#sowhoknew: 5 reasons why Jamie Oliver’s restaurant business failed

Was Jamie Oliver’s Italian restaurant chain always going to be a recipe for disaster? What is the naked truth behind this catastrophic failure from the naked chef? Well, according to experts (and me) he made five critical mistakes that were always going to make his business sink like a soufflé…

1. He spread himself too thin – there is no question that Jamie has made a fortune as a celebrity chef, TV presenter and author of many successful recipe books – he has amassed an estimated fortune of around £180 million on the back of that career. But therein lies the problem. Buoyed by this level of success he felt that he could extend his personal franchise into a chain of restaurants that embodied his flambuoyant style of cooking. The problem? Just like an insufficient amount of butter on a piece of toast, the resultant experience is sadly lacking.

2. A prawn cocktail offering in an age of fusion sushi – experts and consumers alike criticised the food and decor as being old fashioned and uninspired. Jamie himself claimed he had gone for ‘contemporary and informal’ but clearly that wasn’t the end user experience. Breadsticks. Pizza. Pasta. Salads. Yawn.

These days discerning diners want something a tad more adventurous like a fiery Mexican Yam salad or an avocado and scallop Ramen. Oliver played it safe and ended up a spicy meatball short. And what was worse, the quality was low and the price was high which segue ways neatly into the next point…

3. The spaghetti wasn’t up to scratch – The food was diabolical. Just take a look at some of the reviews on TripAdvisor if you need proof. This one star review (and there were loads of those) sums it up: “Worst Italian meal ever. Tables filthy, food poor quality and overpriced”.

Mamma Mia, they didn’t go again…

4. Peas from the same pod – they say you should never mix business with family (hmm tell that to the mafia). Anyway, Oliver decided that because of his other aforementioned commitments he should get his brother-in-law, Paul Hunt, to run the business on a day-to-day basis. The flaw in his plan was that Hunt had absolutely no experience of running a restaurant chain. On top of that an anonymous insider described Hunt as an ‘arrogant incompetent failure’ who was ‘running the business into the ground’.

5. Jamiexit – one of the real skills in cooking is timing. Sadly it seems Oliver’s timing for this venture was totally off. Set against a backdrop of Brexit, high rents, over expansion, dubious geographical choices for outlets and rising food prices these factors all contributed to Jamie’s exit from the restaurant trade (or Jamiexit as I have now called it… see what I did there?). As another famous chef, Gordon Ramsey, once opined about the importance of timing in the kitchen: “if it’s brown it’s cooked, if it’s black it’s fu*ked”.

Now don’t get me wrong, I won’t revel in Oliver’s misfortune. After all, over 1000 of his workers look set to lose their jobs and over £70 million is still owed to third party businesses who are unlikely to ever see that money paid to them which could lead to even more job losses. What’s more I do applaud his entrepreneurship, despite him admitting that he has “fu*ked up 40 per cent” of all his business ventures.

But it is a salutary tale about entering into a business venture that you know nothing about, especially a business that is as notoriously volatile as opening restaurants. It demonstrates clearly that the power of personal branding alone is not sufficient to make a business successful. A celebrity brand may attract considerable interest and initial visits on the back of the name but the end product has to imbue all of the qualities of that brand and deliver on them to ensure even a modicum of success.

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Volvo Car Malaysia turns every car radio into a safety device

In conjunction with Ramadan and Hari Raya festive season, Volvo Car Malaysia, has reaffirmed its commitment to safety by launching the #StandforSafety road safety campaign. Aimed at raising awareness on the importance of using safety belts for all car occupants, the campaign also features a unique media campaign on two national radio stations that make the content safer for drivers.

‘The Safe Drive Hour’ is a unique media partnership between Volvo and Lite FM and Sinar FM, that will help drivers focus during the busy roads of the Ramadan and Raya period. Research from London Metropolitan University has revealed that music of a high tempo can be distraction for the driver. Conversely, music at the optimum tempo of 60 – 80 beats per minute actually aids focus and concentration, helping drivers focus better on the road.

