AUSTRALIANS trust the ABC most and distrust Facebook the most, a new Roy Morgan media survey has revealed.

Conducted in May by Roy Morgan, the MEDIA Net Trust Survey showed that while Facebook – and social media organisations generally – is deeply distrusted in Australia, the ABC is by far the nation’s most trusted media organisation. 

Half of all Australians (47 percent) distrust social media, compared to only 9 percent who distrust the ABC. After the ABC, SBS is Australia’s second most trusted media brand. Fairfax comes in third as the only other media brand with a positive NTS.

According to Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine, trust is now firmly on corporate Australia’s agenda,

“But distrust is the critical measure everyone’s ignoring,” Ms Levine said.

“The absence of the voices of distrust should be alarming every CEO and company director.

“Distrust is where our deepest fears, pain, and betrayal surface – the shock of discovering we were foolish to trust too much.

“And nowhere is that sense of betrayal more profound than in our media brands.

“When we subtract distrust from trust to achieve a Net Trust Score or NTS, we reveal a minus NTS for the Australian media industry,” she said.

“The banking industry has an NTS of minus 18 percent, compared to the media industry with an NTS of minus 7 percent. So, while media industry is less toxic than banks, it is still in negative territory.

Media category Net Trust Scores (distrust score subtracted from trust score) assessed by Roy Morgan are:

Social media     minus 42%

Television         minus 16%

Newspapers      minus 13%

Internet             minus 7%

Magazines        minus 4%

Radio               minus 2%

SBS is also Australia’s most trusted commercial television network with an NTS of plus 5 percent – well ahead of the other three commercial networks, all with an NTS of between minus-6 and minus 10 percent.

“Australians told us that their trust of the ABC is driven by its lack of bias and impartiality, quality journalism and ethics,” Ms Levine said. “While their distrust of Facebook and social media is driven by fake news, manipulated truth, false statistics and fake audience measurement.”

According to survey respondents, their top five drivers of distrust in commercial television were: False news and fake news; bias; news is sensationalised and there is a focus on controversial stories; pushing commercial or political agendas; and too much advertising.

Ms Levine said distrust mattered to media organisations because it negatively affected the bottom line.

“Distrust triggers audience churn, distrust kills audience engagement,” Ms Levine said. “Distrust kills advertiser spend, distrust is the tipping point for reputational damage, and distrust is the bellwether for an unsustainable future.”


AUGMENTED reality and voice assistants are likely to positively shape the future of retail, according to PayPal’s latest mCommerce Index: Trends Report.

It is a trend being called ‘retailtainment’ according to PayPal Australia director of customer engagement, Elaine Herlihy, who believes Australian retailers should no longer view their mobile offering as simply a transactional storefront, but also as an enjoyable and entertaining experience for their customers

The report’s findings show how combining elements of the real world with digital information, augmented reality (AR) and voice assistants have already evolved mobile shopping from a convenient experience to a form of entertainment. 

“The data shows that simply having an online offering is no longer enough for retailers,” Ms Herlihy said. “Australians are demanding mobile-first experiences and are gravitating towards mobile shopping experiences that are fun and engaging.

“Reading and writing reviews, product research and sharing images of virtual try-ons is an enjoyable pastime for many Australians, particularly with younger shoppers.”

The Trends Report discovered that two-thirds (67%) of Australians ‘digital window shop’ for fun on their mobiles, with 77 percent of those making impulse purchases when they do. All up, 88 percent of Australians say they worry about whether items might fit or be suitable when shopping online or on mobile.

Australians are also largely – about 44 percent – more likely to buy online if they could virtually ‘try before they buy’ using AR on their mobile phones, the report found.

Yet, only 5 percent of Australian businesses currently offer an AR experience and one in three (32%) are currently developing or intend to develop an augmented reality experience.

So far, it is estimated one in five mobile shoppers have used a voice assistant for retail enquiries.

The popularity of ‘shopping for fun’ is particularly prevalent among younger generations, with 69 percent of Generation Z respondents (22 years and under) engaging in mobile shopping as a leisure activity – making it as popular as watching television (69%) and more than twice as popular as watching or playing sport (31% and 27% respectively) for this cohort.

While Australians may be embracing mobile shopping, a number of barriers persist as counterpoints to its convenience and ease-of-use. Almost nine in 10 Australians (88%) say they are concerned about not being able to identify the correct size of an item, and 82 percent said that even if the size was correct, they were unsure of whether the item will look good on them or in their home.


Ethan Nyholm, CEO of Australian-owned premium technology and fashion accessories brand STM Goods, said the AR experience on the company’s native app had increased both customer engagement and sales. He said it allowed the brand “to communicate key value points while providing a functional, yet enjoyable experience”.

“Enabling customers to virtually try on our products through our AR experience has allowed us to communicate key value points while engaging customers at all levels of our distribution chain,” Mr Nyholm said.

“Since integrating AR, we have seen an uplift in both customer engagement and in sales, and we attribute this to giving customers the opportunity to explore our products and truly appreciate the thought that goes into their design.”

