May 19, 2020

Google's marketing-power scuffle on Australian soil

Sydney morning herald
Bizclik Editor
2 min
Google's marketing-power scuffle on Australian soil

The search engine giant is under fire again on home ground.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported this morning that Mark Bowyer, a co-founder of the Australia-based Southeast Asia travel website Rusty Compass, filed an official complaint with the NSW Fair Trading, claiming that Google has withheld marketing funding accrued from an ad campaign he ran on the search site earlier this year.

Bowyer told the SMH that his blocked advertising could be because Google suspected him of 'click fraud' -- the web version of 'payola' -- but he denies that there is any truth to this conviction. His company's ad campaign was suspended just weeks after gaining approval from YouTube -- a wholly-owned subsidiary of Google -- to post travel videos shot on trips to Vietnam.

''So their very own processes gave my business a tick of approval in August and then they kick me off the entire program about a fortnight later," Bowyer told the newspaper.

Read the latest issue of Business Review Australia

Rusty Compass joined the marketing program on June 25, 2009, but the money generated from their ad postings has yet to be paid, according to the article.

Bowyer’s allegation is nothing new to Google’s seemingly endless list of companies continuing to run into issues with the search engine’s regulations, often which result in their websites being suspended or banned from the search result pages for mysterious ‘invalidity’ reasons.

Back in September, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) lost its Federal Court case against Google when the ACCC alleged that the search engine did not adequately distinguish between ads and popular search results on its pages. The case involved 11 claims from various advertisers and sponsored links.

According to the SMH, the ACCC is appealing to the courts to overturn this decision due to ‘unconscionable conduct.’

In Australia, online search advertising is worth approximately $830 million each year.  

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Jun 9, 2021

Q&A: Professor Loredana Padurean, Asia School of Business

Kate Birch
3 min
Teaching the MIT Sloan Executive Education program at Asia School of Business, Prof. Padurean talks innovation, smart skills and digital transformation

As someone who is creating Asia Pacific’s business leaders of the future, what do you believe are the essential skills leaders require?

In many ways, we need leaders who are Renaissance women/men or polymaths, as opposed to specialists of an industry or a field. A polymath is a person with profound knowledge, proficiency and expertise in multiple fields and today’s leaders have to be able to combine various ideas, look at problems in novel and useful ways, and develop a broad and yet still deep set of skills, talents, and knowledge.

You’ve coined ‘smart’ and ‘sharp’ as skills of the future. What are these?

They are replacements for ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ skills, a concept coined by a US Army doctor in 1972 who observed that his pupils had different skills: dealing with machinery required ‘hard’ skills, while dealing with people and paper were ‘soft’ skills. This concept has served us well since, but I find it too binary, not to mention the semantic implications of the words themselves.

Soft implies gentle, delicate, mild, quiet, tender, weak. However, there is nothing soft in navigating competing perspectives and cultures, handling and delivering critical feedback or dealing with office politics. Instead, I prefer to call these skills ‘smart’. Hard implies rigid, difficult, heavy, static. But how can we think of engineering or software development as static or rigid? I believe ‘sharp’ is more apt as such skills need constant updating or sharpening. 

I think it’s time to reflect on these classifications, because we can drastically change someone’s perspective by how we choose to talk about and frame something. 

How important are smart skills in leadership today?

Smart skills are more important than ever because we live in a world of extreme diversity: generational, ethical, value-based, gender, etc. Gone are the days when giving an order was an effective act of leadership. I personally work with people from five different continents and across five different generations, therefore as leaders, we need to know how to adapt, motivate, inspire and connect. We need to increase our investment in learning about them in action, especially as smart skills are more difficult to develop.

I believe that a successful leader today has to be both smart and sharp. Take cognitive readiness, one of my top 10 smart skills. In order to be cognitive ready, one has to master system dynamics, one of my top 10 sharp skills. Also, did you know that one of the primary reasons why digital transformation fails is not the absence of digital literacy, a sharp skill, but the need for more validation and adaptability, both smart skills. So, instead of thinking of these skills as binary, I prefer to think of them as the yin and yang; co-existing and complementing each other. 

So, you can teach leaders smart skills then?

Yes, you can, via a combination of the classroom experience, plus an action component supported by deeply embedded reflection. At ASB we call this Action Learning, and we teach it both in the MBA and in the executive programs. For example, in teaching a leader emotional maturity as a smart skill, first they need to learn what it is, and then act on it, before reflecting on what we did and how we did it. And then to repeat it, but this time with more expertise and awareness. It’s not easy, but that’s why my favourite mantra is ‘the job is easy, the people are not’. 

Discover Professor Padurean's successful skills for a digital transformation here


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