Banner Blog: Where banners click
We're looking for a sponsor or advertisers
AboutIndustry NewsSubmitArchives and RSSSubscribeContactFollow us on TwitterJoin us on Facebook
View the complete news archive here

April 13, 2009

The $14.7M charity website


I found it interesting that on the same day I read this post about digital agencies going low-fi and steering away from the "million dollar websites" is the same day I read about the Starlight Foundation spending $14.7M on a social platform for sick kids called Livewire.

This includes $7.2M donated by the government. The rest was raised by other means. Oh and they will be looking for more money once this initial funding runs out at the end of 2009.

I know I'm late to the game as this issue is a month old but it's still not resolved.

There is a great interview with Omar Kalifa, Managing Director, and Cinnamon Pollard, Partnership and Marketing Manager, of Livewire in which they are asked about the cost involved. Listen here.


They do explain the costs are also involved in setting up a wireless network and computers for kids in hospitals and the fact it's actually 3 websites in one, kids, teens and adults. But this still does not justify the huge cost that is only until end of 2009.

They explain they have a few paid chat hosts that monitor the chats 24 hrs a day and had to design special tables for laptops. They mention "the majority of the money is not spent on the website, it's for doing research, maintaining computers, generating content etc etc" Seems like all part of the website even if it's not "the technology".

I also cannot see the "games" they refer to in this podcast. In fact the site looks barren and doesn't seem like fun site for kids.

The CMS was developed by LoungeTech which is the same people behind Life Lounge. The same people behind The Vine which Cinnamon Pollard was part of the roll out. That explains the way this project was tendered.

I'm not sure how much each element costs (CMS, Live chat, research, monoriting) but the guys at Life Lounge would have come out with a pretty $ figure. This is better than having Bigpond on the books.


I also tried to view some content like the first video from celeb Youtube blogger Natalie. Check the page that teases the content here.

But you can't see the video unless you login. Sorry kids you'll have to wait until you are approved before seeing anything.

You can read more about this here and Nathan breaks down how this (even with crazy spending) would have cost just over $1M to produce and probably would have been better and cheaper to run.

Also check the letter to Senetor Conroy asking WTF!

Someone is getting an easy ride on this project and with Starlight asking for more money when they obviously have been wasting the money they already have.

I hope the issue is raised further than these few blog posts and that the charity is held accountable for this use (misuse) of funds. This kind of thing might have been OK in 1998 during the bubble but in 2009 it's a complete shambles.

What makes this worse is not the amazing amount of money that has been spent on the project it's how bad the actual site is. It looks barren, boring and there is nothing there that kids won't already get elsewhere online.

I only wish I had more power to influence issues like this and wonder where the oversight for our Government is?

March 24, 2009

Mashable's Future of Online Ads is Huge


Check the full Mashable article here.

Interesting that they haven't sighted Myspace's earlier attempts as the site has been doing this for a while. The Dark Knight was even there for the relanch of Myspace's new look and feel homepage. Which was designed for advertising in mind. (oh and the user)

I know as an agency we love these formats as they have huge impact. 468x60 is too small. 728x90 is not a great format. Where as these are huge and they have impact. Portal love them too as it makes them a lot of money and they show off to other brands what is possible.

March 23, 2009

Bob Isherwood's Presentation


You know when you had to visit your grandparents and you'd always say "but do I have to"? Well why is it that people pack to see a grandfather of adland in droves?

Here was the write up from his Melbourne talk which we are told was the same as the Dubai one. It sounds great.

"The advertising guru will share his personal tips on unlocking the secrets to success – what he calls the three elements you need to know to do great work.

The three keys are not what you might imagine – but they will certainly make you think. "

But after checking recent reports from the talk it's a different story.

Isherwood labours the point at Lynx : Middle East Campaign

The bizarre Dr Bob baffles Melbourne adland: Crikey

Stan from BrandDNA

At least he didn't pull a David Carson and just not show up :)

Why go to this length to hammer a point home that even after 60 minutes seems to have been lost on the crowd as a whole. I did not witness either talk but if the opportunity arises I will certainly pass. I have seen too many misguided, self indulgent and boring talks to not sit through another one.

Bob please use your power for good not evil. With so much experience a simple Q&A session would have been more beneficial.

Bob either seems to have dropped right off the deep end of the genus into crazy town or actually is a genius making a big joke of everyone who sat through his recent talks and our feeble minds can't comprehend what was special.

February 28, 2009

Agencies of the Year 2008


Adnews have announced the Agency of the Year for 2009. See full winners list.

Amnesia Razorfish one for the 3rd time in a row. Which must be some kind of record.

Winner: Amnesia Razorfish
- Deepend Sydney
- Soap
- Tribal DDB (Syd/Melb)

Mumbrella talks about the 3 agencies that have won Agency of the Year for the 3 major awards in Australia.

We have the same in Interactive with Host, Colenso BBDO and Amnesia all winning similar titles.

Colenso BBDO won B&T's Interactive Agency of the Year 2008 but didn't make the finals for Adnews. BMF which was "highly commended for B&T didn't make the finals too. Just Host and Soap were featured on both. Host also picked up the Creative Hotshop award.

Different judges and different judging criteria seem to make a big difference.

February 17, 2009

ASX Watch 6: Early 2009 Edition


Mumbrella's post on Hyro and Blue Freeway (after my tweet about their share price) triggered my memory that I haven't done an ASX update since October 2008!

How is 2009 treating the listed digital stocks? Has the downturn in traditional while digital gets all the cash predictions come true?

Let's take a look at where the Australian stocks were in Oct 17th, 2008.
HYO: Hyro: $0.022
BLU: Blue Freeway: $0.060
CQU: Commquest: $0.09
QXQ: Q Limited: $0.009
MCU: Mitchell Communication Group: $0.425
And where are they as of Feb 17, 2009

SGN: STW COMMUNICATIONS: $0.57 | ($0.32)
HYO: Hyro: $0.016 | ($0.006)
BLU: Blue Freeway: $0.015 | ($0.045)
CQU: Commquest: $0.040 | ($0.05)
QXQ: Q Limited: $0.20 | $0.191
MCU: Mitchell Communication Group: $0.38 | ($0.045)

Hold the phone! Did Q Limited turn themselves around from less than a cent to 20 whopping cents!?

I'm no expert but I read they consolidated the shares to a ratio of 100:1 in late 2008. To make it less volitile in the market. Which means it went from 0.009 to 0.90 and then down to 20c. Let's leave this one to the day traders to let me know what happened.

As a request I have added the following which are not 100% digital but listed anyway. We'll track these from any new reports.

PGA: Photon Group: $1.08
WLL: Wellcom Group: $1.55

Wellcom and Photon don't seem to fit the trend as they are actually making a profit! Crazy I know. Even with this their share prices have been battered by the downturn.

The big surprise was BlueFreeway which is now trading less than Hyro. That's after floating at $1+ and then rocketing higher early on. The recent sale of Deepend back to the owners seemed like a prediction. Besides Holler UK/AU and Massmedia's Traction accounts there isn't much meat in that sandwhich anymore.

Sadly you can't hold these companies accountable as the market average has followed their trend. Everyone "took it in the ass" last year. Check the image below in which I channeled Idris Khan to create what I have titled "". Limited edition prints.


November 08 was a tough month for everyone it seems.

While some of these companies are being dragged down by the global economic downturn (they run profitable businesses and have a steady financial position) while others continue to post losses and don't seem to have many answers for 2009 either. You have to think 2009 will be the year the weak have to die.

Will 2009 be a turn around year or the big year for digital that everyone seems to be publishing? All I know is that it is interesting viewing.

Previous Page Next Page