Thursday July 4, 2024

Marty Sheargold
Marty Sheargold steps down from Triple M Melbourne Breakfast

By Jasper Baumann

Sheargold will continue The Marty Sheargold Show as national Afternoon Radio show and daily podcast on LiSTNR.

Marty Sheargold and Triple M have confirmed that Sheargold will step down from the 105.1 Triple M Melbourne Breakfast shift.

Sheargold has scaled back from the Breakfast shift, as Triple M states he continues to balance his commitments – including his stand-up comedy and appearing on the upcoming new season of Fisk.

Reflecting on his decision, Sheargold said: “Taking an extended break at the end of last year has reinforced the importance of spending more quality time with my family. As a result, I have made the decision to prioritise self-care, maintaining a better work/life balance and will not be returning to my Triple M Breakfast show.

“However, I will continue The Marty Sheargold Show podcast, along with the 3-4pm national Triple M show. I want to thank my immediate team and the network for their ongoing support and understanding. And I’d also like to thank the listeners for their loyalty to both the show and the station. Like them, I remain a Triple M fan.”

SCA chief content officer, Dave Cameron, said: “SCA supports Marty’s decision to rebalance his personal and work commitments, and we’d like to thank Marty and his team for creating a unique and hilarious Breakfast show for Melbourne since 2021.

“It is exciting however that our listeners will continue to hear Marty alongside his current team of Troy Ellis, Loren Barry, and Will Ralston across both the Triple M network as a national Afternoon radio show and on his fan-favourite daily podcast on LiSTNR, which regularly ranks prominently on the Australian Podcast Ranker.”

The Marty Sheargold Show will continue to be heard around the country, Monday to Friday from 3-4 pm on the Triple M network from mid-July, and on LiSTNR as a daily podcast.

In October 2023 Sheargold announced an extended break from his position, stating he was “exhausted mentally”. 

At the time he said: “I just wanted to let people know that I’ll be taking an extended break from work, with the very kind and compassionate permission of my employers, who have been generous in their understanding of my need for a break.”

In Survey 3 of 2024’s Radio Ratings, 105.1 Triple M recorded a 6.6% overall share.

In breakfast, it rose by 0.2 points to 5.9%, and also rose in Drive (2.0 points for an 8.7% share) and Evenings (3.7 points for a 6.9% share).

Details of the new 105.1 Triple M Melbourne Breakfast show will be announced soon.

Gaming creates optimal opportunity for brands to engage Gen Alpha

By Jasper Baumann

“Users are opting into our assets that we gamify, it’s a bit of a no-brainer.”

Video games are the preferred entertainment for Gen Alpha, and mobile gaming provides high ad acceptance leading to strong ad recall and purchase intent, according to Gameloft for Brands’ new whitepaper, Gen Alpha – Gaming & Toys.

Speaking to Mediaweek, Scroll Media‘s head of sales, Adam De Roma, says advertising through mobile gaming, compared to traditional advertising, stimulates attention and generates a higher purchase intent. 

“Compared to something like YouTube, which might just have a video ad placement, mobile gaming is about opting in and having value exchange within the game,” he said.

“A lot of that value exchange is reward-based, which means when a player loses a game they are playing, they can opt-in to watch an ad to keep playing.

“Mobile games provide great ad recall because users are already engaged in the game they’re playing, compared to again, something like YouTube, which can be very hit and miss in terms of ad attention.”

The report found that parents are increasingly allowing ads in video games for their children, appreciating the non-intrusive nature and opt-in feature. 53% of mobile gamers find it more acceptable for their kids to be reached by a rewarded ad in video games.


The report states that Gen Alpha is a generation that plays, learns, and communicates digitally. It found that Gen A’s average play time per week is 6h and 49m, with 73% of those surveyed identifying mobile as their main form of play, with console following behind at 46%. 

De Roma says when it comes to games marketing, there are two roads brands can go down, and one is a “no-brainer.”

“You’ve got in-game ads which might be banners around F1 racetracks or sideline ads in a sporting stadium in FIFA, which in the past, were cool to have, and look good, but that’s not where we see the best results for brands dipping their toes in the gaming space,” he said.

“The reward aspect of games marketing is where we see the best results. Users are opting into our assets that we gamify, it’s a bit of a no-brainer.

“In simplest terms, if someone’s gaming on their mobile device, let’s put a gamified ad in front of them to keep them engaged, and add a bit of an incentive as well.”

Getty Images - Dr Rebecca Swift (2)
Dr Rebecca Swift on the need to promote 'inclusive and authentic portrayals of masculinity'

By Alisha Buaya

Plus: Keeping up with the AI evolution and preparing for the Paris Olympics.

Dr Rebecca Swift, senior vice president of creative at Getty Images, told Mediaweek that there is a “need for brands and media to promote more inclusive and authentic portrayals of masculinity that are real and relatable, as well as resonate with both male and female audiences.”

Swift participated in a panel discussion on masculinity at the 2024 Cannes Lions alongside representatives from the UnStereotype Alliance, Movember, Diageo, Mindshare, and New Macho.

The festival saw the unveiling of Getty Images’ VisualGPS insights, which outlined the mismatch in how men are shown in advertising and media and the shifting values and roles associated with modern masculinity.

“We explored what would happen if we could shift the way men are depicted in advertising and media to better address their values and realities today to resituate men in a role that works for them and society,” she told Mediaweek from the festival.

Getty explored what would happen if the way men are depicted in advertising and media could be changed to better address today’s values and realities and show men in a role that works for them and society.

“It couldn’t come at a more critical time, as the rise of dangerous gender stereotypes and messages of toxic masculinity circulated by online influencers in recent years has led to an urgent examination of masculinity in Australia,” she added.

Swift highlighted Getty’s AI prompt battle, which was held in partnership with TikTok, NVIDIA, and Absolut. She described it as an “epic showdown of creative prowess with AI image generation” in which the audience voted for the best visual.

“By partnering with these outstanding brands, we were able to demonstrate how to combine human creativity with generative AI technology to create amazing visual assets.”

She also highlighted the Turkish Airlines activation at the Palais as an immersive experience of Refik Anadol’s work, showing a real-life application of AI-generated content.

“It was exciting to see creators being given more air-time this year. From podcasters to influencers, brands and agencies were keen to demonstrate their belief in human creators, inviting them to take the stage across the Croisette,” she added.

Getty at the Games: Comprehensive coverage and new technology

As the world counts down to the start of the Paris Olympics, Swift noted that this will be the first opening ceremony not held in a stadium, which will impact how the games are captured. She said double the number of photographers will be in Paris, compared to the Tokyo and Rio games, to capture more than five million images.

“We’ve been working for years to plan comprehensive coverage of the 6 km opening ceremony across the Seine and will be strategically placed at vantage points along the river, rooftops, boats and more.

“We’re also deploying new technologies to capture unique angles of indoor sports, including underwater robotics and cameras integrated into the roofs of venues.”

