Roundup: Rupert Murdoch’s 5th wedding, Malcolm Turnbull, Amazon

news corp rupert murdoch fox dominion

Facebook ads, SPEAK Communications, Reprise Digital, Australian Survivor, Back in Time

Do Facebook ads still work in politics? We’re about to find out

They are quick, they are cheap, and they can help you reach a particular type of over-60s NIMBY in your local area, reports Nine Publishing’s Mark Di Stefano and Samantha Hutchinson.

For years, political campaigners have been relying on Facebook ads to target swing voters. But their effectiveness will be put to the test this weekend in the NSW state election.

New data shows teal candidates have been sinking tens of thousands of dollars each into Facebook ads, while bigger parties shell out for glitzier TV and radio spots.

The tracking data from political advisory firm Populares shows five teal candidates have spent more than $35,000 each, solely on Facebook ads. Those candidates are hoping to win seats off the Liberal Party in the electorates of North Shore, Lane Cove, Manly, Pittwater and Wollondilly.

Ed Coper, co-founder of Populares – the relatively new firm that advised the teals at last year’s federal election but is not involved in providing advice at this one – said the current crop of candidates was hoping for a rerun of last year’s campaign.

“If you’re running an independent campaign, then you’re starting from zero primary and digital advertising is one of the most effective ways to get your name out there,” Coper said. “Clearly, the teal candidates in these five seats have learnt that lesson from the federal election and are trying to replicate the tactic.”

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Rupert Murdoch to marry for fifth time at 92: ‘I knew this would be my last’

The billionaire mogul Rupert Murdoch, whose conservative media empire spans the globe, is engaged to marry for the fifth time, he told an interviewer in his own tabloid newspaper, the New York Post, reports the Guardian’s Edward Helmore.

“I was very nervous. I dreaded falling in love – but I knew this would be my last. It better be. I’m happy,” Murdoch, 92, said of his new fiancee, Ann Lesley Smith, 66, whose late husband was Chester Smith, a country singer as well as radio and TV executive.

The pair intend to get married in the summer. “We’re both looking forward to spending the second half of our lives together,” Murdoch said.

The summer wedding will mark the fifth time that the media titan – whose business empire includes the currently scandal hit Fox News in the US and the powerful rightwing tabloid the Sun in the United Kingdom – has tied the knot.

Murdoch has six children from his first three marriages. Prudence MacLeod, with his first wife Patricia Booker, then Elisabeth and sons Lachlan and James with his second wife Anna Mann. He has two more daughters – Grace and Chloe – with his third wife Wendi Deng. Murdoch’s fourth wife was the former supermodel Jerry Hall, from whom he split last year.

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Turnbull to take over News Corp royal commission campaign

Former Coalition prime minister Malcolm Turnbull will take over from ex-Labor prime minister Kevin Rudd as the head of the campaign for a royal commission into Rupert Murdoch’s Australian media empire, reports Nine Publishing’s Paul Sakkal.

The man who was Liberal leader less than five years ago has urged Opposition Leader Peter Dutton to distance his party from Sky News to boost its electability, saying the party he once led had been in “coalition” with News Corp.

Turnbull, who will co-chair Australians for a Murdoch Royal Commission alongside trade unionist Sharan Burrow, said he would continue to donate to the movement and attempt to influence the behaviour of advertisers in a bid to diminish the media empire’s power.

In an opinion piece for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, Turnbull and Burrow argue that revelations in the Dominion Voting Systems case of Fox News’ on-air talent indulging former president Donald Trump’s “stolen election” lies “justify the rigorous inquiry that only a royal commission can bring”.

“The Foxification of Australia won’t be halted by piecemeal media reforms that can’t pass parliament unless they are signed off by Rupert,” he said.

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Amazon will lay off 9,000 more employees

Amazon plans to lay off another 9,000 employees over the next few weeks, CEO Andrew Jassy said Monday, reports the Hollywood Reporter’s Caitlin Huston.

This is in addition to the planned layoff of 18,000 employees that the ecommerce giant announced in January. This round of cuts will largely impact workers in Amazon’s advertising department, on its video live streaming service Twitch, and on the Amazon Web Services and People Experience and Technology Solutions teams.

