16 headlines you may have missed during the Christmas break

Happy New Year, readers! 

Depending on when you took holidays over the last few weeks, or otherwise were not paying close attention to the news, it’s important that you read up about the important news for brands and marketers that happened over the festive season to avoid failing any tests. 


  1. CES, the world’s biggest consumer tech show, took place, with new announcements about connected cars and fridges, Kodak and Polaroid making cool cameras again, health tech, passenger drones and more (Wired) (You can also learn more about what the internet of things means for marketers in Australia in our Internet of Things Trend Briefing)
  2. ‘Stoner Sloth’, an anti-marijuana campaign by the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet, was ridiculed here and abroad – even by Premier Mike Baird, the client, himself (SMH)
  3. Dan from Optus became a social media customer service sensation after politely ‘schooling’ a large number of complaints about the brand’s multicultural and multilingual advertising (Gizmodo)
  4. Nokia sold its mapping service Here to a consortium comprising Audi, BMW and Daimler. Here then announced a new cloud-based mapping service for enhancing automated driving features in cars. (Techcrunch)
  5. Virgin Australia had to deal with an angry Russell Crowe after it prevented the film star from bringing ‘hover’boards onto an aircraft “despite countless major international airlines previously making public announcements banning the boards as carry-on or checked luggage due to the risk of the gadget’s lithium battery exploding” (Daily Telegraph)
  6. Apple bought Emotient, an artificial intelligence startup that has developed technology to assess emotions by reading facial expressions (WSJ)
  7. Apple’s App Store had its biggest ever Christmas period with users spending more than US$1.1 billion on apps and in-app purchases in the two weeks ending 3 January (Apple)
  8. Australian advertising market to hit $13.5 billion in 2016, a growth of 3%, according to ZenithOptimedia (SMH)
  9. Netflix announced expansion into almost every country on Earth – but it sidestepped the issue of rights negotiations by only doing so with its own growing library of original content (Wired)
  10. Dick Smith entered receivership due to bad sales and banking woes (ABC)
  11. Choice put supposed SPF 50+ sunscreens to the test and found some disturbing shortfalls in performance (Choice)
  12. A boy ate a watermelon at the cricket and became a viral star (ABC)
  13. The advertising watchdog dismissed a complaint about a ‘racist’ 7-Eleven Slurpee ad
  14. General Motors partnered with taxi-disrupter Lyft to develop a fleet of self-driving cars (Wired)
  15. The Navy deleted @navyislamic, the Twitter account of its chief Islamic advisor, after rightwing backlash (Guardian)
  16. Melbourne’s RMIT University launched the world’s first a design course on how to make sex toys (SMH) (sextech is the next big thing according to Cindy Gallop)