AI: “The shift in conversation is the next step”

Swift noted that the discussion surrounding AI again dominated at the festival, but this time with a “matured” tone.

“Focus had shifted to less speculative and more practical discussions around ways of working with AI tools and the importance of ethical sourcing and trust.”

Swift noted that Getty’s VisualGPS research reflected the shift in demand for more authenticity and transparency.

She also said conversations on diversity, equity, and inclusion were reframed through the lens of how generative AI perpetuates stereotypes and biases of the past.

“This shift was important for keeping the discussion about representation at the top of the agenda for the year to come, especially as our VisualGPS research indicates that 70% of consumers agree that advertising showing a wide range of behaviours and personalities makes them feel more connected to brands,” she said.

Swift said Getty Images understands that its images and videos “shape how we perceive ourselves and the world around us” and “drive meaningful brand-consumer connections.”

“With more and more AI-generated visuals dominating online content, the shift in conversation is the next step in the evolution of building authenticity and brand trust through impactful visuals.”

Keeping up with the evolution

As AI constantly changes, Getty Images is keeping pace with its evolution by launching two generators powered by Nvidia’s technology: Generative AI by Getty Images, tailored for corporates, and Generative AI by iStock, built for small businesses and freelance creators.

Swift explained that both tools are “exclusively trained” in Getty’s creative library, which only contains images created in the real world and intended for commercial projects, such as advertising.

“This distinction is crucial because, unlike other competitors, our AI image generators are not only trained on licensed data but also are not being trained on AI-generated content. For those unfamiliar with the technicalities of AI, remember this: when training models, quality in leads to quality out,” she said.

“As a result, we provide customers with a truly commercially safe solution—one trained on premium licensed creative content, free from risk for commercial use and legally indemnified,” she added.

Getty Images recently inked a responsible data licensing partnership with Picsart, a creative editing platform, to bring commercially safe, responsible AI imagery to creators, marketers, and small businesses.

Swift noted that the model, built from scratch by Picsart’s AI lab, will be trained exclusively on Getty Images’ licensed creative content.

“For the industry, this partnership signifies boundless possibilities while also showcasing the importance of taking an intentional approach.”

“Allowing customers to elevate their entire end-to-end creative process”

Looking ahead, Swift said that Getty Images will continue to help businesses and individuals create a higher level while saving time and money and mitigating risk.

She noted that this can be done through AI tools and creative libraries, which are a source of authenticity, diversity, creativity, and quality.

“Ultimately, it’s about allowing customers to elevate their entire end-to-end creative process to find the right visual content for different needs.”

Swift noted that their insights, supported by its creative intelligence platform VisualGPS, are an important pillar of activity.

“Getty Images is one of the only content companies that invest in its creator community, working directly with our content creators to produce visuals that are powered by bespoke research and insights and are exceptionally authentic, representative, and diverse.”

Top image: Dr Rebecca Swift

Brittany Daniel
'Trusted news brands are more important than ever': Brittany Daniel on the "bright future" of News Publishing

By Jasper Baumann

“News Publishing is a way for brands to engage with their audience in trusted and credible environments.”

Brittany Daniel, client solutions director at News Corp, has told Mediaweek that in an era of misinformation, trusted news brands are more important than ever.

Daniel took home the win for Best Use of News Publishing at Mediaweek‘s 2024 Next of the Best Awards.

She and Nathan Livingston won for the Samsung Z Series phone campaign. 

The new accolade was made in partnership with Mediaweek and ThinkNewsBrands and highlights the best use of news publishing media.

The campaign-based award, Best Use of News Publishing, was made to give media agencies, creative agencies, brands/advertisers and publishers a platform to highlight and reward the tremendous campaigns in news publishing from the last twelve months.

The criteria for the award assessed the success & achievement of the campaign, the innovation & creativity used in creating the campaign, as well as the final influence & impact that the campaign created.

Mediaweek caught up with Daniel to speak about the future of news publishing, her biggest achievement working at News Corp and whether or not there is a philosophy to execute effective campaigns in news publishing. 

The awards have been judged by an all-star line-up, what does it mean to you to be recognised by this group?

It’s a huge honour to be recognised by this group, we were up against some incredible campaigns so we are thrilled to have come away with the win. A lot of hard work went into this campaign involving multiple parts of the business so we’re grateful to be recognised at an industry level.

What do you think the future looks like for News Publishing?

The future is bright. A recent report by the University of Canberra shows over half of Australians are accessing news more than once a day which is a 3% increase from last year. In an era of misinformation, I believe trusted news brands are more important than ever.

News Publishing is a way for brands to engage with their audience in trusted and credible environments. When it comes to partnerships, I believe measurement will continue to be an integral part of all campaigns in order to learn and measure success, along with creative thinking that pushes the boundaries to create distinctive media campaigns.

What has been your biggest achievement working at News Corp?

The first would have to be securing this Samsung campaign, it was a career highlight to be a part of it. This campaign required outside-the-box thinking and it was a great challenge for us to push the creativity and do something bespoke that had never been done before across the News Corp Australia network. The second would be stepping into a Director role at the end of last year. This has been an incredible opportunity to lead a team and be the Solutions Director across integrated brief responses for Independent Agencies & Direct NSW.

Is there a philosophy to execute effective campaigns in news publishing?

I personally believe creativity and differentiation are key. Having a unique idea and bringing it to life across multiple channels is a great way to make an impact and achieve cut-through. We often hear clients say they want a ‘big idea’ or ‘PR’able idea’ and I think in order to achieve those things it’s all about doing something different. A great question to ask yourself is “Would this paid campaign also garner earned attention?”. If the answer is yes you’re onto a winning idea.

Being Next of The Best – what can the industry expect next from you?

Hopefully many more exciting campaigns. I love working with clients to achieve their goals, develop ideas and bring media campaigns to life. I’m also excited to be stepping into a new industry-centric role at News, with a focus on growing revenue specific to the finance and insurance categories. I’m looking forward to continuing to develop the News Corp Australia value proposition and products in this space plus bringing new creative thinking to the category.

Top image: Brittany Daniel

earmax media Andy Maxwell and Ralph van Dijk
EarMax Media: Andy Maxwell and Ralph van Dijk launch podcast media agency

By Tess Connery and Alisha Buaya

“Major brands that are focusing less on performance marketing and more on long term brand building are using podcasts.”

Today Andy Maxwell and Ralph van Dijk officially launch EarMax Media, a new specialist podcast media agency.

EarMax soft-launched in January, and since then has been working to tackle what the pair see as lacklustre media in the podcast medium, creating wastage for advertisers and jarring ads for audiences.

Services offered by EarMax include podcast media buying, sponsorships, and creative production through sister agency, Eardrum.

Mediaweek caught up with Maxwell and van Dijk ahead of the launch to chat about EarMax’s offering and the wider podcast industry.

What gap in the market do EarMax Media’s services cater to?

van Dijk: Takes ownership of the whole communication. We know how listeners listen.

