Mediaweek Roundup: World’s most valuable brand, Scott Morrison, Ita Buttrose + more

• Sky News, Chernobyl, Neighbours, Adam Goodes, Melbourne Cup, Wimbledon and The Ashes

Business of Media

Amazon tops Apple to become the world’s most valuable brand

Amazon has become the world’s most valuable brand, according to the 2019 BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking released today by WPP and Kantar.

Technology companies have led BrandZ’s Top 100 ever since its first global brand value ranking in 2006, when Microsoft took the top spot. Rising in brand value by an impressive 52% year-on-year to US$315.5 billion, Amazon moves ahead of Apple (no.2, $309.5 billion) and Google (no.3, $309 billion) which both rose by a modest +3% and +2% respectively, to end the technology giants’ 12-year dominance.

In the Top 10, Facebook remained at no.6 while, for the first time, Alibaba overtook Tencent and became the most valuable Chinese brand, moving up two places to no.7 and growing +16% to $131.2 billion. Tencent dropped three places to no.8, declining by 27% to $130.9 billion year-on-year, in what BrandZ ascribes to a more volatile world; one in which brands must continually anticipate evolving consumer needs and expectations.

As other social media platforms face challenges in terms of trust and desirability, Instagram (no.44, $28.2 billion), now with over 1 billion users worldwide, emerged as this year’s fastest riser climbing 47 places with a massive +95% growth in brand value. Lululemon, the yoga-inspired, athletic apparel company was the second-fastest riser, stretching to +77% growth year-on-year to $6.92 billion.

Other top risers, such as Netflix (+65%, no. 34, $34.3 billion), Amazon (+52%, $315.5 billion) and Uber (+51%, no.53, $24.2 billion) reflect the rapidly changing, technology-driven world in which consumers are placing more value on richer brand experiences.

News Brands

‘We know the problem’: Media demands legal shake-up, not inquiry

Scott Morrison is consulting editors and senior media executives about establishing a press freedom inquiry, amid calls from Labor to create a powerful parliamentary committee spanning both chambers to review national security laws after last week’s raids on a News Corp Australia journalist and the ABC, reports The Australian’s Rosie Lewis.

Writing in The Australian today, opposition home affairs spokeswoman Kristina Keneally demands that politicians “look with fresh eyes” at whether laws are unbalanced.

Government sources stressed that any inquiry must have teeth and not simply recommend legislative changes.

But Campbell Reid – group executive for corporate affairs, policy and government relations at News Corp Australia – last night questioned the need for a parliamentary inquiry into press freedom. Reid declared the dangers associated with “the ever-expanding dossier of laws that can put journalists in jail” had been raised repeatedly with governments and politicians over the past decade. “This is not a matter where we need an inquiry to identify the problem,” he said.

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Those in power must be held to account when police raid reporters

The raids on News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst’s home and on the Sydney offices of the ABC pose the question whether we have been getting the balance right, both in our laws and within executive government, writes Kristina Keneally in The Australian.

Make no mistake – a government must take seriously the unauthorised disclosure of classified national security information and should investigate it. But that doesn’t preclude legitimate questions being asked about whether a democratically elected government and its agencies should be able to tip open the underwear drawer of a journalist, or to “remove, alter or delete” information from a media organisation’s computer systems.

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ABC meets with Prime Minister and Minister for Communications

ABC chair Ita Buttrose (pictured) and managing director David Anderson had a very productive meeting with the Prime Minister and the Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts this afternoon, reported the ABC in a short statement released on Tuesday.

The ABC raised its concerns about the raid last week and about the implications for media freedom.

The ABC looks forward to working constructively with other media companies to pinpoint areas of concern and to pursue the case for legislative review.

The meeting was organised before the events of last week. The ABC also discussed resourcing and audience challenges facing the Corporation and the Prime Minister and the Minister indicated a willingness to continue a dialogue about longer term financial security.

Sky News reveals first look at exclusive two-part political special

Sky News has revealed a first look at its exclusive political special Bad Blood: Toppling Turnbull and New Blood: Morrison’s Miracle.

The two-part television event will premiere on Tuesday June 25 at 8:00pm AEST and Wednesday June 26 at 8:00pm AEST on Sky News Live on Foxtel and regional free-to-air channel, Sky News on WIN.

A dedicated microsite at features exclusive first look videos from the documentary series and a supporting podcast series.

Following the extraordinary result in the federal election, the special, hosted by soon-to-depart award-winning Sky News political editor David Speers, takes viewers inside Scott Morrison’s “miracle” win.

Speers explores how the Coalition went from being supposedly unelectable, to a stunning victory. Bad Blood: Toppling Turnbull is the first of two must-see political blockbusters. Key figures reveal, for the first time, what really happened in the spill, which cost Malcolm Turnbull the top job, exposing shocking enmities and reveals the unlikely alliances which led the Liberals to such a brutal and dramatic change of leadership.

Then in part two, New Blood: Morrison’s Miracle viewers will see how Scott Morrison rebuilt his party, won the “unwinnable” election, and secured his place in political history.

Drawing on its unrivalled coverage of August’s leadership spill, Sky News has surfaced key moments, interviews and news conferences surrounding the extraordinary political event to provide viewers with a deeper insight into the events as well as the aftermath.

Watch the two-part political special from Tuesday June 25 at 8:00pm AEST.


Apocalyptic mini-series Chernobyl is the year’s unlikely TV hit

The recurring, definitive image on television screens so far this year is of ash falling from the sky in the wake of catastrophic events, writes The Age’s Craig Mathieson.

It occurs in Game of Thrones, where the fiery blast of a dragon’s attack levels a medieval city, and it’s also prominent in Chernobyl, the new HBO series about the disastrous accident at a Soviet nuclear power plant in 1986. The two shows couldn’t be more dissimilar, but the fantasy epic and the historic procedural both suggest the same outcome: the calamities we cannot comprehend have begun.

Apocalyptic events are becoming the favoured foundation stone for showrunners; they’ve seeped into the subtext of television’s commentary much as the fallout from Chernobyl entered the food chain. A zombie outbreak destroys society on The Walking Dead, a theocratic dictatorship creates a nightmarish regime on The Handmaid’s Tale, and mere precipitation kills on Netflix’s Danish ecological thriller The Rain. Every month or two another show starts where society ends.

Chernobyl has been an unlikely success with viewers, growing its American audience with each episode and becoming the top-rated show on the website Its appeal is readily apparent. It reflects our present and gives form to our inexplicable future.

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Former Neighbours star quits acting despite a Gold Logie nomination

Eve Morey will likely not return to acting despite being nominated for a Gold Logie, reports News Corp’s Amy Price.

The 36-year-old former Neighbours star was shocked when she was announced last month as one of seven nominees for the coveted most popular personality award.

She also earned a nomination for most popular actress, with the winners to be announced on the Gold Coast on June 30.

It came after her character, Sonya Rebecchi, tragically died after a battle with ovarian cancer on Neighbours this year after a decade on screen, and her co-stars launched a campaign to get her nominated for a Logie.

Having finished with the Channel 10 soapie, Morey stepped away from acting to be at home with her husband – fellow Neighbours alumni Jonathan Dutton – and their two young children.

“It really for me feels like it’s come out of nowhere,” Morey said.

“I’ve been doing a bit of drama coaching, being at home, doing a bit of work with husband on his company. I’m not even on the radar.”

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Sports Media

Adam Goodes film The Final Quarter coming soon to 10 and WIN

It’s the film that had the AFL world talking ahead of its premiere at The Sydney Film festival on 7 June. Now, 10 and WIN Network have revealed they will bring the confronting and powerful documentary The Final Quarter to television audiences.

Champion footballer and Indigenous leader Adam Goodes became a lightning rod for heated public debate and widespread media commentary that divided the nation during the final three years of his playing career.

He publicly called out racism, was named Australian of the Year, was accused of staging for free kicks, and performed an on-field war dance celebration.

The cheers became boos as football crowds turned on him.

Using only archival footage aired at the time, The Final Quarter film holds a mirror to Australia and is an opportunity to reconsider what happened on and off the football field.

The Final Quarter is a Shark Island Productions film and directed by award-winning filmmaker Ian Darling.

Melbourne Cup raises the stakes as state racing rivalry gets personal

The battle over Australian racing’s richest purse has turned personal with Victorian Racing Club chairman Amanda Elliott calling Racing NSW boss Peter V’landys a “silly little man” as she condemned the ongoing prize money auction, reports The Australian’s Brendan Cormick.

Elliott reignited the stakes war with NSW when she went on radio yesterday and announced this year’s Melbourne Cup would carry prize money of $8 million, up from $7.05m last year.

Melbourne Cup prize money has increased since the advent of the $14m The Everest Sydney, now the nation’s richest race.

Elliot said the NSW strategy of competing with existing races in Victoria had the potential to harm racing.

“I’m actually a little bit over the whole thing and a bit frustrated and a bit angry ­because we actually do have a national responsibility to racing in Australia,” Elliott said.

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Seven must be glad it didn’t trade Ash Barty’s next grand slam

Early this year Seven approached Nine with an offer to swap two years of Wimbledon rights for the rights to air this year’s August Ashes Test series, reports AFR Rear Window columnist Myriam Robin.

Which, all things considered, is a terrible deal: while the Ashes guarantee several weeks of Australians playing the Poms in prime time (with the newly returned Steve Smith and David Warner), an Aussie champion can easily get knocked out after a few games in the lower rungs of a grand slam.

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