Walker Media knows how to host an excellent party and last week's bash, where the agency took a tent at the House Festival at London's Chiswick House, was no exception. More than 300 agency staff, clients, media owners and hangers-on (ie. Campaign journalists) enjoyed the sun, music and copious amounts of food and drink. It was good to see an agency embracing not only its clients but media owners too and its Facebook picture gallery is worth checking out for those who attended.
Sky's 3D darts launch
It's fair to say we're not entirely convinced of the merits of 3D TV but Sky's announcement this week that it is to screen darts in 3D has changed all that. Starting with the StanJames.com World Matchplay tournament in Blackpool, viewers will now be able to see the tungsten arrows launched by the likes of Phil Taylor zoom towards them in 3D. Sky's Sid Waddell was characteristically excited by the launch: "For years I've described our coverage as resembling a rock 'n' roll concert on your telly. Now it's going to resemble a rock 'n' roll concert in your pub. I can't wait."
Facebook's child safety initiative
Facebook has come under fire for not doing enough to protect young people's privacy and safety online, so it was good news to see that this week it launched a new initiative alongside the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre. Young users of Facebook will now be able to directly access advice from the CEOP centre and click on a "panic button" allowing them to report suspected grooming or inappropriate sexual behaviour. This should reassure advertisers concerned about this issue.
Samsung's activity in Sport magazine
We enjoy our weekly Sport magazine and last week's edition, which came complete with a takeover of 15 pages of advertising by Samsung (to support the launch of its new phone), looked pretty impressive. Well done to Samsung's agency, Starcom, for concluding the deal with Sport's advertising team and there were some nice finishing touches such as distributors wearing Samsung branded clothing.
AND ONE THING WE DON'T ...
The latest Bellwether findings
The industry suffered a setback with the unveiling of second-quarter figures from the IPA/BDO Bellwether Report that reveal a 4.6 per cent decline in marketing budgets. This contrasts with a 4.5 per cent rise in the first quarter and suggests that the economic problems surrounding the market have by no means eased. The IPA is still predicting growth for 2010, albeit at a lower level than expected. Let's hope the outlook for the second half of the year improves significantly.