“For several years leading up to this one, most of our businesses added a significant amount of headcount. This made sense given what was happening in our businesses and the economy as a whole. However, given the uncertain economy in which we reside, and the uncertainty that exists in the near future, we have chosen to be more streamlined in our costs and headcount,” Jassy wrote in a note to employees Monday.

The previous round of layoffs primarily impacted staffers in the Amazon stores and the People Experience and Technology divisions.

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SPEAK Communications is appointed as NBA Asia’s corporate communications agency partner

SPEAK Communications has announced its appointment to NBA Asia as their corporate communications agency partner in Australia.
Starting immediately, the Sydney-based PR agency will work hand in hand with the NBA to develop the league’s corporate PR press office functions across partnerships, merchandising, and more.

SPEAK Communications, which are specialists in the sports industry, is well placed to support NBA Asia and its ambition to increase the profile of the game in Australia.
Snezana Hay
, founder of SPEAK Communications, said of the appointment: “Basketball is one of the fastest growing sports in Australia and the NBA has played a fundamental role in building that momentum and fandom.
“We are thrilled to welcome the NBA, the MVP of sports brands and one of the world’s largest sports leagues, to our client roster. We are excited to develop campaigns that support the brand’s local footprint in Australia,” she added.

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Reprise Digital launches AIpril Fools campaign generator

Reprise Digital has developed and launched AIpril Fools campaign generator, an ideation tool that will help get the creative juices flowing ahead of April Fools Day.

Powered by OpenAI’s ChatGPT, the tool uses the latest in AI Large Language Models (LLM) technology to churn out witty campaign ideas and can be the inspiration for all marketing teams – from any industry – to help create the ‘perfect’ April Fools campaign idea in a matter of seconds.

Mychal Whittle, head of growth and integration at Reprise, said:  “Don’t be fooled by the AIpril Fools Campaign Generator, we don’t expect any Cannes Lion-winning ideas. This is more of a tongue-in-cheek creation highlighting the functionality of AI tools and how marketers should – and more to the point shouldn’t – be using them.

“The aim of this stunt is to show we still need people to drive creativity and salience for marketing campaigns, but there is a future world where we can combine both the human mind and AI to facilitate and deliver best in class creative ideas and results for our clients,” he continued.

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Why this season of Australian Survivor will go down in (meme) history

Reality TV is known for its hyperbole. Every fight or twist or blindside is touted as “explosive” and “game-changing”. Somehow, every single season is “the best ever”. But the latest season of Australian Survivor, themed Heroes v Villains, is actually delivering on that promise, reports Nine Publishing’s Meg Watson.

The ratings have been steadily climbing (from an average overnight audience of around 550,000 in its first week to around 715,000 now). Critics have been raving. And it’s captured plenty of attention from international viewers too, with fans of the global franchise regularly gushing on social media about how much better the production and gameplay has been compared to the ongoing US version.

In the lead-up to next Monday’s series finale, we asked past Australian Survivor players Khanh Ong and Brooke Jowett – who also co-host Channel 10’s recap show Talking Tribal – about what exactly has made this season so good.

Spoiler: yes, a lot of it comes down to the work of political operative George Mladenov, an eccentric returning player and self-professed villain, so devoted to the game he has an immunity idol tattooed on his chest. But that doesn’t mean they want him to win …

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How the Ferrones were cast for Back in Time

The Ferrone family are much-loved as the cast across the Back in Time franchise, currently appearing in Back in Time for the Corner Shop, reports TV Tonight.

Carol Ferrone recently told TV Tonight how the family – husband Peter, son Julian 22, daughters Sienna 19 and Olivia 15- were discovered by producers.

“Five years ago, we were actually shopping at Miranda Westfield and somebody tapped me on the shoulder and asked literally said, ‘I like the look of your family are you interested in auditioning for a TV show?’” she said.

“But a couple of months before, I’d actually seen the casting call on one of the social media platforms and I sent it to Peter ‘We should apply for this,’ but we never did.

“Funnily enough, this lady tapped me on the shoulder, and in the beginning, you kind of think it’s all a bit bogus.

“I did ask what show it was and she had a brochure and showed me and I said to Peter, ‘That’s the one that I had sent you.’ So then immediately, I realised it was Warner Bros. casting and the rest is literally history. They’d been looking for months for the right family and turns out, we were the right fit.”

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