Maxwell: Scrutiny and accountability within podcast advertising. Currently, there is too much wastage across the board with lazy podcast media plans and inadequate creatives to match. We treat every campaign in its own right and are specific with audiences and content, with an emphasis on quality over quantity.

What makes your agency stand out in the market?

Maxwell: There are no other agencies that focus purely on podcast advertising, combining media buying and creative execution. We also ensure we work with smaller independent publishers and individual podcasters. It’s more time consuming but something we feel is essential to any podcast media plan.

EarMax soft-launched earlier this year, what have you learnt in that time about podcast advertising?

van Dijk: Confirmation of the enthusiasm for brands to look into podcasting. But the reluctance to do it when the media plans are so opaque and lack of understanding with measurement.

Maxwell: Since the soft launch in Jan we’ve worked on two substantial campaigns with ANZ Bank and Explore Travel and it’s confirmed why we set up EarMax in the first place.

How do you intend to make your mark and revolutionise the industry?

van Dijk: By making things more transparent in media and more impactful in the creative.

Maxwell: We will always do what is best for the brand. I won’t recommend a podcast or network unless I truly believe it will help meet the objectives we set. When you’re time-poor it’s tempting to do what’s easy but we need to always strive to go the extra mile for our clients and I believe this is what will separate us in the long run.

What is the key to effective podcast advertising, and how does EarMax achieve this?

van Dijk: Being sympathetic to the environment and understanding how listeners listen to podcasts. A conversational tone and pace, a script that doesn’t talk down to the audience, and an idea that’s as engaging as the content that surrounds it.

Maxwell: The key is looking at more than just reach and demographics. You have the advantage with podcasts that you can get a feel for who is listening from the content, the hosts, the topics. You need to do a deep dive into every show and match the messaging with that specific audience, be that a host-read ad or 30-second pre-record, so that it feels like it belongs in that show and is beneficial to who is listening.

The Australian podcast industry has been on an upward trajectory for a long time now – do you think that will continue?

Maxwell: In terms of listenership we may not see the same increases as the market matures. The latest Edison research has just been released and now 48% of all Australians have listened in the last month. However, it is one of the few mediums that has seen growth in investment, year on year, whilst other channels have struggled.

Major brands that are focusing less on performance marketing and more on long term brand building are using podcasts and I don’t believe there is a better medium to do this. AirBnb is a good example of this and if you listen to podcasts you’ll have likely heard their host-reads at some point in the last year.

What can the industry expect from you and EarMax Media looking ahead?

van Dijk: More success stories and a greater range of case studies of brands, across all categories, and seeing the results of an effective podcast ad campaign.

Is there a particular genre of podcast you see as the strongest/best performing for advertisers?

van Dijk: The beauty of podcasting is that there are so many genres that you can choose an environment that will perform well for any brand.

Maxwell: It depends completely on the brand and audience. A certain genre of podcast will work better for a bank and another genre will work better for a zoo.

What podcast trends stand out to you?

van Dijk: The hard to reach demographics seem to be embracing podcasts and actively seeking content they can learn from and be entertained by, without it interrupting their day.

Maxwell: I always like to see the data on attention, engagement and loyalty. There are loads of studies that show that podcast audiences are more engaged than any other medium, and this is what all podcast advertisers should be selling first and foremost.

Top image: Andy Maxwell and Ralph van Dijk

Podcast Week: stuff the british stole
Podcast Week: Drivers Only, ACE Radio, Find and Tell

True Crime, Luke and Sassy Scott Live

Compiled by Jasper Baumann

Supercars takes fans behind the scenes with drivers in new LiSTNR podcast, Drivers Only

Supercars and LiSTNR have announced a new podcast, Drivers Only, which takes fans behind the scenes with some of the best Supercars drivers.

Drivers Only offers fans raw insights directly from the drivers themselves, taking fans behind the scenes with the sport’s biggest names, allowing listeners to hear directly from their favourite drivers regularly between each round of the 2024 Repco Supercars Championship.

Each episode will be introduced by Greg Rust, from LiSTNR’s Rusty’s Garage podcast and the eight-episode series will have conversations with drivers, with the first episode featuring Supercars drivers David Reynolds, Ryan Wood, and Thomas Randle.

Supercars head of broadcast, Nathan Prendergast, said: “This podcast gives Supercars drivers their own platform to talk about whatever they want in their own words and show off a lighter side not often seen at the racetrack. It’s a fantastic opportunity for fans to connect with the drivers on a more personal level.”

Drivers Only will have eight 30-minute episodes to be released after each round of the 2024 Championship.

[Listen to Drivers Only here]

LiSTNR and ACE Radio partner to make ACE Radio stations available to stream on LiSTNR

LiSTNR is partnering with ACE Radio and will see its 21 stations made available to stream on the LiSTNR app, offering advertisers an additional 2 million-plus digital listening hours.

SCA already has an exclusive sales representation agreement with ACE Radio and its stations in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and regional NSW and Victoria. The new agreement, effective from 1 July, builds on the relationship between ACE and SCA for its radio representation to now include digital audience monetisation opportunities.

The ACE stations include metro stations 4BH (Brisbane), Magic 1278 and 3MP (Melbourne), and 2UE (Sydney) and regional stations TRFM and Gold (Sale/Traralgon), Coast FM and 3YB FM (Warrnambool), Mixx and 3CS (Colac), Mixx and 3HA (Hamilton), Mixx and 3WM (Horsham), Mixx and 3SH (Swan Hill) and Edge and 3NE (Wangaratta) in Victoria; 2AY (Albury) and Edge and 2QN (Deniliquin/Echuca).

Working together with LiSTNR, ACE will migrate its digital audience, including its mobile and web listeners, to the LiSTNR platform giving them a personalised listening experience. The additional 21 ACE stations will increase the known LiSTNR audience base and first-party database to further enhance LiSTNR’s AdTech Hub capabilities and advertiser solutions.

“We are thrilled to extend our already successful partnership with ACE Radio to now include the availability of the company’s 21 successful radio stations on LiSTNR, as well as extend our current sales representation agreement from AM/FM radio to now include all digital radio sales via the LiSTNR app and website,” SCA CEO, John Kelly, said.

“ACE’s online radio audience is significant with 2 million-plus digital listening hours per month across its network, supplementing LiSTNR’s almost 2 million signed-up user base, and confirms LiSTNR as a clear market leader in digital audio. We look forward to delivering a fantastic, personalised listening experience to ACE’s digital audio audience on the LiSTNR app and ensuring our advertising partners can now benefit even further from a larger audience base and known listener insights.”

Listeners can stream all ACE Radio’s 21 stations on the LiSTNR app from 1 July 2024.

AFTRS joins as a prizing partner for Find and Tell podcast

AFTRS is joining RØDE as the official prizing partner of the Find and Tell podcast.

This partnership underscores the competition’s commitment to discovering and nurturing the next generation of diverse storytellers in podcasting.

