Wednesday 20 March, 2013


MEDIA WEEK: BBC Worldwide sells Lonely Planet at a £80m ($117m) loss

BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, has sold the Lonely Planet guidebook business to US company NC2 Media for £51.5m ($75m), less than half it paid to acquire it.  Under the terms of the deal, BBC Worldwide will receive £41.2m ($60m) on completion of the sale. Another £10.3m will be paid in one year’s time.

The sale figure is significantly lower than the £130m BBC Worldwide (BBCW) paid to buy the “backpacker’s bible” publishing business, which has printed approximately 120 million books in 11 different languages, in 2007.  BBCW has written down Lonely Planet’s value by £67m to £63m in the past six years. Up to 60 per cent of Lonely Planet costs are incurred in its headquarters in Melbourne, where the business has been hit by the rising value of the Australian dollar.

REUTERS: SxSW attracts biggest stars of music, film and now ad industry

South by Southwest – which began as a music festival in Austin Texas in 1987 – has become the biggest music, film, tech, media and marketing event in the world. The 10-day festival, which ended at the weekend, now attracts record numbers of advertising professionals. Ad agency JWT, the WPP  subsidiary, flew more than 60 execs from its offices around the world. The agency started what it called a five-day “pop-up” ad agency that took several dozen pitches from start-ups in Austin and offered its marketing services for free to a chosen winner. David Eastman, the chief executive of JWT North America, said firms like his relished a lucrative marketing opportunity like SXSW, though he saw the irony in his presence. “The bad side of all this is that SXSW used to be indie, for the folks who didn’t want to be mainstream,” Eastman said. “When the brands arrive, the money arrives as well.”

MASHABLE: Unnamed BlackBerry partner buys 1 million BlackBerry-10 smartphones

An “established” partner of Canada’s BlackBerry has placed an order for one million BlackBerry 10 smartphones, the company has announced.  This is the “largest ever single purchase order” in the company’s history, BlackBerry claims. BlackBerry announced the first BlackBerry 10 smartphones – Z10 and Q10 – on January 30, 2013. With the new version of the platform and these devices, the company hopes to regain some of the market share it’s been steadily losing since 2009.   This large order, as well as a recent report of German government adopting the BlackBerry Z10, is certainly a good sign for BlackBerry, who just hasn’t been able to keep up with the iPhones and the Androids in the last couple of years.


Tuesday 12 March, 2013


THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER:  Selena Gomez gone wild: ‘Spring Breakers’ debuts Stateside at South by Southwest Film Festival

AUSTIN – Sunday night at SxSW (South by Southwest) Film Festival easily belonged to Spring Breakers, a kaleidoscopic fever dream from director Harmony Korine, who managed somehow to craft an art film steeped in the three tenets of 2013-era youth culture: sex, drugs and dubstep. Stars Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens, former products of the Disney dream factory, don’t just shed their good-girl images with the project – they effectively drop a 50-megaton bomb on them.

BRAND REPUBLIC: HSBC splits £400m ($582m) global ad account

HSBC has split its £400m ($582m) global creative account three-ways between Grey London, Saatchi & Saatchi and the incumbent JWT.  The global bank has split its global advertising business between all the agencies that pitched.  WPP’s Grey London and JWT will become the lead agencies on the account, while Saatchi & Saatchi will handle HSBC’s premier and wealth business globally as well as its sponsorship advertising globally. Grey will handle HSBC’s retail banking and wealth business across Europe, including the UK, and also Latin America. It will also handle First Direct in the UK and HSBC’s global commercial banking business.

CAMPAIGN ASIA:  Health apps have untapped potential for brands to engage with customers in Asia

The increasing penetration of smartphone has been driving the development of mobile applications. Among hundreds of thousands of apps that are available for downloading, healthcare and wellness apps have stood out as one of the fastest-growing types.  The Apple App store now has 17,000 healthcare-related apps globally, 60 per cent of which are aimed at consumers, according to Frost & Sullivan figures from January 2013.  Although adoption is low so far, health and wellness apps represent a great opportunity for brands in Asia to supplement traditional advertising with more holistic support for their customers.,health-apps-have-untapped-potential-for-brands-to-engage-with-customers-in-asia.aspx

Friday, March 1, 2013


THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: Film London creates department for artists looking to make movies

LONDON – Film London, the British capital’s movie agency familiar to Hollywood’s location decision makers, is setting up a dedicated department for artists looking to make movies.  The U.K. government-backed agency has tasked current head of production and talent development Maggie Ellis with the job of overseeing the newly created department.  Ellis is named head of Artists’ Moving Image and will aim to build on the growth in artists turning to film.  Funded by Arts Council England (ACE), Film London launched its Artists’ Moving Image Network (FLAMIN) in 2005 to provide British capital-based artists working in the moving image access to funding, guidance, development opportunities and promotional and exhibition platforms.

CAMPAIGN LONDON: Jamie Oliver’s food chain in hunt for advertising agency

Jamie Oliver’s high-street restaurant chain, Jamie’s Italian, has appointed intermediary Oystercatchers to oversee the hiring of its first advertising agency. Agencies have been invited to pitch for what is understood to be a national brief promoting the chain.  Jamie’s Italian is positioned as an “authentic, affordable Italian restaurant” and has launched ambitious expansion plans. Jamie’s Italian has more than 30 restaurants in its national chain and is expanding globally.  As well as the UK chain, Jamie’s Italian has restaurants in Australia, Dubai, Ireland, Russia, Singapore and Turkey.

THE INQUISITR: Brutally honest Oscar ballot goes viral

Have you ever wondered what goes through the mind of an Oscar voter? One frank and hilarious ballot cast by an unnamed director is going viral for its cheeky and brutal honesty. The director shared his choices with a reporter from the Hollywood Reporter, calling “Argo” a “whole lot of nothing,” saying “Django Unchained” is “Tarantino masturbating” and passing on “Amour” because “there’s only so much diaper-changing I can tolerate.”