Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Discovery Networks agrees to product placement deal with Kärcher

Published on May 18, 2011 by David Castillo

Discovery Networks has agreed to a product placement deal with Kärcher products for the show “Tommy’s Fix It Yourself.”

The deal is part of a 12-month sponsorship deal with the network’s home and property programs across different channels, including Real Time, Travel&Living, and DMAX.

The arrangement was brokered by Discovery Networks UK, Kärcher UK, ZenithOptimedia, and Hurrell Moseley Dawson & Grimmer. It is accompanied by a microsite dedicated to home improvement.

“The partnership with the Discovery Channel is a very important part of our current plans and reflects the wide appeal of our DIY products,” said Mark Penrose, the sales and marketing director of Kärcher UK. “In working with HMDG and their partners we have found another great opportunity to get our message out to an audience of DIY lovers, and in the process be part of some fantastic pioneering product placement technology.”

read full article at PPN:

Press-ing the flesh and cutting the rope

8 February 2012 by Greg Grimmer

Greg Grimmer on his grim night at the ANNAs; a far happier print experience with the excellent commercial team from the Guardian; and why there is so much love and affection for the newspaper sector...

Over the last week or so I have had two deep immersions into the modern world of newspapers. Well when I say modern what I really mean is contemporary.

The first was a terrible night at the ANNAs - the Newspaper Marketing Association's annual bash, celebrating creativity in newspaper advertising.

The ANNAs are famous in the creative agency world for the largesse of their prize fund. £65,000 (Yes - SIXTY FIVE GRAND) is given away to aspiring copy-writers and media planners alike. However, despite this (and the copious amounts of champagne in a salubrious venue) the event this year seemed incredibly low rent.

The comedy highlight wasn't the expensively hired Alexander Armstrong but was watching the winning creative and media 'teams' struggle on to the stage - complete with duffel coats and shopping bags to introduce themselves to each other. (Are there any two individuals less heterogeneous in our disparate industry than a junior copy-writer and press buyer?). At this point they were handed lottery winner-style giant cheques and asked to grin sheepishly at the camera before before disappearing into the night with their ill-gotten gains.

The new CEO of the NMA Rufus Olins had a face like thunder throughout the evening. His mood can only have worsened when the always hard to please Dominic Carter (one of the few senior sales people present) accosted him on the general lacklustre nature of the whole event.

The lack of senior sales people (and agency trading heads) present at their own party tells its own story. Apart from Dominic, I saw the omnipresent Andy Mullins from the Standard - but the lack of attendance from others spoke volumes and was noted by those I spoke with. Altogether a grim evening for Grimmer.

So, onto my second (and far happier) print experience - an enjoyable engrossment with the excellent commercial team from the Guardian and a number of venerable constituents from the higher echelons of the agency trading groups.

It was with this congregation that I starting regaling the tale of the ANNAs and, as I expected, was met with similar tales of both disappointing events and extravagant but misplaced marketing pieces emanating from the NMA over the last decade.

Everyone had a story of something they liked from Thinkbox, a great piece of research done by the RAB, or good words about the general evangelical zeal of the IAB - but no-one seemed to have a defence for the NMA.

But then something unusual (for such a cynical audience) happened... there was an out-pouring of love and affection for the newspaper sector that I haven't seen since Guy Zitter was last issuing invites to Badrutt's Palace.

Both print and digital trading heads were in unison that the job of the NMA should in fact be very easy as it represents some of the most powerful and influential media brands on the planet.

I, your correspondent, then reminded the enraptured throng that the Guardian print version at the height of its powers sold under 600,000 copies, whereas the online version of 'the world's largest source of liberal news' reaches over 30 million. Another NMA member (and funder) the Daily Mail recently over took the New York Times to become the biggest newspaper brand on the planet. The Times shattered predictions of financial Armageddon by successfully implementing a strong paywall for their edited content. All fantastic stories that have been told with minimal volume.

The majority of the big newspaper groups have flourishing online / tablet / mobile revenue streams but you would be hard-pushed to find these stories. Free papers are booming and are as reliant on an ad-funded model as Facebook and Google, but this, it appears, isn't as big a story.

The majority of newspaper groups also contribute to the PWC / IAB advertising forecasts, which are then used by the IAB to talk about internet advertising being bigger than print, television, the GDP of the USA and Mount Everest combined. Surely this is something the groups themselves or the NMA should address.

The Leveson inquiry, which has been covered by far more qualified scribes than myself again, shows the strength of the sector in the national psyche. However, it appears that journalists are seemingly obsessed with biting the hand that feeds them.

Peter Buchanan joins HMDG as consultant

By Sara Kimberley,, Thursday, 26 January 2012 04:36PM

The COI's former deputy chief executive, Peter Buchanan, has joined HMDG as a consulting director.

Buchanan will work the agency on an exclusive basis, working closely alongside HMDG partner Nick Hurrell and marketing director, Lisa Rokny.

He will be advising HMDG on marketing strategy, pitch and procurement best practice, plus wider industry developments in relation to integrated creative and marketing services.

Buchanan retired from the COI last year. During his 16-year tenure in the government department, he was involved in more than 150 pitches from the UK's top agencies, resulting in many multiple-award-winning campaigns such as Tobacco Education, Army Recruitment and Police Recruitment.

He also championed best practice in agency selection, intelligent procurement and industry leading evaluation.

Buchanan said: "I have worked with Nick for many years, starting at Saatchi & Saatchi. HMDG has exciting plans for business development and I will be working with some of the most experienced and talented individuals in the industry."

