDON - Benetton Group has launched a global online casting contest to find 20 members of the public to become the faces of its brand for 2010/11.

The contest, on the brand website www.benetton.com/casting and called 'It's my time', is the clothing brand's first major global initiative for two years.

The campaign, by Fabrica, Benetton's in-house communications centre, will be supported by a series of print ads and publications carrying digital codes which users can register on the Benetton website to experience interactive augmented reality ads.
02 February 2010
A Malaysian court has fined a man and a woman four buffaloes and a pig after they were found guilty of an extra-marital affair, a local report says.

The pair were convicted by the Native Court in Penampang on Borneo island, after the man's wife lodged a complaint last year, said the Star newspaper.

She had found her husband wearing shorts at his second home with her colleague, who was wearing a sarong.

The court in Sabah state rejected their claim they were just "best friends".

Convicting the pair under customary local laws, Judge William Sampil said on Friday there was strong evidence the pair had had an affair, reported the Star.

They were ordered to compensate their communities with the livestock, valued at about 6,500 ringgit ($1,900; £1,200) for their tryst.
The announcement of the new promotions follows in the footsteps of Leo Burnett’s recent win of the Samsung creative account, and its numerous awards won in 2009 including ‘Agency of the Year’ and ‘Golden Kancil’ at Kancil Awards.
Greg is highly regarded for his skills as a senior business manager and his hands-on approach as an Executive Producer and Director. In his diverse 30-year TV career, he has produced and directed music videos and documentaries featuring celebrities such as Kylie Minogue, The Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney, as well as game shows, variety shows, and television commercials.

BANGKOK: Thirasak Tanapatanakul is one of the most famous creative executives in Asia, so it is an honor to welcome him to ADFEST as Jury President for Print Craft Lotus and Design Lotus.

I am very excited over Rosie’s agreement to strengthen On-Target and help propel it to the next level,” said Salim, Managing Director of On-Target. “Rosie’s involvement will primarily be to partner me in the area of Strategic Consultancy, Management Advisory, Operation Advisory and Business Development. The rest of the team and I will continue to front and efficiently manage operations as we continue to grow the agency, which is now entering its fifth year of operations. I’m confident this new partnership will boost our agency’s reputation and drive growth in targeted sectors.
The Sensuala range of ladies inner garments from the renowned Japanese lingerie maker, Wacoal was first introduced to the Malaysian market at the end of 2007. The sensual and feminine Sensuala range has practically everything that a lady needs for her daily wear. Be it a vivacious girl in her teens, a driven young lady aspiring to make her mark or a devoted homemaker, no one understands and provides the inner comfort you need like Sensuala.
01 February 2010
DAVOS: Unileverand Nike are among the advertisers placing a heightened emphasis on environmental issues, an area regarded as being of vital importance in retaining the trust of consumers.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Paul Polman, Unilever's ceo, warned companies must move out of their "comfort zone" and look beyond matters linked to "shareholder value".

"They would sell their grandmother if they could make money. They are not people who are there in the long-term interests of the company," he said.

"We want to be in business for the next 500 years," Polman continued, a goal that will require taking action in response to the mounting challenges of climate change and sustainability.

As part of this process, the owner of Knorr and Dove stopped issuing earnings forecasts last year, a move its chief executive regarded as being necessary in order to avoid taking a short-term focus.

"I can be a hero for six months by driving up the share price. But we are running the company for the long term," Polman stated.

"We will have to continue running the company with discipline, but don't expect any major announcements in 2010."

At the same event, Mark Parker, the chief executive of Nike, suggested that corporations need to make the first move, rather than waiting for common standards to be established elsewhere.
01 February 2010
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Devices like Apple's iPad may help newspapers and traditional publishers, but only significant evolution will save them, Google's chief economist, Hal Varian, said in a talk with journalism students at UC Berkeley.

"The future of news may lie in harnessing these kinds of devices," Mr. Varian said at UC's Graduate School of Journalism. "Users will likely engage with the tablet during peak leisure hours, and you would imagine that's very attractive to publishers."

But given the music industry's uneasy relationship with iTunes, which wrenched control over packaging and pricing away from the record labels, should publishers think twice before jumping into bed with Apple?

"We know there will be eventual competition from other devices, like the Kindle," he said, "and of course there's still the whole web. I don't think the tablet should be viewed as the be-all and end-all of distribution."

Mr. Varian said he has been studying data on news publishing, ad revenue and circulation figures from the Newspaper Association of America, the Pew Research Center and other sources. His conclusion: Digital distribution will be a boon to newspaper publishers if they can also radically redefine their product and means of reaching consumers.
“The idea for the spot came from the current success of Vietnamobile. The concept is a visual metaphor for the growth and change happening in Vietnam right now. Literally, millions of people are changing to this new network and Elizabete Fong, the Chief Executive Officer for Vietnamobile, wanted a spot to capture that feeling in a fresh, vibrant fashion,” said Howden.

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