News Bulletin: Independent rumoured to go online only; Former MediaCom director joins Initiative Melbourne; Publicis Groupe grows global revenue 32%; Martin Sorrell to headline D&AD Festival

By AdNews | 12 February 2016
Simon Reid

Independent rumoured to go online only

The Russian owner of UK newspaper Independent and Independent on Sunday could stop printing the 30-year-old titles if a mooted sale of the cut-price i newspaper goes ahead.

Millionaire Evgeny Lebedev, who also owns The Evening Standard, is rumoured to be considering turning both titles into online-only publications due to the newspapers' shrinking readership.

A decision could hinge on Lebedev’s decision to sell i in a  £25m cash deal to Johnston Press, which owns the Sctosman. Launched in 2010, i is a 40p daily that provides bite-sized chunks of news rather than in-depth journalism. 

Independent editor Amol Rajan offered staff few clues about the deal in an internal email.

Initiative Melbourne poaches director from MediaCom 

Initiative Melbourne has appointed Simon Reid as the agency’s investment director. A 13-year media veteran, he joins Initiative from MediaCom Melbourne, where he was investment director.

At MediaCom, Reid's clients included Specsavers, Cricket Australia, Fonterra, AFL, Network Seven, Shell and Repco. He worked at MediaCom for nine years and was previously with Optimedia.

“With recent new business wins such as Simplot and Jemena, as well as expanding work for existing clients, Simon’s appetite for creative media solutions is inspiring and we’re looking forward to his contributions to the Melbourne team,” Initiative Melbourne managing director Stephen Fisher says.

Publicis Groupe grows global revenue 32%

Publicis Groupe has increased revenue by 32% to 9.6 billion euros (A$15.3 billion), including a 23% increase in Asia-Pacific in its 2015 financial period. Without the effects of exchange rates, growth was 18.9%, largely due to acquisitions, and profit was up 19.7% to 992 million.

The group, which includes Leo Burnett, Starcom, Razorfish and Saatchi & Saatchi, among others, had tenders for over $20 billion and gained clients including Taco Bell, VY, Visa and Etihad. Losses included the US media accounts of Procter & Gamble and Coca Cola.

In Australia, major client wins included: Big W, Canon media, iSelect (Leo Burnett); Drinkworks/Monteith's Cider, Bank of Melbourne, Toyota Corolla (Saatchi & Saatchi); Tourism NT, Commonwealth Games, Tabcorp, P&G, Bulla (Publicis). 

Major acquisitions to the group included Sapient, South Africa's The Creative Counsel Group and Match Media in Australia.

News Corp takes major stakes in DIAKRIT, realestate.com.au

News Corp has taken majority shareholdings in DIAKRIT and REA Group, which runs realestate.com.au. 

DIAKRIT provides digital visualisation solutions to help agents and developers sell properties and home owners find, furnish and renovate properties. This includes 2D and 3D floor plan services, photography services, high-end 3D visualisations and animations. 

Headquartered in Bangkok, DIAKRIT has more than 450 employees in the US and offices across the Nordic region. It has 2000 real estate clients worldwide.

News Corp has taken a 61.6% stake in REA Group further bolstering its investment in real estate content. In its most recent quarterly financial report, News Corp reported strong growth in its digital real estate business as other business lines struggled.

Martin Sorrell to headline D&AD Festival 

Sir Martin Sorrell, Oscar-winning graphic artist Annie Atkins and British artist Ralph Steadman will headline the inaugural D&AD Festival in London this April.

The festival celebrates everything design and advertising, with 40 industry speakers, sensory installations, fringe events, food stalls, photography exhibitions, film screenings and workshops. Other speakers include Grey London chief creative office Nils Leonard, Havas PR North America CEO Marian Salzman and YouTube head of culture and insights Kevin Allocca.

“D&AD has always taken great pride in celebrating the breadth of creativity in all of its forms and we are hugely excited to welcome these inspirational leaders in the fields of advertising and design, to set the agenda and lead the conversation, at this our first D&AD Festival,” D&AD CEO Tim Lindsay says.

The festival costs £185 and runs from 20-22 April.

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