In a first of its kind media partnership – both radio stations are filtering their on-air playlists, only playing music between 60-80 bpm during the busiest traffic hours from 4 -5 pm. The Safe Drive Hour will run for five weeks, complemented with safer driving tips and interviews with driving experts to help create a safer drive throughout the entire festive period.

The Ramadan to Raya Festive period is the most dangerous time in the road, according to data gathered by the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS) in 2017, over 22,000 road accidents were recorded in the month.

The campaign coincides with the 60th anniversary of the invention of three-point safety belt, invented by Volvo engineer, Nils Bohlin, in 1959, which has since become the single most important safety innovation ever introduced in cars. Noting the significance of the device, Volvo Cars gave the patent away, so it could be fitted to any car from any manufacturer – based on internal data collected by Volvo Cars since the 1960s, it has been estimated that the three-point safety belt has saved more than a million lives.

“Volvo is continually introducing many safety innovations, but it is high time that we get back to the basics – we will work closely with the Road Safety Department (JKJR) and the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS) to raise public awareness on the importance of using the three-point safety belt. I believe the increased use of safety belt by all car occupants, will help to reduce the number of road fatalities and serious injuries in the country,” said Nalin Jain, Managing Director of Volvo Cars Malaysia.

Says Grey Malaysia ECD, “Volvo has safety at its core, that extends to every driver, passenger and pedestrian. Sixty years ago, Volvo shared the patent for the safety belt – now that is in every car on the road. Through this unique radio partnership, we are also helping to make millions of cars safer during the most dangerous part of the year.”

The safe drive hour will run for five weeks throughout May into June on both Lite FM (English) and Sinar FM (Malaysian). To gain further exposure, the campaign messaging will be rolled-out via various mediums including radio, newspapers, websites, social media platforms, and through authorised dealerships.

Volvo Cars has actively collected crash data from actual accidents for more than 40 years. Recently, Volvo Cars announced Project EVA (Equal Vehicles for All), allowing any car manufacturer to access its research data to build safer cars. This coincides firmly with Volvo Cars’ belief that safety should be for everyone.

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IAS launches Time-in-View as new media currency in Singapore

Integral Ad Science (IAS) released the latest Media Quality Report benchmarks for Singapore, on key factors that erode the value of digital advertising. The latest report includes viewability, fraud, brand safety, and time-in-view.

eMarketer reports that digital ad spending in Singapore will reach US$489.6 million in 2019, representing 30 per cent of total media ad spending in 2019—the highest such share across Southeast Asia. Increasingly, advertisers are being asked to prove ROI and the added value digital advertising produces for their organisations. This need to demonstrate impact is driving a shift in how they seek to measure the quality of their digital investments.

Time-in-view is the average duration that a viewable impression remained in view. This average excludes impressions that were not viewable according to the MRC standard in the calculation. The IAS report benchmarks a correlation between time-in-view and conversions and increased brand recall.

“As we’ve been studying how to better quantify attention over the years, we have found that shifting the focus from impressions to time-based metrics can make a real impact for advertisers,” said Laura Quigley, MD SEA at IAS. “Exposure time directly impacts the effectiveness of campaigns. This is precisely why we thought it was so important to begin offering these metrics in our Media Quality benchmarks. This data offers advertisers the foundation needed for better understanding of consumer attention moving forward.”

IAS’ time-in-view metrics in Singapore suggest that overall exposure time for desktop was at 10.17 seconds, direct publisher buys were reported at 9.70 seconds, while programmatic buys performed better at 11.01 seconds. For mobile, web display exposure time from publisher direct performed better at 8.09 seconds, compared to programmatic at 7.76 seconds. Overall time-in-view for mobile was reported at 7.97 seconds.

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Publicis Media names Director of Research & Insights APAC

Publicis Media has appointed Robert Fry to the role of Regional Director of Research & Insights Asia-Pacific. He will be driving the Publicis Media research agenda and advancing insights and tools capabilities across the APAC region.

In his new capacity, Fry will report to Navaneeta Das, Head of Product & Client Development, Publicis Media Asia-Pacific and will be part of a large Data Sciences division. Das commented, “Robert’s thorough knowledge of the business, global expertise on tools development and aptitude for insights and innovation make him the perfect fit to help accelerate our integration of global tools and systems while championing innovation across the region.”

Fry said, “I have been extremely impressed so far with the excellent global infrastructure of the Data Science teams and how closely research and analytics are increasingly working. I am looking forward to ensuring further democratisation of the capabilities such as building on the pioneering 300Strong apps training and excellence program. I am keen to help drive these initiatives and form closer partnerships with teams across Publicis Media and with research vendors and clients.”

With 20+ years’ experience, Fry has a rich industry background specializing in research and consumer insights, including 10 years in roles for the GroupM/Mindshare/MediaCom, and previously companies such as Millward Brown. He was also leading PointLogic Asia.

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Craft appoints new Regional Solutions & Production Operations Director

Craft APAC, the creative production arm of McCann Worldgroup, has appointed Esther Yue as their new Regional Solutions & Production Operations Director based in Shanghai, China.

Yue joins from Dentsu Aegis Network, where she led D’Works Singapore. She also spent a significant part of her career with Saatchi & Saatchi Singapore managing their operations. Armed with over 30 years of advertising and production experience, Yue is an expert in the execution field and is passionate about bringing great ideas to life.

“At Craft we’re proud of our ability to make our clients’ creative briefs a reality. Adding Esther’s deep experience and expertise to our Shanghai team will strengthen our offering and allow us to better operate as a creative production partner for our clients,” said Melissa Chan, Managing Director of Craft APAC.

As Craft continues to grow as a creative production solution in the APAC market, the addition of new team members, such as Yue, are essential to the company’s ability to produce meaningful content efficiently at scale while not sacrificing quality. Yue will work to identify custom solutions for clients and will manage the development of new capabilities and areas of expertise out of Craft Shanghai.

“This is a very exciting time to join the Craft team, with so much evolution in the marketing space I’m looking forward to providing creative production solutions to global and regional clients,” commented Yue. “It’s an honor to join one of the world’s best agencies with an iconic reputation for helping brands play a meaningful role in consumers’ lives.”

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Digitas makes Singapore its first ASEAN hub

Digitas, a part of the Publicis Groupe, has established Singapore as its new ASEAN Hub.

With digital maturity, hyper-growth in both e-commerce and offline retail alongside channel proliferation, ASEAN has emerged into a unique sub-regional ecosystem. The launch of the ASEAN hub is in response to the increasing demand of clustered services Digitas is seeing from its existing and newly won regional clients including Visa, Tourism New Zealand, Cathay Pacific and Agoda.

The ASEAN Hub will comprise of capabilities such as digital retail innovation, experience design, data and analytics, CRM and technology solutions and leverage scalable resources in India to support our clients’ growth in the region.

Jane Lin-Baden, Managing Partner APAC, Publicis Groupe, said, “We will execute a hub and spoke strategy, positioning Singapore as the hub and work with offices in ASEAN to fully leverage talents and provide the centres-of-excellence in the region.”

To service the new Hub, Digitas has confirmed the appointment of an ASEAN leadership team with Rika Sharma who has been promoted from Managing Director Singapore to Managing Director for ASEAN. Reporting to her and forming this leadership team will be Lauren Ahearn as Head of Client Services ASEAN, Mark Teal who takes on the newly created role as Head of Partnerships ASEAN and Barry Edwards as Technology Director ASEAN.

Rika Sharma, Managing Director, ASEAN Digitas, said, “What an exciting opportunity! I’m looking forward to leveraging our diverse capabilities, our future-forward talent and our formidable client portfolio housed in Singapore to create a powerful growth story for Digitas in the ASEAN region. All the while ensuring that we are driving the marketing transformation agenda and delivering seamless customer experiences for our clients across this sub-region.”

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YouTube rolls out new spot on how Aussies are learning from video

VMLY&R has launched a new campaign for YouTube that showcases the stories of three incredible Aussies – Charles Lomu, Macinley Butson and Eddie Woo – who have had a profound impact on their communities, by using YouTube as an educational platform to learn and teach.

“More and more Aussies are coming to YouTube to learn with educational videos generating hundreds of millions of views,” said Head of YouTube Marketing for Australia and New Zealand, Mark Wheeler. “I am always inspired by hearing people’s personal stories about what they have learned on YouTube and then gone on to achieve. In the words of Eddie Woo, “YouTube is democratising education”. We wanted to tell some of these stories to share with Aussies that information is simply a ‘how to’ search away.”