The prize includes a combination of short courses and one-on-one mentoring, so the winning storyteller can continue to find and tell stories into the future. AFTRS joins RØDE as a prizing partner with the winner of Find and Tell taking home over $10k in support.

Robbie Miles, AFTRS head of industry and alumni engagement, says: “As the national screen and broadcast school we are proud to support this initiative by offering the winners mentoring and complimentary access to our suite of short courses.

The brilliant participants in Find and Tell – representing a range of backgrounds and lived experience – are the very storytellers our School is designed to empower and up-skill and exemplify the diversity of voices we need to hear in radio and podcasting.”

ARN’s head of digital audio Corey Layton said “We’re incredibly fortunate to see the industry’s commitment to supporting the next generation of diverse talent. The series stands as a testament to the wide breadth of talent in Australia, who need continued support to help shine a spotlight on them.”

[Listen to Find and Tell here]

45% of Australians tune in monthly to true crime podcasts: On Device

On Device has unveiled new insights into Australia’s podcasting landscape, highlighting a nation captivated by True Crime content with 45% of Australians devoted to the genre, making it the most popular category.

The study reveals that 53% of Australians tune in to podcasts monthly, spending an average of 1.6 hours daily listening. Australians are also early risers in their podcast habits, with 25% listening between 6:00 AM – 9:00 AM on weekdays. Daily podcast listeners are also 49% more likely to engage with broadcast radio daily.

Humour/comedy (39%), society and culture (25%), TV and film (25%), and educational (24%) are also popular genres for Australians to listen to. Conversely, the least popular podcast themes include fashion (9%), beauty (10%), politics (10%), fiction (14%), and technology (14%).

Allan Breiland, ANZ research director from On Device said: “Australia’s podcasting landscape is evolving rapidly, with a significant preference for true crime content suggesting narrative podcasts are a very strong medium for engagement.

“What’s fascinating is the strong correlation between podcast listeners who are also highly likely to tune into broadcast radio, showing the two mediums are complementary and can tap into the different mindsets these channels afford.”

The motivations behind podcast listening in Australia are primarily for entertainment (57%) and relaxation (46%). While 38% of listeners appreciate ads for providing free content, 33% express concerns over ad clutter.

Luke and Sassy Scott announce live national theatre tour for September

Luke and Sassy Scott will kick off their national tour at Sydney’s Enmore Theatre on Friday 6 September, before heading north to Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) Concert Hall on Sunday 8 September, then a hometown show at Palais Theatre, Melbourne on Sunday 15 September, across to Perth Concert Hall on Saturday 21 September before winding up the tour at Adelaide Entertainment Centre Theatre on Monday 23 September.

podcast week

Luke and Sassy Scott Live will be a nostalgic deep dive into Luke and Scott’s journey from humble beginnings to social media stardom, taking audiences through their youth as two brothers hooning around the streets of Mill Park in Melbourne’s north-east, all the way to the streets of the upper-class suburb of Brighton.

Luke and Sassy Scott said: “Be careful what you wish for, because the Luke and Sassy Scott you see online, is going live. Perfected Chaos! You haven’t seen anything like this! So many people have asked us to do a LIVE show, so here we are!”

[Tickets available here]

Podcast Week: stuff the british stole

TRA - Daniel Van Vorsselen
Daniel Van Vorsselen: The AI connection gap, is human empathy essential?

“AI might be efficient, but humans are sceptical.”

By Daniel Van Vorsselen, business director, CX lead, TRA Melbourne

Humans seek connection – with the people around them and the brands they interact with. Recent research by TRA exploring human connection to brands revealed the value of customer experience (CX) – 29% of respondents cited CX when asked ‘What creates connection to companies?’. This makes it one of the most popular drivers of connections to brands, second only to affordability and price.

The study also found that humans still value connecting with others, but the way we connect is changing. The changing nature of connection and the rise of AI is having a knock-on effect – it’s impacting our experience with brands. So how can customer experience stay ahead?

Brand moments of truth

Customer experiences and service interactions are critical. These moments bring a brand’s promise to life, either confirming or challenging whether a brand delivers on what it says. As the use of AI-supported interactions increases, what do customers think about the change? Does it truly lead to better outcomes or is it more a case of prioritising the bottom line over connected, happy customers?

AI might be efficient, but humans are sceptical. When surveyed, we found that less than half (44%) of Australians said they believe AI outperforms humans in simple tasks like refunds – and this drops to 27% for more complex enquiries. In its current state, the interactions carried out using machine learning and data analysis don’t display the nuances required to fully grasp and respond to complex human emotions. There’s limited empathy and emotional engagement. It lacks trust.

We don’t trust AI, yet

Brand perceptions are shaped by trust. Strong, trusted brand perceptions influence buying decisions, loyalty and reputation in positive ways. Trust is built or lost through the emotions we feel when promises are kept or broken. Hence the old wisdom to ‘under promise and over deliver’. Brands that build trust do so through strong emotional connections with customers, fostering long-term relationships. Introducing AI to customer interactions will disrupt how brands build emotional connections with customers. And in turn this could disrupt how brands deliver as it risks creating uncertainty and lowering trust.

Humans are wary of technology. We often use the term ‘technology’ to refer to new inventions that don’t trust, or that don’t work reliably yet, before we call it by its name. The same is true with AI-enabled CX. Introducing AI to customer interactions is an approach that’s in its infancy. For many customers, interactions with AI will fall into the experimentation stage. It’s something new and unusual. For it to become normalised, customers need to experiment with the technology and gain experience using it. Most importantly, these interactions need to build trust.

To build trust, brands need to be clear about what they are promising and consistent in how they deliver.

Be clear on the promise

To reduce feelings of anxiety around using something new, communicate what customers can expect with clarity and transparency. For example, clearly defining the purpose and roles of different channels.

Advocate for a hybrid approach, combining human interaction at key points where psychological needs are higher. Combining AI efficiency with human oversight will help to alleviate concerns about using new technology and build confidence in AI systems.

This is also an opportunity to generate excitement around what you are doing as a brand and the potential of AI. Linking this to customer interest topics is one example of how brands are building enthusiasm around AI solutions. There are examples of where this has been done well, such as the IBM® watsonx partnership with the US Open in tennis, which showcases data on professional tennis matches and makes predictions to support players to step up their game, with benefits to both players and spectators.

Deliver what’s expected, over and over again

Consistency and reliability are key to fostering trust over time. So set realistic expectations with a positive, reassuring tone of voice. Be clear about where AI is being used and who it’s for. Highlight the benefits, such as 24/7 availability and instant responses, then share success stories to demonstrate effectiveness. Doing so will leverage social proof and reinforce the sense that experiences are positive.

Ultimately, technology is intertwined with the future of CX. To stay ahead, brands need to harness technological advancements, but they need to do so in a way that enhances, not undermines – the human aspects of customer service. To successfully integrate AI into customer service, systems must be trustworthy, reliable and able to emulate human empathy. Prioritising empathy and emotional intelligence is critical to building genuine, meaningful connections with your customers.

