L'Oreal Hong Kong media director Venus Lai is making the move to agency land, joining ZenithOptimedia as Hong Kong managing director.

Lai replaces Florence Wong, who left to join New Media Group as digital chief of sales and marketing last month. Prior to working at L'Oreal, Lai had worked at ZenithOptimedia Hong Kong for about a decade as business director.

It is understood she will join at media agency in March.

The jewels on the mobile marketing crowns at this year's Mob-Ex go to PCCW Media and MEC Hong Kong.

PCCW Media takes home three golds, three silvers and three bronzes, earning it the prestigious The Mob-Ex Best of Show 2015 - Brand award.


They include awards recognising the best user experience and best apps in social, creative design, branded content, media owner and lifestyle and entertainment categories.

The company's now.com and MOOV teams also won the silver and bronze Mobile Team - In-house awards respectively.

See the full winner list here .

"We are doing more and more social media.  For mobile, it's not enough for one-directional content production because what the content a company can create is limited.  That's why user-generated content is so important to us," Lenny Lee, marketing manager at PCCW New Media, who does marketing for now.com and MOOV.

"Working in new media is about repeatedly trying, being successful sometimes and failing at others but we want to show that we are a company that is willing to try new things."

Starting with the organisation with the highest number of points, runners-up to this award for solution providers include DBS, MTR, RTHK and Unilever.

Meanwhile, on the agency front, the coveted The Mob-Ex Best of Show 2015 - Solution Provider title goes to MEC Hong Kong, who bagged two golds, one silver and two bronzes.


Among these award categories are Best Use of Small Budget, Best Launch via Mobile, Most Innovative Use of Mobile, Best Location-based esb电竞数据投注电脑版 and Best Original Content.

Antony Yiu, head of search and performance Asia Pacific at MEC Hong Kong, said, "Mobile is not just about media buying for us.  It's far more interactive than desktop and people spend more time on it than PC."

"That's why it's important to think of interactive campaigns rather than just display banners to ensure that you make an impression in the long run."

Meanwhile, Doris Kuok, managing director at MEC Hong Kong, said, "You have to use mobile smartly to create engagement through the use of mobile.

"I predict m-commerce to be a key trend that will remain hot in the mobile world."

Other agencies with a lion's share of the awards include Pixo Punch, New Media Group and Social Stand.

Over 340 people attended tonight's Mob-Ex Hong Kong Awards gala dinner at Hotel ICON.

Television broadcaster TVB has sold 53% of its shares in its production company Liann Yee in Taiwan, which operates Taiwanese cable TV channels TVBS, TVBS News and TVBS Entertainment, for over HK$1.1 billion.

This was done by selling shares held by TVB wholly owned subsidiaries TVB Investment Limited (47%) and Countless Entertainment (6%) to three investment companies.

After the sale, TVB will own only 47% of shares of Liann Yee, which will no longer operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of TVB.

Most of us know that Facebook has over 4 million users in Hong Kong, but rarely do we know the behavior of these people. Facebook's Ad Manager not only is a place where we can promote Facebook content, but also a tool to understand Hong Kong user profile of the social media giant.

The gender distribution of local Facebook users is quite even: two million males vs 2.4 million females, but there are 4.6 million Hong Kong Facebook users (aged from 13 to 65) in total.

Of the 4.6 million population, near 3 million are Traditional Chinese users; over 1 million are English; while only 460,000 are using Simplified Chinese. However, when I read the numbers I recorded in 2013, the percentage of Traditional Chinese users has been shrinking; while the Simplified Chinese users doubled.


When it comes to the mobile war, Android enjoys a larger share than iOS. This situation is shared by some of our neighbor markets like Taiwan and Singapore.


From Facebook's record, approximately 1.9 million Hong Kong users are primarily on 4G; while a similar proportion (over 1.8 millions) are on 3G.


What browsers are Hong Kong Facebookers using? Chrome accounts for nearly 2 million; while Safari over 1.4 million. Other browsers are summing up an insignificant share.

The most interesting number I read from Facebook Ad Manager is the proportion of Facebook Page Admin. Of the 4.6 million Hong Kong users, there are 620,000 administering at least one Facebook Page, which represents a 13.5%. Are you one of them?

Jansen Lu is director, social business strategy at GroupM.

Free TV channel TVB Pearl has announced a new deal to broadcast The Oscars live for four consecutive years, starting this year.

The Academy Awards 2015 will be held in Los Angeles on 23 February Hong Kong time.

SK Cheong, executive director and GM at TVB, said, “This year, we will send film crews and the experienced host Janis Chan to the US to do live reporting at the Oscars."

Last year's sponsor Puyi Optical will be sponsoring TVB Pearl's live broadcast of the Oscars once again.

Google has announced its Year in Search results for 2014 specific to Hong Kong.

Top trending searches overall

HKTV comes first as the top trending keyword overall, followed by iPhone 6, World Cup and Malaysia Airlines.