To tell the remarkable stories of Charles, Macinley and Eddie, YouTube turned to VMLY&R and Versus Media. The campaign is comprised of three long form online videos. The stories were built using YouTube’s ‘Unskippable Advertising’ principles, designed over countless advertising experiments to educate story makers and advertisers on how to grab and hold people’s attention in an age where attention is an endangered resource.

VMLY&R joint CEO Aden Hepburn said, “Six-second content is the new normal and there is certainly a war for attention, however audiences still crave long-form content. Winning your audience’s’ attention from the get-go and maintaining it throughout, with a heart-beat story arc, is the key to making engaging content in today’s content saturated marketplace

The videos launched on YouTube on May 8 – see the videos and read more about Charles’, Macinley’s and Eddie’s stories on the Google Australia blog.

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WFA creates a Global Sourcing Board

The World Federation of Advertisers has created a new Global Sourcing Board to accelerate change in marketing procurement by improving practices across the industry. The ambition is to reposition procurement as a driver of company growth rather than a seeker of savings, transforming cultures and approach within sourcing teams as well as perceptions across the wider marketing, finance and agency community.

It has named Tracy Allery, Associate Director, Global Sourcing, Marketing Agencies at Mondelez and Barry Byrne, Senior Global Procurement Director, Sales & Marketing, adidas as co-chairs of the Global Sourcing Board, which will meet four times a year.

The pair will work alongside a panel of experienced marketing procurement leaders from some of the world’s biggest brands. Collectively the new Global Sourcing Board represents companies spending in excess of $50bn on communications each year, giving them the huge power to drive wider change across the profession.

The initiative builds on research carried out by the WFA late last year, which questioned senior marketing procurement executives, most in global roles in 65 of the world’s biggest multi-nationals. The Study found that while 83% of respondents confirmed there was a company mandate in their organisations asking marketers to work closely with procurement, less than a third got involved at budget planning or initiation of requirements in the supplier relationship management process. Ninety-two percent felt that the way their value and performance was perceived internally could be improved.

A key element of the Board’s work will be to champion the WFA’s new Project Spring, which is designed to reshape marketing procurement from being a “cost-killer” function towards acting as a true strategic business partner for stakeholders. Project Spring recognises that while savings targets are not going away, sourcing also needs to deliver on four key pillars:

  • See marketing as an investment, not a cost to be cut;
  • Rethink metrics to move away from cost and towards the value marketing procurement delivers to the company, demonstrating how the disciple can help CMOs achieve their goals;
  • Broaden the services marketing procurement teams offer beyond RFP management, fee and contract negotiations; and
  • To be perceived as champions of growth, not a barrier to progress.

The WFA’s global sourcing community, which meets seven times a year, sees the new board as an opportunity to evolve the current perception of marketing sourcing and its value contribution and is ready to embrace the opportunity to improve the industry as a whole without impacting on the competitive commercial positions of individual member companies.

“We all know that there is frustration, we all know what we want and why we want it, no we need to go and get it. The WFA sourcing board will be a great vehicle to drive change and shape the new face of global marketing procurement. It’s time to make marketing procurement great. The switch from cost to value needs to be massively accelerated, it’s time to revolutionise the category,” said Barry Byrne.

“I’m very honoured and grateful to be co-chair of the WFA Global Sourcing Board with Barry. I look forward to making progress on Project Spring as soon as possible because good work in this space is already underway. The WFA Sourcing Board will help us to formalise the global vision. Our mission is alignment to business priorities and a plan to get there,” said Tracy Allery.

Tracy has held marketing procurement roles for the last two decades. Her experience gained at Mars, Diageo, Hershey and, since 2017, Mondelez covers a wide variety of categories including media, creative, digital/social, sponsorship, licensing, market research, celebrity talent and influencers.

Barry has led global procurement at adidas since February 2018, having previously worked for AB InBev as Global Director, Sports Sponsorships. He has also worked in global procurement roles for SABMiller and Carlsberg and as European Head of Procurement, Indirect for Diageo.