Top image: Daniel Van Vorsselen

oOh!Media - Analytics Partners
OOH advertising a key driver of ROI combined with TV and digital

By Alisha Buaya

“OOH is a cost-effective channel for building reach among mass audiences and provides a platform for performance media to drive synergy.”

OOH advertising appears to be a key driver for return on investment for brands as part of their media mix, particularly when combined with TV and digital, according to new research.

The findings from oOh!media, supported by data from global marketing measurement firm Analytic Partners, shows the growing impact of out-of-home advertising when used consistently and at scale to drive ROI.

Advertisers are shifting their spend towards OOH for its growing mass audience reach as the decline of linear TV audiences continues and cost of performance media increases.

The research found brands allocating more of their marketing budget to OOH achieve a +17% stronger ROI. That rose significantly when OOH was used along with TV and digital, delivering a 27% higher ROI compared to TV alone for the same investment.

Research by the Analytic Partners leverages the largest market mix modelling data set in Australia, based on 20 years of data from more than 500 econometric studies created for hundreds of brands with a combined advertising spend in excess of $34 billion.  

The study additionally found that incorporating OOH alongside TV boosts ROI by +18% compared to using TV alone for the same investment. Meanwhile, using multiple OOH formats generates +30% increase in ROI, while data-led, category buyer targeting delivers twice the ROI of demographic targeting

OOH campaigns extending beyond eight weeks drove more reach, awareness and consideration that translates to nearly twice the ROI (+79%) of shorter two-week campaigns.

OOH delivered returns across all campaign objectives and through the marketing funnel, delivering above average returns for brand building objectives (+9%).

The report found that Australian OOH ROI performance is unrivalled, with the channel up to 2.5 times more effective than global OOH markets.

Paul Sinkinson, managing director ANZ, Analytic Partners, said: “Our data shows OOH is a strong foundation for driving media effectiveness, particularly in times when budgets and every dollar is heavily scrutinised. OOH is a cost-effective channel for building reach among mass audiences and provides a platform for performance media to drive synergy.”

Consistent or increased media investment, particularly in OOH, is proven to be beneficial during economic downturns, the report noted. According to the report, brands that boosted media and marketing spend during recessions experience a 17% increase in sales, with 60% achieving overall growth.

The combination of digital and OOH delivers a 39% stronger ROI for budgets under $1 million compared to television alone.
Tara Coverdale, group director – data and insights at oOh!media, said: “This research underscores the critical role OOH plays in today’s media mix. Brands that strategically invest in OOH are seeing remarkable returns, especially when it’s integrated with other channels such as TV and digital.
“Out of Home advertising is more critical than ever for brands looking to maximise their media investments. It continues to demonstrate its growing effectiveness, providing brands with a robust and unmissable platform to reach and engage audiences at scale. By leveraging its unique strengths, advertisers can unlock new levels of growth and ROI.
“This research, coupled with the imminent launch of MOVE 2.0 which will dramatically increase the scale of scope of audience measurement, means agencies and advertisers can invest in Out of Home with even greater confidence.”

IAB: Digital video advertising sees uptake across all screens
IAB: Digital video advertising revenue grows to $3.78 billion in 2023

By Amy Shapiro

Gai Le Roy: “Agencies are facing challenges such as standardisation in metrics across screens, now including different DOOH, retail media platforms and CTV environments.”

Investment in digital video advertising across mobile, desktop, and connected TV (CTV) is now a regular part of marketing activity for 92% of respondents, according to IAB Australia’s Video Advertising State of the Nation Report.

Now in its fourth year, the report marks ten years of the IAB Australia Video Council, during which video advertising revenue has grown from $196 million in 2013 to $3.78 billion in 2023, with a 175% increase over the last five years. The report also explores, for the first time, the usage of digital video on OOH screens and retail media formats.

Brand building remains the dominant objective for all digital video and TV advertising, however, agencies are engaging in full-funnel strategies that include driving sales and conversions.

The report noted a substantial increase in the usage of nearly all digital video ad formats. Screen strategies have expanded to include digital OOH video ads and digital video retail media formats. Nearly two-thirds of agencies reported buying digital video on CTV, mobile, and desktop in combination with digital OOH.

As OOH inventory continues to digitise and be made programmatically, planning across digital video and OOH is becoming more prevalent, with 64% of respondents looking at the screens holistically for some of their activity.

IAB Australia - drivers of continuing digital video investment across screens amongst agencies

While investment drivers across different screens show many similarities, 66% of agencies report that CTV plays a major role in extending the reach of linear TV campaigns. In contrast, the top drivers for mobile and desktop inventory are targeting (66%) and the ability to reach audiences at scale (62%). CTV usage is more often driven by brand building, and video on mobile or desktop by competitive pricing.

The findings highlighted an increase in the frequency of CTV advertising over the past year. More respondents than ever before consider CTV a significant part of their advertising activity (55%) compared to mobile (46%) and desktop (47%).

Further, a screens-planning approach is in place with most agencies, with only 22% indicating that linear and digital video is planned and bought by separate teams.

IAB Australia experience buying digital video across screens

“In a year where cost of living pressures are impacting consumer sales, agencies have increased their usage of digital video for brand building, as well as to stimulate purchase intent, and to prime consumers for when stronger spending returns,” said IAB Australia CEO, Gai Le Roy.

“However, it’s clear that agencies are facing challenges such as standardisation in metrics across screens, now including different DOOH, retail media platforms and CTV environments.”

The release of the report coincided with the IAB Video Summit held on Wednesday. Topics covered included ‘Marketer perspectives on video advertising,’ featuring speakers Sarah Gallon (Tourism Australia), Hisham Anas (Pfizer), Jade Lish (v2food), Mark Echo (IAG), and moderator Le Roy. The other main session, ‘Navigating the video ecosystem’, which included speakers Caroline Oates (Google), Brett Islaub (SBS), Maddy Mewing (Magnite), Paul Balbo (Meta), and moderator Peter Dunne (Zenith Media Australia).

See also: IAB urges industry to reduce ad spend on Made for Advertising sites

Repco launches 'Gets You Goin' via Thinkerbell
Repco launches new platform via Thinkerbell, 'Gets You Goin'

By Amy Shapiro

Elizabeth Cox: “We’ve deliberately taken a strong lead from research and customer voice and the subtle humour and quirks of what it means to be a car lover.”

Australian automotive engineering and retail company, Repco, has launched its new brand platform, Gets You Goin’, via Thinkerbell’s newly created production arm, Hotel Bell.

This brand idea is based on Repco’s understanding of the quirks and truths of being a car lover. The launch includes a series of films that feature relatable moments for car enthusiasts, from almost losing a 10mm socket in an engine bay to making an instant mate based on a shared affinity for cars.

The campaign also introduces a brand mnemonic that leverages Repco’s racing heritage. The engine of Jack Brabham’s famous BT19 Formula 1 car, developed and built by Repco in the 1960s, has been sampled to create the “rev” sound incorporated into the brand’s logo.

