All is not well at Jimmy Lai Chee-ying's Apple Daily, it would seem. Falling circulation due to bitter rival Oriental Press Group cutting the price of the Sun in half has led to a crisis in the newsroom. The Next Media chairman sent a memo to the editorial staff of his flagship newspaper this week which said: 'Should you be unhappy with the working environment and personnel issues, please email me. All cases will be kept confidential.' 'Mr Lai is unhappy with the attitude of the mid-tier newsroom staff. The team no longer performs aggressively to get good stories and fails to come up with new ideas. Morale is very low,' an insider told Media Eye. 'While many frontline journalists still have the passion to contribute to the daily, they expressed their discontent directly to Mr Lai.' This prompted the Apple Daily founder to call his news editors to an emergency meeting last Wednesday where sources said he expressed his feelings on the matter: 'You are losing your entrepreneurship and the spirit of adventure. All of you just want to follow the old rules. 'I will seek opinions from the frontline journalists about work practices and other issues such as personnel. I may fire those editors who are the subject of the most complaints.' Mr Lai could not be reached for comment. Since the Sun cut its cover price to $3 last month it claims to have overtaken Apple Daily to become Hong Kong's second most-popular paper after its sister paper, the Oriental Daily News. Industry watchers say Apple Daily's circulation has dropped more than 5 per cent, falling below the 300,000 mark on some days. still in tune When DDB Asia chairman Aaron Lau left the company to set up his own advertising agency, Bravo Asia, in September he took one top account with him - Hutchison Telecom. The result of the switch can be seen on television this week with the launch of the latest advertising campaign for Hutchison's third-generation mobile-phone operation and it is definitely a case of out with the old, in with the new. After 10 years of fronting Hutchison's mobile-phone commercials, Canto-pop superstar Leon Lai Ming has been replaced by two newcomers - home-grown singer Janice Wei and Taiwanese singer-songwriter Michael Huang - to give the advertisements a younger and more trendy appeal, according to production house Chan Tsang Wong Chu and Mee. However, it is not a total break with the past as Janice is making her name doing covers of Lai's old hits. High five for Smartone SmarTone Vodafone is celebrating five years of winning the 'Best Team Performance' award from the Hong Kong Retail Management Association by launching a self-congratulatory 'Give me five' campaign. But don't be misled, subscribers get to join in the fun with free downloads of ring tones and video clips on their handsets. Directors move in Ogilvy & Mather Advertising Hong Kong yesterday announced the appointment of Maxmillian Mak and Queenie Fan as group account directors. Mr Mak will lead the Pizza Hut, Brand's and Cerebos accounts while Ms Fan will be spearheading the Hong Kong Jockey Club account.