The Reception

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Singapore’s sexist ads

The United Kingdom’s Advertising Standards Authority recently passed a number of new rules barring sexist stereotypes from appearing in campaigns. Although some have criticised the watchdog’s decision as being too politically correct, I would simply argue it is a (long-overdue) recognition of the changing face of Britain’s consumers: non-heteronormative, multicultural and striving for increased gender equality. Now then, Singapore: perhaps it’s time for some similar soul-searching. As a Singaporean, I fail to understand why the advertising that permeates this country fails to address the changing needs and beliefs of the local audience. Let’s take a look at just a few examples to see just how truly relevant these are: Skin-whitening products Yes, this is still a thing. While approximately 25.7 per cent of Singapore’s resident population might be considered to be ‘dark skinned’ based on ethnicity, women still have to deal with advertising promoting the unattractiveness of darker colouring compared to fairer skin.
Gym

Be a great mentor

In today’s competitive global business landscape, it is important for companies to hire and retain the right people in order to exercise great leadership and to be successful in delivering on its brand promise. A poll done by the Harvard Business Review found that one of the top 5 characteristics employees want from their employer is mentorship and coaching. Consequentially, it becomes vital that companies have in place people who are able to provide that mentorship and coaching. Mentoring is a much used and abused word. Becoming a great mentor is by no means a goal or a destination, but a journey that has a starting point and a constantly changing end point. To be effective at different stages of this journey, a mentor needs to keep his or her mind open, constantly add value, help the relationship evolve and play different roles at different stages.
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If not now, when?

Care a little more. Show up. Embrace possibility. Tell the truth. Dive deeper. Seek the truth behind the story. Ask the difficult question. Lend a hand. Dance with fear. Play the long game. Say 'no' to hate. Look for opportunities, especially when it seems like there aren't any left. Risk a bigger dream. Take care of the little guy. Offer a personal insight. Build something magical. Keep your promises. Do work that matters. Expect more. Sign your work. Be generous for no reason. Give the benefit of the doubt. Develop empathy. Make your mom proud. Take responsibility. Give credit. Play by a better set of rules. Choose your customers. Choose your reputation. Choose your future. Thank the ref. Reward patience
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The Receiving End

The reason for boxing gloves seems obvious enough. To protect the person getting hit. Bare knuckles would obviously do more damage, so the person on the receiving end needs protection. That’s common sense. The problem with common sense is it isn’t always right. In fact the real purpose of boxing gloves wasn’t to protect the opponent at all. Quite the opposite. It was to protect the fighter wearing them. Before boxing gloves, bare-knuckle fighters suffered broken hands, specifically the little finger. The head is a hard object for a hand to connect with. That’s why a common injury at hospital A&E departments on Saturday nights is a broken little finger. In a pub everyone’s drunk, a fight breaks out, someone throws a punch and, with no protection for their hand, they break their little finger. Bare-knuckle fighters knew this, so they avoided punching to the head. They’d try to win with blows to the body. Punching away until they broke their opponent’s ribs, or one of them was exhausted.
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Why hire these people?

“Why do you want to work for us?”  It’s received wisdom that a large part of any interview process should consist of exploring why a candidate wants to work for your company – and then rewarding the ones that demonstrate that they really do. The reason being so you can explore just how much the potential candidate really (really) wants the job with you as this should apparently be a great measure of who ‘wants it’ the most.    Before I start to explain this slightly contrary point-of-view I will say that it IS very vital to make sure that candidates share yours and your company’s values. You should make sure that they are inclusive, tolerant, honest and above all, nice people.   Now, it won’t surprise you to hear that we’re not short of candidates who want to come and work here at my agency, O&M. We’re a big, famous, multi-awarded company. We’ve got a diverse and interesting client list of domestic and international brands and have some lovely and talented folks to work with and learn from.

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