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Publicis Communications has appointed a new management team for Australia and New Zealand as the network restructures its local operation.  Michael Rebelo, the CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi Australia and New Zealand, has been appointed as CEO for Publicis Communications ANZ. Rebelo will be tasked with driving transformation for global and local clients across the group, which includes Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett, Publicis Worldwide, BBH, Fallon, Marcel and Arc. Publicis Worldwide CEO Andrew Baxter has been appointed as chairman,...

Internet – and Liz Lemon - favorite Snuggie, the self-proclaimed blanket with sleeves, was the subject of a recent US trade court ruling that found the product should be classified as a blanket for tax purposes – and not as a robe or priestly vestment. That’s according to Bloomberg, which reported the court rejected an argument from the Justice Department that Snuggies are clothing and should therefore be subject to higher import taxes. Bloomberg said the judge found Snuggies don’t have...

Bad news, makers, tailors and seamstresses: Monopoly fans have voted to retire the thimble from the game. There’s a good chance it will be replaced by a more high-tech token like an emoji or a hashtag, but Hasbro said it won’t reveal the thimble’s successor until World Monopoly Day, which is March 19. Mark your calendars. To be fair, there are 63 total token contenders, which also include a dinosaur, a trumpet, a roller skate, a cowboy boot and...

Manchester United have hired former Yahoo and Sony Pictures executive Phil Lynch as their new chief executive of media as the club looks to roll out its international television channel app MUTV. Lynch will be responsible for overseeing United’s digital media strategy which will include the recently launched MUTV app- a subscription based app for the club’s television channel which will offer fans in165 countries the chance to view match broadcasts. He will also manage the creation and editorial...

Manchester United have hired former Yahoo and Sony Pictures executive Phil Lynch as their new chief executive of media as the club looks to roll out its international television channel app MUTV. Lynch will be responsible for overseeing United’s digital media strategy which will include the recently launched MUTV app- a subscription based app for the club’s television channel which will offer fans in165 countries the chance to view match broadcasts. He will also manage the creation and editorial...

Agency bid-rigging has underlined the friction that exists in the agency and production landscape. It’s a story that first broke at the end of last year, and the bid-rigging production scandal, first exposed in the Wall Street Journal, keeps gathering pace. What started with an investigation by the US Department of Justice into agencies requesting that independent production companies inflate their prices to ensure their in-house team won the work, has resulted in leading independent production companies...

Trinity Mirror has rolled out an ad-free subscription service for the Mirror in a bid to keep an “ongoing dialogue” with its readers and try out different business models. For £2.99 a month, users are able to access the Mirror’s website without seeing any banner ads, pop-ups or video ads. While messaging to promote the service is shown every 10 articles and to people with and without ad blockers enabled, it seems a clear attempt to get...

FCM Travel Solutions, a travel management company headquartered in Brisbane, have launched an AI pocket travel assistant set to make waves at the Business Travel Show 2017 in London this week, thanks to assistance from design and branding agency Underscore. The chatbot was created to to offer corporate travellers a seamless end-to-end experience via a conversational interface to answer questions, anticipate needs, make recommendations and perform actions. As a highly interactive and travel-savvy creation, Sam:] – the 'Smart Assistance for...

Soundtrack Your Brand, a company that wants to bring music streaming to businesses, has closed a $22m funding round to ramp up global expansion. The funding round was led by first-time investors Nordic VC fund Industrifonden and Balderton Capital, as well as previous investors such as Telia Company, Northzone, Creandum, and HMP. Background music should be a key element of a brand’s in-store identity, according to the Spotify-backed Swedish startup. “Background music today is sold as a utility,...

NASCAR and DeskSite have launched NASCAR DeskSite, an app that brings HD video content to viewers. The DeskSite will have content such as “interviews with drivers and pit crews, race highlights, breaking news, behind the scenes coverage and more,” according to NASCAR. “NASCAR.com represents a massive portal through which millions of fans engage with our sport,” said Colin Smith, vice president, NASCAR Digital Media, in a statement. “Now, thanks to NASCAR DeskSite’s automatic updates and offline viewing features, our...