Top trending searches on mobile

When it comes to Googling on mobile, the keywords that make it to the top differ slightly from the overall top searches, with Korean celebrities and TV shows taking up four out of 10 spots.



Local topics and people in Hong Kong

Meanwhile, keywords related to Occupy Central dominate the list of trending local topics and people in Hong Kong with Alex Chow in the lead for the latter.



Global events and international topics

Sports events resonate with Hongkongers and take up six spots in the top ten trending global events this year.  The viral Ice Bucket Challenge comes second only to the World Cup in the same list but finishes in third in the list of top trending international topics.




To nobody's surprise, iPhone 6 tops the charts for top trending gadgets, followed by LG G3.  Xiaomi's Redmi, Mi 3 and Redmi Note also made it to the top ten.  Apart from iPad Air 2 and Moto G, all other phones in the list are smartphones.



eCommerce platforms on mobile search

GMarket comes first among top trending online shopping platforms searched on mobile, followed by Taobao.



Travel brands and destination information on mobile search

HK Express comes out on top among top trending travel brands searched on mobile while the top trending travel destinations are Taiwan, Osaka and Japan.


SCMP has rejected a claim that politics played a role in its decision to increase the price of an advertisement which called for more scrutiny over Hong Kong police's handling of the Occupy protests.

A group of Diocesan Boys' School and Diocesan Girls' School students planned to place the ad in the  South China Morning Post  on Saturday, calling for "scrutiny" on "police brutality", but faced a last-minute price increase - which reportedly jumped from from HK$45,000 to HK$147,000.

Chinese version:

The group originally planned to place the ad on HKEJ and SCMP , but decided to switch the ad from SCMP to Ming Pao  because of increase.

One of the initiators, Andrew Chan, took to social media to call for awareness on the issue with a post on Facebook titled: “Shame on South China Morning Post for playing dirty political censorship tricks”.

He wrote that after the alumni group signed the SCMP contract, the publisher raised the price from the agreed HK$45k to HK$147k half an hour before submission deadline.

South China Morning Post spokesperson confirmed to  esb电竞数据投注电脑版 that the price issue was regrettable and could have been handled better.

The spokesperson added the ad was initially considered an education-related advertisement, which is cheaper than other general types of advertisement on SCMP.

"This was an internal error and the client was duly informed. The price of the announcement was then adjusted to align with the price of a notice placement, in line with prevailing practice regardless of the content of the advertisement, or the advertiser."

SCMP stressed that politics was not a factor in the issue.

"It should be noted that the SCMP has been ceaselessly reporting the Occupy Central and Umbrella Movement. Our coverage was cited and referenced by a number of international media."

SCMP version that was not published:

Diocesan Boys' School Occupy Central ad

The zombie-themed Run For Your Lives Hong Kong obstacle course and music festival, scheduled for 2 October at the West Kowloon Cultural District, is heading for a showdown with Facebook users.

The event's Facebook page has been bombarded by a string of comments asking the organisers, the Singapore-based sports entertainment agency Action X, to postpone the event due to the Occupy Central protests.

But organisers have yet to address concerns about the event from Facebook users and instead opted to post oddly timed messages and competition incentives from sponsors.

A Facebook post by the organisers counting down three days to the event received 155 comments, many of which said it was bad timing and asked for the event to be postponed.

Facebook user Kyros Ho yesterday responded with a photograph of riot police in gas masks at the Occupy Central protests on Sunday with the oneliner: "The zombies invaded yesterday."


Commenting on the same post, Facebook user Ming Wong said "If the National Day fireworks can be canceled due to the Occupy Central protests, then why not postpone the event?"

Another post that garnered a plethora of comments was part of a Facebook Q&A contest sponsored by Microsoft, the organisers have asked users to submit a 150-word English or 100-character Chinese submission about how they would use the technology giant's Surface Pro 3 to help it escape from zombies.

The winners with the most creative, humorous and ingenuous submission received by 5 October would get a chance to win the tablet.

The post with the rules of the Q&A contest received over 40 comments, many of which again asked the organisers to postpone the event.

Here's Facebook user Kay Tsewingki's response: "Barrier one: police baton, barrier two: pepper spray, barrier three: tear gas. The ultimate barrier: the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Meanwhile, Facebook user Katie Ling replied, "We are running for our lives already."

An open letter was posted as a comment to the social media contest post by Facebook user Chi Wai who said the reasons for requesting the postponement of the event was because Hongkongers are not in the mood to join the event, they have a more terrible enemy to escape from apart from zombies and that the atmosphere is too "sensitive" for holding a fun event.

On the other hand, Facebook user Ted Lam argued, "The registration period is already all done. Just three days before the event, it's bad enough to tell the organisers that it's 'bad timing' and now you are asking them to go back to square one?"

Other Facebook users spoke with the voice of reason and questioned the ability of the organisers to forsee or to deal with the situation from a business standpoint.

Facebook user Yu Tik commented on the countdown post with: "The dates of Occupy Central have been set early on.  Why didn't they consider that carefully before setting the date for the event and only think of postponing it now?"