“The launch of the Global Sourcing Board is the first in a series of concrete steps that the WFA, in partnership with its global sourcing community, is taking to accelerate change. Many companies have moved beyond savings and look to understand value in marketing but still with the perception, internally and externally, that they only look for savings,” said Laura Forcetti, Global Marketing Sourcing Manager at WFA. “Tracy and Barry are at the cutting edge of sourcing transformation and their experience will provide fantastic leadership for our new Global Sourcing Board.”

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Sinclair joins agency network Tribe Global and expands reach

Sinclair has joined forces with Tribe Global, the global network of independent communications agencies and business partners, and will be connecting members with the APAC region as the first Asia-born integrated PR agency member. This collaboration is effective 15 May 2019 and will include Sinclair’s hubs in Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Beijing.

Founded in 2012, Tribe Global is comprised of 35 member agencies and business partners located in 49 cities across Europe, North and Latin America, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Each of the members, work together to share expertise and capabilities while maintaining their strategic, creative and fiscal independence.

Sinclair, the multi award-winning PR, digital and experiential agency, was established in 2009 and has a reputation for its creative, integrated approach to communications strategy and it core belief in authentic, localised storytelling. Awarded Greater China PR Consultancy of the Year 2018 by Campaign Asia, the agency works across industry with notable clients in consumer, corporate and government sectors.

International brands and agency clients that are part of Tribe Global can now look forward to an award-wining team of experts to lead their PR, digital and experiential communications strategy in APAC while Sinclair creates the opportunity for their Asian clientele to expand their remit with them into Europe, North and Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa with this new partnership.

Kiri Sinclair, Founder & CEO, Sinclair said, “One tribe, many vibes… this mantra instantly spoke to us as it celebrates the differences and the uniqueness of cultures, people, skills and strengths – values that we at Sinclair also champion. As a member of Tribe Global, working alongside other successful independent agency’s around the world, we are able to offer our clients a wider scope of service and international reach. We look forward to creating new opportunities for our fellow Tribe Global members and their clients in the Greater China and Asia market.”

Ian Wright, Managing Director, Tribe Global said, “I am delighted see Tribe Global expand its reach to Greater China. As an Asia-born independent PR agency, Sinclair knows the China market and can offer our network extensive insights and impactful strategy for this important global market. We look forward to learning, sharing and growing together.”

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Essence bolsters regional leadership team

Essence, a global data and measurement-driven media agency which is part of GroupM, has appointed James Smyllie as VP, Media Planning, APAC and Lee Walsh as VP, Media Activation, APAC. Smyllie and Walsh will be based out of Singapore.

In his role, Smyllie heads up Essence’s integrated media planning offering across APAC. His expertise is in the areas of innovation, change management and client leadership across sectors, including technology, finance, luxury, travel and automotive. With 17 years of media industry experience and a proven track record in developing award-winning strategic media campaigns, Smyllie was previously International Client President at Carat.

Walsh is responsible for leading Essence’s media activation team in APAC, covering programmatic, search, social, as well as reservation media across both online and offline channels. Alongside overseeing media buying and optimisation for all clients in the region, he plays a key role in driving data-led media partnerships and innovation for the agency. With over 18 years of media industry experience, Walsh was most recently Regional Managing Director at NewBase.

“The investments by Essence in people, tools and processes are really very impressive, making it unquestionably the media agency best set up to help clients grow their businesses in the new economy. I am excited to be working with the talented team here,” shared Smyllie.

“Over the last few years, I have watched Essence build a reputation as one of the smartest-thinking agencies in the region. I am delighted to be a part of the team and help Essence continue its growth across APAC,” said Walsh.

“As Essence continues its growth ambitions in APAC, we are thrilled to have James and Lee lead our Media Planning and Media Activation practices, respectively. They are both seasoned leaders, with great depth of expertise in their practices and breadth in their industry experience. James and Lee will be tremendous assets to our agency and our product offering to clients,” said Kunal Guha, Managing Director, Central Asia and Head of Product, APAC.

These additions to Essence’s APAC leadership team further strengthen the agency’s skills and capabilities in line with its product vision and business development plans, as the agency continues its rapid growth across the region.

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