Retreat: Diversified cuts losses with Mumbrella Asia closure

Mumbrella Asia - Diversified Communications' Singapore-based advertising and marketing website and events company - has announced it will stop publishing "in the next few days".

Founder and now - since his sale to Diversified - content director Tim Burrowes says the decision comes in spite of event successes and audience growth, but "was probably a call we should have made earlier".

Launched in April 2013, Mumbrella Asia was a spin-off of its 11-year-old Australian parent - which continues - but was never profitable, with annual losses running up to six-figures.

"The team did their job really well," he says. "The issue was the strategy we set for them."

The Asia operation began with an editor in Hong Kong and a salesman in Singapore, with editor Robin Hicks moving from Melbourne for the job, but then to Singapore for commercial reasons. His successor, Eleanor Dickinson, had to be replaced when her employment pass was not renewed after she wrote about a "sensitive Singaporean political issue".

Burrowes says both its business model and "addressable market" were flawed.

While the Australian operation was funded by event sponsorship and ticket sales as well as advertising, the publisher "not able to kickstart" the same advertising stream and had difficulties with ticket sales.

"On a business model based around advertising, ticket sales and sponsorship, one-and-a-half out of three is not enough," Burrowes says.

However, what he calls "international ambitions" may see Diversified - which has a strong presence in the UK and US - take the brand or concept elsewhere.

Pictured: The Mumbrella360 event in Singapore (picture Mumbrella)

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