“We love how this idea really does permeate right through every touchpoint. Whether it’s a retail poster in store or a radio ad, everything is an opportunity for Repco to prove its shared passion for the drive,” said Ben Couzens, executive creative Tinker at Thinkerbell.

“Repco’s new look and campaign brings the ultimate customer insights to life, picking up on moments that will resonate with car lovers of all ages,” added Elizabeth Cox, Repco general manager of marketing and retail strategy New Zealand.

“We’ve deliberately taken a strong lead from research and customer voice and the subtle humour and quirks of what it means to be a car lover is at the heart of these ads.”

Repco 'Gets You Goin' via Thinkerbell catalogue ad

The campaign will be supported by a roll out across TV, online, in-store, and catalogues, and promotions in Australia and New Zealand.

Kym Sutherland, general manager of marketing at Repco, GPC, stated: “this project is a step forward and represents an eye for the future as a brand and our ambition to remain a leader in the Australia and New Zealand motoring industry.”


This week, Thinkerbell also announced a host of leadership appointments across its Melbourne (The South), Sydney (The North) and New Zealand (Aotearoa) offices. In Melbourne, Nick Bennett was promoted to general manager, and Tom Wenborn to chief creative Tinker. Paul Swann was promoted to chief creative Tinker in Sydney.

The creative agency also appointed Jacqueline Archer as national head of integrated production, and named Laura Stevenson executive head Thinker as she returns to Australia after five years in the UK to lead Thinker’s Lion account

See also: Thinkerbell promotes Nick Bennett to GM as series of senior appointments announced

Creative agency: Thinkerbell
Client:  Repco
Production company: Hotel Bell @ Thinkerbell
Director: Dom Meehan
Photographer: Jesper Nielsen
Editor: Jon Holmes
Sound: Squeak E. Clean
Music: Terry Mann
Media agency: Initiative
Content agency: Wellcom

Patrick Doble - iProspect
Patrick Doble joins iProspect as senior client partner, Melbourne

By Alisha Buaya

Doble joins the media agency from Sunshine Coast-based adtech startup Cartelux, where he has been the global general manager for the past four and a half years.

iProspect has announced the appointment of Patrick Doble to senior client partner based in Melbourne.

His appointment comes as the dentsu company focuses on accelerating growth for clients via a performance mindset.

Doble joins the media agency from Sunshine Coast-based adtech startup Cartelux, where he has been the global general manager for the past four and a half years.

He brings 25 years of growth leadership experience across APAC’s media, marketing and adtech industry to iProspect, along with nearly 10 years with Starcom across Australia and China.

Marcelle Gomez, iProspect managing director, said: “Patrick is joining iProspect at such an exciting time for the agency and his client-centric approach makes him the perfect addition to the iProspect team.

“He’s worked with some of the world’s most valuable brands in one of the world’s most interesting markets, China, and we cannot wait to see what he brings to the table for our iProspect team and clients,” she added.

Doble said: “I am thrilled to be joining an agency like iProspect. It’s known for its culture and is really starting to kick goals, and I just had to be part of that story. I’m really looking forward to working with Chella, Ken Lam, Nick Kavanagh and the rest of the team.”

iProspect was recently recognised as one of Australia and New Zealand’s best businesses in workplace policy and best practice, placing 10th on the 2024 AFR BOSS Best Places to Work List in the media and marketing category.

The media agency has also been shortlisted in the MFA Awards in the data-led activation category for Air New Zealand work, as well as in the best use of performance media category for L’Oreal ANZ work.

See also: The Royals leads industry pack on 2024 AFR BOSS Best Places to Work

Top image: Patrick Doble

Scope3 - Pivotus
Pivotus becomes first Australian independent media agency to partner with Scope3

By Alisha Buaya

The agency will use Scope3’s CSP to measure and report advertising emissions for its clients, leading with the University of Tasmania.

Pivotus has become the first Australian independent media agency to partner with Scope3. The partnership sees the independent agency use the sustainability company’s Collaborative Sustainability Platform (CSP), including its new Media Reporting product, to measure and report advertising emissions for its clients, leading with the University of Tasmania.

The University of Tasmania is regarded as one of the most sustainable universities in the world and is committed to sustainability in its facilities and operations. Pivotus will work to help advance the University’s sustainability ambitions by working with Scope3’s CSP.

Courtney Geritz, The University of Tasmania’s marketing director, saw immediate results from the partnership. She said: “Leveraging Scope3 products enable our team to live the values of our brand. As the world’s leading university for climate action for three years in a row, it’s an incredible opportunity to contribute to our climate goals by driving carbon reduction of our digital campaigns while simultaneously strengthening the performance of them.”

Michael Petersen, founder and CEO at Pivotus said: “We recognised that the Scope3 offering was a perfect fit to support the University of Tasmania’s requirements to ensure sustainable practices, while also improving campaign results. The deployment has been a dream. We are now looking to next steps and will activate Scope3 across our entire Pivotus digital buying process to ensure accountability across all our campaigns.”

“With a growing number of companies making sustainability commitments, we expect that all brands will factor in emissions when they plan and buy media in the future,” Joanna Georges, Scope3 head of ANZ, said.

“Our CSP makes carbon emissions data for advertising visible to anyone in the industry, and media buyers, whether they’re a brand marketer or agency representative  – regardless of size, region, or other qualifiers – who use Media Reporting in the CSP can instantly understand opportunities to do better for both media performance and the environment.”

Media Reporting is the industry’s first always-on reporting tool for brands and media buyers to measure ad emissions and reduce waste across their digital ad campaigns. With reporting data in hand, brands can take decisive action to lower their carbon footprint using Scope3 powered reduction solutions including Climate Shield, Green Media Products (GMP or GMP+) or Custom Carbon Algorithms.

Search Intelligence team - Nicolo Zanellato, Deepu Madhusudhanan, Anshula Bains, Marc Williamson, Eliot Keoy, Seamus Collins, James Binnie (not pictured) r/ga
R/GA launches search intelligence offering

By Amy Shapiro

Marc Williamson: “The conventional use of SEO is outdated and traditional search engine volume is on a steady decline.”

Creative innovation studio R/GA Australia has launched a Search Intelligence offering aimed at assisting brands in identifying demand and tailoring products to meet customer needs.

This move comes as traditional search methods wane with the rise of AI and Gen Z’s inclination towards social media for information, prompting brands to reassess their digital strategies.

R/GA’s Search Intelligence currently supports clients across the automotive, financial technology, and government sectors. Led by Marc Williamson and Eliot Koey, the team includes senior analysts Nicolò Zanellato and James Binnie, analysts Anshula Bains and Seamus Collins, and search analyst Deepu Madhusudhanan.

“The conventional use of SEO is outdated and traditional search engine volume is on a steady decline, prompting CMOs to prioritise authentic customer experiences,” said Williamson, R/GA Australia’s director of data.

“Our approach is strategic, not merely tactical. We’re not just adding meta; we’re defining how pages are built to create a robust foundation for future growth strategies. Our focus is human-centric, bridging the gap between marketing and product by connecting with people, not just machines.” 

Michael Titshall, CEO of APAC at R/GA, added, Search is going through a huge change and consumer behaviour is in flux. R/GA’s Search Intelligence offering prioritises a customer-centric growth strategy, focusing on actual people and impact, rather than clicks. We’ll help brands identify new audiences, find new ways to connect with people and optimise experiences to stand out in a competitive market.”

Search Intelligence encompasses three key offerings related to brand visibility across search and social formats: Category Intelligence, which focuses on motivations using search data, Audience Sizing and Acquisition, which links search insights to product strategy and outcomes, and Platform Alignment/Enablement, to help digital platforms engage Gen AI and search users.

Last week, it was revealed that Interpublic Group (IPG) was reportedly exploring the sale of R/GA, to Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), an Indian consultancy giant.

According to The Wall Street Journal, sources familiar with the matter suggest the move by the holdco is part of a broader push by consulting firms to expand on Madison Avenue.

Globally, R/GA is best known for its work for Nike, including its role in the development of Nike+. Other brands it has worked with include Google’s Android, Samsung, and Coca-Cola.

See also: Interpublic Group reportedly exploring sale of R/GA

Top Image: Nicolo Zanellato, Deepu Madhusudhanan, Anshula Bains, Marc Williamson, Eliot Keoy, Seamus Collins

Neon Black
Leela Maclean joins Neon Black as affiliate marketing director

By Alisha Buaya

Maclean’s appointment comes after the agency was appointed Sydney Markets’ PR agency.

Neon Black has appointed Leela Maclean to the newly created role of affiliate marketing director, strengthening its affiliate marketing arm.

Maclean joins from dentsu where she was the affiliate marketing director. She previously held positions at News Corp, Groupon and Commission Factory and worked on affiliate programmes and partnerships for brands including Woolworths Group, Shark Ninja, THE ICONIC, and The Good Guys.

Maclean said: “Affiliate marketing has evolved significantly over the years, becoming an essential component of any comprehensive marketing strategy. With 81% of brands incorporating affiliate programmes into their marketing mix, it’s a pivotal time for this sector.

“I’ve had the privilege of experiencing all facets of affiliate marketing, and I am excited to bring my expertise to the talented team at Neon Black.”

The creative communications agency has been building a robust affiliate marketing offering spanning the full spectrum of affiliate channels, including content, loyalty, influencer, and more, catering to a diverse range of sectors including home, lifestyle, beauty, food, and technology.

Soraya Calavassy, director and co-founder of Neon Black, said: “Leela has been a prominent figure in the affiliate marketing industry since its inception in Australia. Her extensive network and deep understanding of the landscape will be invaluable as we continue to integrate earned, owned and paid media for our clients.”

“For years, Neon Black has successfully combined affiliate marketing with earned activities, navigating the intricate balance between affiliate and editorial content. We have established strong relationships with affiliate networks and publishers, while cementing our longstanding relationships with journalists and editorial.”

Calavassy continued: “Our unique approach has driven brand awareness, publisher engagement, conversion and revenue for our clients, and with Leela on board, we are poised to further cement our leadership in this space.”

“At Neon Black, our expertise lies in understanding the nuances of news, media and publishers. We craft tailored, results-driven affiliate marketing strategies that resonate with customers and drive performance. Our approach leverages decades of industry experience, contacts and relationships to tell compelling stories that generate impactful results and actually convert.”
Maclean’s appointment comes after the agency was appointed as Sydney Markets’ PR agency, tasked with spearheading strategic communications activity across its suite of brands, including Sydney Flower Market and Paddy’s Markets.

See also: Sydney Markets chooses Neon Black as PR agency

Top image: Finbar Corrall, Leela McLean and Soraya Calavassy

TV Ratings
TV Ratings 2 July 2024: Chef Guillaume Brahimi pushes MasterChef contestants to the limit

By Jasper Baumann

John complicated Tane’s proposal during Home & Away.

Tuesday 2 July 2024: VOZ Total TV Ratings Overnight Top 30 – Programs ranked on reach

Total People TV Ratings

Nine’s Wimbledon recorded a total TV national reach of 1,478,000, a total TV national audience of 320,000, and a BVOD audience of 27,000.

Nine’s A Current Affair recorded a total TV national reach of 1,657,000, a total TV national audience of 1,171,000, and a BVOD audience of 81,000.

Seven’s Dream Home recorded a total TV national reach of 1,379,000, a total TV national audience of 682,000, and a BVOD audience of 55,000.

Also on Seven, Home & Away recorded a total TV national reach of 1,232,000, a total TV national audience of 838,000, and a BVOD audience of 102,000.

10’s airing of MasterChef Australia recorded a total TV national reach of 1,253,000, a total TV national audience of 672,000, and a BVOD audience of 62,000.

10’s airing of The Cheap Seats recorded a total TV national reach of 1,134,000, a total TV national audience of 499,000, and a BVOD audience of 21,000.

See also: TV Report 2 July 2024: Alex de Minaur beats James Duckworth during Wimbledon Day 2

People 25-54

Nine’s Wimbledon:
• Total TV nation reach: 409,000
• National Audience: 84,000
• BVOD Audience: 14,000

Nine’s A Current Affair:
• Total TV nation reach: 473,000
• National Audience: 311,000
• BVOD Audience: 43,000

10’s MasterChef:
• Total TV nation reach: 471,000
• National Audience: 239,000 
• BVOD Audience: 34,000

Seven’s Dream Home:
• Total TV nation reach: 464,000
• National Audience: 233,000
• BVOD Audience: 31,000

Seven’s Home & Away:
• Total TV nation reach: 396,000
• National Audience: 278,000
• BVOD Audience: 58,000

10’s The Cheap Seats:
• Total TV nation reach: 455,000
• National Audience: 234,000 
• BVOD Audience: 12,000

People 16-39

Nine’s Wimbledon:
• Total TV nation reach: 186,000
• National Audience: 43,000
• BVOD Audience: 8,000

Nine’s A Current Affair:
• Total TV nation reach: 191,000
• National Audience: 119,000
• BVOD Audience: 22,000

10’s MasterChef:
• Total TV nation reach: 204,000
• National Audience: 92,000 
• BVOD Audience: 19,000

Seven’s Dream Home:
• Total TV nation reach: 173,000
• National Audience: 87,000
• BVOD Audience: 16,000

Seven’s Home & Away:
• Total TV nation reach: 163,000
• National Audience: 118,000
• BVOD Audience: 35,000

10’s The Cheap Seats:
• Total TV nation reach: 162,000
• National Audience: 83,000 
• BVOD Audience: 6,000

Grocery Shoppers 18+ TV Ratings

Nine’s Wimbledon:
• Total TV nation reach: 1,166,000
• National Audience: 247,000
• BVOD Audience: 21,000

Nine’s A Current Affair:
• Total TV nation reach: 1,283,000
• National Audience: 909,000
• BVOD Audience: 65,000

10’s MasterChef:
• Total TV nation reach: 968,000
• National Audience: 537,000 
• BVOD Audience: 50,000

Seven’s Dream Home:
• Total TV nation reach: 1,097,000
• National Audience: 550,000
• BVOD Audience: 44,000

Seven’s Home & Away:
• Total TV nation reach: 978,000
• National Audience: 668,000
• BVOD Audience: 81,000

10’s The Cheap Seats:
• Total TV nation reach: 906,000
• National Audience: 396,000 
• BVOD Audience: 17,000

TV Ratings

Data © OzTAM and Regional TAM 2024. Not to be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) in whole or in part, without prior written consent of OzTAM and Regional TAM.

TV Report
TV Report 3 July 2024: Thanasi Kokkinakis stuns in comeback win at Wimbledon

By Jasper Baumann

The Project spoke to Macy Gray.

TV Report 3 July 2024:

Nine TV Report

Wimbledon – Day 3

Nine aired Wimbledon – Day 3 and matches included: Jordan Thompson (AUS) v B. Nakashima (USA), Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) v F. Auger-Aliassime (CAN), Aleksandar Vukic (AUS) v C. Alcaraz (ESP), Daria Saville (AUS) v M. Kostyuk (UKR). Thompson was beaten by Nakashima while Kokkinakis stunned beating Auger-Aliassime. 

A Current Affair

The program investigated the small Aussie tech business that took on Kanye West and won and Allison Langdon hung out at the Wang with Aussie country music royalty.

Seven TV Report

The Front Bar

The Front Bar welcomed Tadhg Kennelly as they shared a laugh about the world of AFL and caught up with stars of yesteryear and today, ahead of the sixteenth round of the AFL 2024 season.

Home & Away

Earlier in the night was Home & Away as Dana ramped up her crusade against Bronte, Tane asked Harper to lie for him and Felicity was charmed by a stranger.

10 TV Report

The Project

The Project on 10 reported on the Opposition’s supermarket ultimatum promise and spoke to Alex Ward and Macy Gray.

MasterChef Australia

On 10’s MasterChef Australia, emotions ran high as the top five opened chests which revealed photos of their own family food heroes. Each cook, inspired by their photos, fought for their final shot at immunity.



On 7:30, the program investigated Nitzaenes, a deadly synthetic opioid which has been linked to mass overdoses and deaths in Australia and also looked into calls for President Joe Biden to step aside growing louder by the day.


Gruen returned last night to discuss Coles Simply and Dynamo. Wil Anderson was joined by Todd Sampson, Sunita Gloster, Liana Rossi and Jane Caro.


Michael Mosley: A Tribute

Michael Mosley: The Doctor Who Changed Britain looked back at his broadcasting career which spanned almost 40 years.

Business of Media

Lehrmann lawyers to fight for rape charges to be dropped

Lawyers for Liberal Party staffer Bruce Lehrmann are today expected to argue two rape charges against him should be thrown out due to a lack of evidence, reports News Corp’s Kate Kyriacou.

The second part of Lehrmann’s committal hearing will be heard today in the Toowoomba Magistrates Court where it will be determined whether the case will proceed to trial.

The 29-year-old has been excused from attending today’s proceedings in person and is expected to watch via video link.

See also: Bruce Lehrmann loses defamation case against 10 and Lisa Wilkinson

[Read More]

ASIC’s failure is it has become too big to regulate

A few years ago an idea was discussed at a meeting of ASIC commissioners over whether the regulator’s enforcement officers should be issued with jackets emblazoned with “ASIC” in big, bold letters on the back, reports News Corp’s Eric Johnston.

The idea was to wear them while they were doing a raid or investigation in the field, much like the FBI or the powerful US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms – or even Australia’s own Federal Police.

The proposal was quickly knocked on the head, but was serious enough to be considered by the high-powered meeting.

It went to the heart of the problem that has long dogged the nation’s corporate regulator: Visibility.

See also: ASIC commits to continue greenwashing crackdown in 2024

[Read More]

Paramount and Skydance near merger deal

For months, Paramount’s controlling shareholder and Skydance sought to seal a merger that would transform the media industry, before those talks ground to a sudden halt in June. Now, just weeks later, the two sides have reached a preliminary deal to merge, four people familiar with the negotiations said, reports The New York Time‘s Benjamin Mullin and .

The agreement will still have to be approved by a special committee of Paramount’s board of directors, said the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity as the talks resumed.

[Read More]

News Brands

Bridget Brennan, Emma Rebellato for News Breakfast role?

If recent episodes are anything to go by then the two hot contenders for News Breakfast co-hosting roles are ABC’s Bridget Brennan and Emma Rebellato, reports TV Tonight‘s David Knox.

Both have undertaken multiple hosting duties in place of Lisa Millar, who announced her departure yesterday after five years on air.

Both Brennan and Rebellato have tackled morning television’s Live diet of news, politics, business, arts, science, medical and more. On the ABC show the demands are compounded by the absence of ad breaks.

See also: Lisa Millar to farewell ABC News Breakfast in August

[Read More]

Social Media

Meta’s Threads hits 175 million users ahead of one-year anniversary

Meta Platforms’ newest social media offering Threads has over 175 million monthly active users, CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed on Wednesday, ahead of its first anniversary, reports Reuters‘ Yuvraj Malik and Jaspreet Singh.

A challenger to X, formerly known as Twitter, Threads hit app stores on July 5 last year, timed to win users from the de facto micro-blogging site during its chaotic takeover by billionaire Elon Musk.

It garnered 100 million users in less than a week, partly because of an easy way for users of the popular platform Instagram to set up their Threads profiles, but some early users subsequently dropped off.

[Read More]


MasterChef Australia’s Andy Allen tears up as he pays tribute to ‘great mate’ Jock Zonfrillo during emotional episode

MasterChef Australia kicked off on Wednesday with a heartwarming tribute to the late Jock Zonfrillo, reports News Corp’s Joshua Haigh.

Before the competition for the night began, the remaining contestants were asked to nominate their food heroes.

Everyone chose a family member, and then it came to Andy Allen who took a moment to pay tribute to his “late, great mate, Jock”.

[Read More]


Massive movie flop finds new fans on Netflix

None of the big movie releases coming up over the next couple months are about DC Comics superheroes like Batman, Superman, or Wonder Woman, as they have been over the course of years and decades, reports News Corp’s Jesse Hassenger.

Instead, social media is inundated with photos arriving from somewhere near the set of Superman: Legacy, next summer’s big DC reboot kickoff, directed by new DC impresario James Gunn.

So it doesn’t seem quite right that just a year ago, The Flash was speeding through its brief cinema run. Now the movie is sitting pretty in the Netflix Top 10. The recent run of DC movies has never been more accessible. But can this do much to turn their reputations around after the fact?

[Read More]

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