To which user Terrance Kwok responded: "Sorry, I am a Hongkonger but I really did not know that Occupy Central was set in stone."

Meanwhile, commenting on the Q&A contest post, Facebook user David Ko, also co-founder and managing director of PR agency Daylight Partnership, said, "I am not one of the organisers but I am guessing that a lot of money has already been paid, such as to rent the venue and for setting it up so postponing will definitely be impossible. Or if it is postponed, there will be no refund."

"Why not let those who want to run, participate, and those who want to Occupy Central to continue occupying?  Everyone has the freedom to do as they see fit and this is exactly the kind of social rights that we want to defend for Hong Kong."

Daylight Partnership is a sponsorship partner for the Run For Your Lives Hong Kong event.

An Action X representative told esb电竞数据投注电脑版 that the organisers have not yet responded to requests to postpone the event on Facebook because they are still in negotiations with the owner of the venue, the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority.

"We understand Hongkongers' feelings for Occupy Central and we support Hongkongers standing up for what they believe in," the representative said.

"We have the intention to postpone the event and are exploring the opportunity to postpone it. However, it is a venue-specific event and we are still talking to West Kowloon about what we can do and to push for postponing it."

But she adds that the organisers cannot cancel the event.

"We definitely can't cancel the event because so much effort has been put into it and we hope participants can understand that."

The South China Morning Post has removed its paywall for news and information about the student-led protests that have rocked the city.

The paper announced yesterday (28 September) that access to all breaking news on the protests would be free.

"Tune in to SCMP for the latest breaking news on the protests, with UNLIMITED ACCESS to Occupy Central articles".

Access to scmp.com since the protests started has been inconsistent, with this message appearing on a regular basis, but the SCMP said it was largely due to high traffic.

"Due to increasing high traffic to scmp.com from local, regional and international markets, the website has experienced sporadic interruptions. We are re-calibrating resources to cater for continuous high traffic."

SCMP down

The protests have also seen local newspaper Apple Daily operate a live broadcast operation from a special Occupy Central website http://occupycentral.appledaily.com/home.

Apple Daily Occupy

30/9/2014: Updated with comments from SCMP.

Google will kick-start its 12-day digital marketing programme Squared in Hong Kong on 20 October.

Squared, a free digital education aimed at nurturing rising digital talent, was created in London last year was launched in Singapore, New York and Hamburg earlier this year. Four major programmes are organised every year in the UK.

The first Squared programme in Hong Kong will be attended by 25 digital marketers from 25 agencies across advertising, marketing and media buy industries as well as brands, with one from each company. Each marketer was nominated by his or her senior managers at their respective company.

Participating brands include Unilever, Nestle, L’Oreal, Johnson and Johnson, and Sony.

Meanwhile, among the participating agencies are Carat, Mindshare, JWT, iProspect and Ogilvy & Mather.

"The course will not just be about Google - it will be rooted in industry needs," Sarah Tate, head of Squared Hong Kong at Google, said.

Tate and other local industry experts will teach the course, which will cover digital skills, big-picture trends and communication skills for clients and for colleagues to help instill change in the marketers' companies after the course finishes.

Staff will take part in three live projects - a live brand launch, analysis of a live set of data and an online technology start-up pitch.

Starcom Margaret Ho

"The pace of growth in digital marketing is faster than that of digital talent in Hong Kong," Margaret Ho, deputy general manager at Starcom Hong Kong, said.

"Existing digital marketers do not have enough knowledge to back up a proposed campaign or the rationale behind it for the client or to evaluate if a campaign is effective. There is no complete training on this."

Starcom Hong Kong is another agency taking part in the inaugural Squared programme.

Ho said, "We also need something to give Hong Kong talent a boost - otherwise, local digital marketers will be left behind and foreigners will take up those positions in Hong Kong. We are already recruiting digital talent from overseas and if this continues, there will be fewer and fewer opportunities for Hong Kong digital marketers."

While there is an extremely high mobile penetration rate in Hong Kong, genuinely creative mobile campaigns are relatively rare.

"Mobile is a daily touch point for the consumer so everyone wants to jump on this bandwagon. We know the opportunity is there but the insights around mobile marketing are still very scattered. As an industry, we haven't been able to gather together all the pieces of the puzzle and developed a sophisticated understanding," Ho said.

Examples of an incomplete understanding of mobile marketing include knowledge of how to find the right platform and use the right benchmarks for measuring ROI.

Another reason for going for training outside of the agency is to help retain digital talent.

"Digital marketers ask agencies to offer training in digital that is different from the on-the-job training common in the agency world because things move so quickly. Plus, internal training only focuses on internal resources," Ho said.

"Finding talent has been very difficult in the past two years. Fresh graduates working in the industry for just a year may move to another company because they receive a better offer. Meanwhile, we are always looking for experienced people to help us handle local campaigns."

For the course, apart from the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, Google will work with educational organisation Impact International.


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