News Bulletin: Google ramps up VR plans; Dick Smith names interim CEO, hunts buyers

By AdNews | 13 January 2016

Google ramps up VR plans

According to online sources, Google is backing its virtual reality bid with the creation of a dedicated team led by VP for product management Clay Bavor who will drop his responsibilities for other apps like Gmail and Drive to focus solely on Cardboard and VR.

Dick Smith names interim CEO; hunts buyers

Yesterday, embattled electronics retailer, Dick Smith, named Don Grover as its interim CEO after its current CEO, Nick Abboud, announced he was stepping down. Grover has significant expertise in the retail sector gained through more than 30 years in the industry. The move comes as the business' administrator, Ferrier Hodgson, commenced its call for buyers who may be interested in taking on the business. 

Bauer closes distribution business

Bauer Media has announced it's closing its distribution business Network Services Company, the publisher instead choosing to partner with Gordon & Gotch. Eugene Varricchio, Bauer Media’s director of operations says: “Bauer Media’s key focus is on content, not logistics. This decision will allow our business to continue to invest in our brands and focus on creating great content for our audiences.”

Helen McCabe exits The Australian Women’s Weekly

Helen McCabe has resigned as editor-in-chief of The Australian Women’s Weekly after six years at the publication.

McCabe says of her decision: “Editing The Australian Women’s Weekly is one of the truly great honours in Australian publishing. But after six and a half years it is the right time to move.”

The departure is another blow for publisher Bauer Media following the sudden resignation of former chief executive David Goodchild last December and the exit of Bauer’s director of sales, Tony Kendall.

Bauer Media has not yet announced a replacement for McCabe but will do so in the near future.

VIMN launches Australian Comedy Central website

Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) is expanding its portfolio in Australia that currently includes Nickelodeon and MTV, with the launch of a Comedy Central website.

The site delivers local editorial and video content and features video highlights from titles such as South Park, Inside Amy Schumer and Broad City. The website plans to provide local content like Australian comedians, YouTube stars, sketch groups and live comedy events.

Snaps launches tool for brand marketers

Snaps, a platform for connecting advertisers with consumers across messaging applications and devices, has launched a new tool for brand marketers called Conversations.

The web built app supports brands in messenger apps, including Facebook messenger, by providing a dashboard that will allow Snap customers to directly reach their audience. Beyond standard chat features, Conversations allows brands to share emojis, stickers, GIFS, videos and the ability to automate responses.

Snap's current clients include Burger King, Viacom, Pepsi, L’Oréal and Unilever.

Chobani countersues Dannon, Yoplait files

The battle of the US yoghurt makers continues, with Chobani countersuing Dannon and Yoplait filing a suit of its own against Chobani.

Chobani’s new campaign for its Simply 100 yoghurt calls out competitors Yoplait and Dannon for using certain ingredients, while advertising its own ‘natural’ ingredient Greek yoghurt.

Shortly after the ad was released, Dannon sent a cease-and-desist letter to Chobani. Chobani responded by suing Dannon for its attempt to block its new campaign. Yoplait filed a suit in U.S District Court alleging false advertising.

No verdicts have been made at this time. See the ad here.

Grindr sells 60% stake to gaming company

Dating app Grindr has sold a 60% stake to Chinese gaming company Kunlun Tech. For nearly seven years Grindr has been self-funded, this being the first outside investment the startup has received.

In a blog post to users said the app has taken the investment to accelerate growth and expand services.

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