Follow Sara Kimberley on Twitter @SaraKimberley

This article was first published on

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Electricity overtakes paper to be biggest benefactor of ad spend

In his wide-ranging opening article of 2012, the talentedGreg Grimmer manages to squeeze in the Pope, Fenton the dog, several energy companies, the Olympics, Lindsey Clay and a bit of grumpy old man...

Great news for npower and EDF this week as the plethora of advertising forecasts prevalent at this time of year all predict that media powered by electricity will be the key benefactors of the increases in total advertising expenditure in 2012. In other news, shares of battery-makers soared as battery powered devices continued their rise in popularity.

Apologies to all for my flippant start to the first column of 2012, but I - like most of you, I would guess - am bored senseless by the constant barrage of 'digital' media companies telling us that more advertising money will be spent on digital this year than last. No shit Sherlock - and the Pope will be crapping in the woods again this year.

The fact that I have been galvanised to pick on this subject matter so early in the New Year is not only due to the obfuscation of the real data when it comes to the release of ad forecasts but also the fact that the overwhelming amount of column inches (will this imperial phrase ever die?) devoted to the rise of digital can mislead the casual reader.

I recently met a multi-millionaire internet entrepreneur, who, on finding out that I worked in advertising, immediately started telling me with a huge amount of confidence how fucked ITV was.

When I pointed out that total TV advertising had increased in 2011, he looked at me as if I was a stupid village idiot, living in a stupid village without super-fast broadband, in a stupid pre-internet world.

On further investigation he turned out to be an IT/software entrepreneur and not an advertising/marketing services entrepreneur... this of course makes him far cleverer than any of us but also makes him about as relevant to comment on the state of the advertising industry as my friends at EDF and npower.

Contrary to this experience, I am often accused of being a propagandist for the digital economy - in no small part due to the fact that as both a columnist and a media practitioner you are called upon by interested parties (whether they are readers or clients) to talk about The New, The Fresh, The Anomalous.

No-one wants to sit in a meeting and talk about newspaper circulation trends (especially newspaper executives) or television share revenue but it seems everyone will spare time for the latest update on social media trends. Even this morning I have seen a questionnaire from my accountants on the subject, asking me why I don't interact with them more on social media channels. Have a guess guys - #life'stooshort!

However, despite both being required to and enjoying all things social, digital, 2.0 and the like, I will make a plea for all of us this year - not to over-hype the next big thing. Contrary to anything you might read over the next seven months, the London Olympics will not be the first Twitter/YouTube/Badoo Olympics - it will be the XXX Olympics with real physical activity by athletes, watched by potentially more real people at venues than ever before. The fact that they will universally have the ability to photograph, film and comment about the event is merely a side show.

We all have the duty of care to not exaggerate or indeed use our offspring to forecast future media trends (my media consumption aged 18 was almost exclusively based around reading night club and gig 'flyers' ) - I am sure today's teenagers will mature past exclusively BBMing their coterie.

I saw a very apposite tweet over the festive period by Graeme Wood, social media guru at Aegis, who tweeted about linear TV viewing: "The more research I see about DVRs and time-shifted viewing, the more I realise how utterly abnormal I, my family, and everyone I know is."

Very true my friend, very true. The much heralded 'second screen phenomenon' shows the continued weight and power of linear TV, although in regard to DVR viewing, Lindsey Clay's Thinkbox team might argue that you are looking at the wrong research. Whether it be theOlympics, The X Factor or Big Brother, we are still watching TV pretty much like we always have done.

The old adage of yesterday's newspapers being today's fish and chip paper may be outdated due to some health and safety regulations regarding packaging of fast food but the sentiment is as veracious today as always.

Perhaps we need an updated simile for the social media generation...

  • As stale as yesterday's status update?
  • As tedious as an hour old tweet?
  • As soporific as a previously shared video?

Which reminds me, did you know I was there with Fenton in Richmond Park? Oh Jesus Christ I've fallen into my own trap...

Read Greg's full article at MediaTel-

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Our must-reads... and the list goes on...

Sally in our office loves Wuthering Heights.
Hayley says it's A Book of Matches.
Sarah K's favourite is Life of Pi.
Jen shows her dark side with A Clockwork Orange.
Gaby went for Michael McIntyre's autobiography.
Sarah A adores Perfume.
Rebecca smiles every time she thinks of The Water Babies and is forever haunted by First They Killed My Father.
Kate eyes lit up when she talked about A Thousand Splendid Suns.
Jenny devoured The Catcher in the Rye.
Moluk was sad when she finished The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Lisa's imagination was captured by The DaVinci Code.
Claire cried over If This is a Man.

HMDG girls' favourite magazine The Stylist has a sister site, which has produced a list of the 20 Books You Must Read. Favourites like To Kill a Mockingbird are featured, along with a few surprises. Sign up to emeraldstreet to receive the list, or choose one from our own favourites.

The church next door often has second hand book sales too, for those who love a bargain.

The art world's smallest canvas

You may never have considered your fingertips much. Clean, hopefully, trimmed, perhaps polished or painted occasionally. That may be about to change..

This September, Nailphilia is showcasing an exhibition which looks at the fingertips as a habitat for art. Stunning, thought-provoking and outlandish designs are displayed at's execution room on Vyner St in Hackney... well worth a look.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Free events at More London

More London's free summer events at The Scoop are well worth checking out. There's early-morning bootcamp for the hardy, theatre for the thesps and films for popcorn-lovers. Particularly of note though is the excellent exhibition 'Rites of Life' - an outdoor photographic display which examines worldwide ceremonies and events that mark the transition from one life stage to another.

Listings are found here: