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BOTW: Adland's big beasts on the move; Playing the NPS game
Welcome to Best of the Week, edited on a grey, drizzly day in South London while you were sleeping.
Today: Big moves for The Monkeys, M&C Saatchi, and Mamamia; the consumer sentiment weather forecast; and NPS shenanigans.
Unmade’s end-of-year roadshow kicks off the week after next. Join us at Compass in Sydney on November 14, Melbourne on November 21 and Brisbane on November 22. Unmade’s paying members get a complimentary ticket as part of their membership. Upgrade today.
Fast and furious
Tim Burrowes writes:
Before we get into the news of the week, there’s something you may be able to assist us with.
Unmade has apparently been given some rather disappointing industry feedback this week. The first I knew that a net promoter score had been bestowed upon us was when I woke up to a text from the boss of a media company: “Surely that Mi3 NPS stuff is garbage”.
In a curious coincidence of timing, three days after I wrote about my reservations around Mi-3’s new AI-led project of taking press releases and rebranding them as “Fast News”, the publication has chosen to feature Unmade for the first time.
Admittedly, it was not in a particularly flattering way. According to a survey of people on the database of Mi-3’s owner Media-i, Unmade really is the pits. They’ve published net promoter scores for all the trade press.
Although they’re unclear on their methodology, the usual way is to ask whether somebody would recommend a product to a friend or colleague. Typically, those who are most positive, answering with a nine or ten on the scale, are netted against those who score six or below.
The conclusion - according to Mi-3 - is that the industry title with the best net promoter score - is (as luck would have), Mi-3.
They calculate that they get a score of plus 4. AdNews gets plus 3 and Mumbrella plus 2. Poor old B&T gets minus 5 while Mediaweek gets minus 8.
Unmade must, it would seem from the Mi-3 data, be doing a dreadful job. Minus 37. Ouch.
Of course, a drawback of industry surveys is that when a publication asks a question of their own database about themselves, salience is already maxed out. I’m willing to bet that 100% of Mi-3 readers read Mi-3.
Still, for my own peace of mind we can at least repeat the NPS exercise via the Unmade database. So I’d like to request a moment of your time.
This morning, our email subscribers will receive an email from Survey Monkey. That will contain your own unique link to participate in a one-question NPS survey. We decided to run it with unique links just in case anybody - not that I’d point any fingers - tries to game the system.
So please do open up that email and follow the link - if you can’t find it, search for the subject line “Trade media survey” in your inbox - and give an honest answer. If you still can’t find it, drop a line to my colleague Belinda Cusack via firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be able to set up a link.
We’re dying to know what you think.
Taking the temperature
It’s been an unusual week. I spent a few days in the US, on the long way round for a trip to London.
Having experienced the biting cold of New York in November previously, I packed accordingly - body warmer, beanie, scarf and jumpers. Then I found myself wandering around Central Park on a 27c day, wishing I’d packed shorts. Global warming may just be under rated.
The last time I was in the US was the same time four years ago.
This time, with inflation biting globally and a rental affordability crisis in most of the English speaking world, I’d been expecting the consumption drumbeat to be a little slower. While no single place can sum up the mood of the global consumer, if I was forced to pick somewhere, I’d choose the retail mecca of Fifth Avenue. It was booming.
If we don’t have that recession, it will be consumer spending that saves us. If inflation takes us down, it’ll be the consumer spending that kills us.
Scott Nowell finally leaves The Monkeys
There were several big people moves this week.
The largest was the departure of Monkeys co-founder Scott Nowell after 17 years.
Since Clemenger BBDO Sydney faded, The Monkeys have a pretty good claim of being Australia’s most successful creative agency.
Nowell and co-founders Justin Drape and Mark Green played a perfect game.
Saatchi & Saatchi refugees with a little bit to prove to the organisation they left, they started life as Three Drunk Monkeys before switching to the more corporate name around the time they won Diageo.
They grew by doing great, original creative work, they built a good culture and they sold to Accenture for $63m back in 2017.
Perhaps the most impressive of all their achievements is that the Monkeys culture survived the acquisition. I was in their office the other week. It feels the same place it did a decade ago. That doesn’t always happen. In fact, it often doesn’t.
Now, the only one of the three remaining is Mark Green, who was the business brain of the trio. He’s gone from the startup upstart to adland elder - Accenture Song ANZ president and chairman of the Advertising Council.
Drape left in 2021 and started travel platform Exceptional Alien. They’re currently doing a fundraising round.
Unmade on Justin Drape:
No doubt the moment will come when Green moves on too. That will be the ultimate test of whether the Monkeys culture can survive all the founders’ exits. The company has since developed second and even third tiers of impressive creatives and executives. The Monkeys has a much better chance than most of pulling it off.
Steve Coll comes back
Sticking with the creative side of the industry, there was a big move in the other direction too.
Steve Coll is coming back into adland, announced as group chief creative officer at M&C Saatchi. He’ll replace Cam Blackley.
Coll’s industry profile dropped during the five years he was running Meta’s local creative shop. Before that he was one of the most interesting creatives in the market.
He arrived in Australia in 2010 at what was then Euro RSCG and is now Havas, replacing Rowan Dean (whatever happened to him?).
Coll brought a new type of strategic thinking to the industry, creating campaigns that often had a big PR-able idea at the heart of them, including Mortein‘s stunt to kill off Louie the Fly.
Before he got to Australia he was behind one of the great PR-advertising crossovers of all time, the Sandwich campaign for Walkers crisps.
There’s currently no agency delivering really big advertising ideas that become talked about news stories. I suspect Coll will help M&C Saatchi claim that territory.
And one of the big switches of the year in adsales also dropped this week.
Seven West Media’s national sales director Natalie Harvey is moving from one of the blokiest cultures in media to one of the least, becoming chief revenue officer at Mamamia.
Harvey’s prominence in the Seven Upfronts last month suggests the TV network didn’t know the move was coming.
It’s beginning to look like a curse of the Seven Upfronts. The year before, Seven’s then chief marketing officer Charlotte Valente was centre stage in the pre-recorded video-led presentation, sitting at CEO James Warburton’s right hand. Somewhat awkwardly it had emerged a couple of days before that she was leaving.
Harvey will replace Tony Prentice who did a five year stint at Mamamia.
Unmade on Mamamia two years ago:
Campaign of the Week: ‘Make Your Merry Meaningful’
In each edition of BOTW, our friends at Little Black Book Online highlight their most interesting advertising campaign of the week.
LBB’s ANZ reporter Casey Martin writes:
The Christmas season has officially started as Christmas spots start to grace our screens. Clemenger BBDO and Myer have created an endearing story of the journey of a wombat shaped soap as it gets re-gifted every holiday season before finding its rightful place. It encourages audiences to be thoughtful about the presents given this season, no matter how big or small it is.
You may have missed…
On Tuesday, we examined why it’s so difficult for business media publications to survive, let alone thrive in Australia:
On Wednesday, we explained why letting the lawyers loose risks brand damage:
On Thursday, we featured a conversation with Paramount bosses Beverley McGarvey, and Jarrod Villani:
On Friday, we dug into the new SMI numbers in search of hope:
Unmade Index has a second strong day
Seja Al Zaidi writes:
The Unmade Index had a positive end to the week, ending up 1.73% at 589.3 points. It followed a similar rise on Thursday.
Ooh Media led the board with a 2.28% rise, while Seven and Nine followed suit with respective 1.89% and 1.86% lifts.
Sports Entertainment Group rose 11.11%, and Aspermont Limited 22.22%. Southern Cross Austereo lifted 1.65%.
The only stock to fall was Enero Group - it dropped 3.31%.
Time to leave you to your Saturday. Don’t forget to fill out that NPS survey - it’ll only take two minutes.
I’ll be back on Monday morning with Abe Udy for Start the Week.
Have a great weekend.
Publisher - Unmade