Australians cite fashion (62%), furniture and homewares (47%) and accessories (36%) as the product categories they are most interested in shopping through an AR experience.

The PayPal-sponsored research was conducted by ACA Research. It consisted of a five minute online survey of 1,012 Australian smartphone users aged 18 and older, exploring adoption, usage and sentiment towards mobile and social commerce. In addition, ACA Research conducted a five minute online survey of 404 business decision makers within Australian small and medium business-to-consumer (B2C)  retailers and merchants who sold or took orders online, exploring their attitudes and behaviours around mobile and social commerce.


NEW RESEARCH by software group TechSmith shows how increasing visual communication could unlock $6.527 billion in productivity and boost Australia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) substantially.

According to the TechSmith report, Australian businesses could experience significant financial and productivity gains by including more visual content — such as screenshots, screencasts, images, and video — in communication with employees. 

TechSmith commissioned the Centre for Economics and Business Research to examine TechSmith’s own scientific research and productivity data, along with research into how people spend their time at work, to assess the impact of better use of visual communication in the workplace.

The Centre for Economics and Business Research report for TechSmith found that, in Australia, businesses stood to gain up to $6.527 billion in productivity. It is an astonishing figure that is verified by breaking down the impacts of better visual communication on an individual basis.

The research found that using visual content in workplace communications could unlock about seven extra minutes a day for every affected employee.

The average boost in GDP, if businesses were to use more visual communication, was estimated at 0.52 percent — or more than $167 billion annually across the six geographic regions studied, including Australia.

TechSmith CEO Wendy Hamilton said she was not surprised that visual content helped people perform.

“We’ve always known that visuals are essential to the effectiveness of communication, and therefore are essential to instruct and inspire,” Ms Hamilton said.

“The essential findings of this study are, first, that visuals matter even more than most assume and, second, there is an urgency for leaders to adapt as employee demographics change.” 

Ms Hamilton said Australia had a lot to gain if businesses were to increase their use of effective visuals. Australia could see a 0.55 percent boost to its economy – the second highest hike of any geographic region studied –  due to Australia’s combination of long working hours and a high proportion of communicating workers.

The TechSmith research also revealed the value of using more visual content in workplace communications to individual businesses.

For example, Australian businesses could save $1,384.70 per worker per year, based on average annual hours and GDP per hour.

In an eight-hour day, communicating with employees using effective visuals, such as videos and screenshots over plain-text email, the research found this could save each affected employee six minutes and 43 seconds.  Over a 40-hour week, that equates to 33 minutes and 36 seconds.

TechSmith is a company uniquely placed to provide such insights. Founded in 1987, TechSmith Corporation provides practical business and academic software products that change and improve how people communicate and collaborate.

TechSmith’s economic modelling was conducted by the Centre for Economics and Business Research in March 2018 and combines TechSmith scientific data and publicly-available data across Australia, Canada, France, the UK, the US and the DACH region, combining Germany, Austria and Switzerland, to quantify the impact of visual communication on business productivity.

EXTRA >> Download the full report


AUSTRALIAN business leaders, Claire Hatton and Greta Thomas, are helping women to boost innovation and become pioneers in their fields – through their own innovative podcasts.

Sydney-based board directors and leadership and innovation advisors themselves, through their Don’t Stop Us Now! podcast series of interviews Hatton and Thomas, are on a mission to increase the number of women who become leaders. 

Key innovative female leaders recognised by Google, Fast Company and the World Economic Forum are featured in the new podcast series that shares extraordinary career stories and advice, with the aim of inspiring other women to take action. 

Don’t Stop Us Now! shares authentic stories and practical advice from pioneering and innovative women from around the globe. The interviews reveal the real person behind the success story, their doubts, fears and tough times and how they overcame them.

“The world desperately needs more women playing key roles in shaping our future businesses, tech and society,” Ms Thomsas said.

“Innovations underway today are going to accelerate the pace and scale of change at a rate we believe people are underestimating.  For example, when it comes to AI (artificial intelligence), I want to do everything I can to avoid bias being consciously or unconsciously programmed into the key decision support tools we’ll all be affected by in the future, whether that’s in our court or medical systems, to name just two.”

According to Ms Hatton, there are still too few female role models “and way too many unsung female heroes”.

“How can we expect young women to step up without providing and celebrating the role models we already know exist?” Ms Hatton said.

“For example, only 21 percent of quotes in the news media are from women (according to the Women For Media Report 2016) – despite the fact there are multitudes of perfectly qualified women to whom one could turn. Our podcast aims to help change this reality.”

Don’t Stop Us Now! is available on iTunes and popular podcasting platforms and it includes an ever-growing, impressive array of guests.

Among those featured are Silicon Valley’s Courtney Hohne, the chief storyteller for X-The Moonshot Factory, Google’s elite innovation lab, and Tina Sharkey, San Francisco based serial entrepreneur and co-founder and CEO of Brandless, one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies 2018. 

Also featured is Audette Exel, a Forbes Hero of Philanthropy proving investment bankers have a heart, and Rachel Botsman, author and thought leader whose TED talks have been viewed more than four million times.

Kate Vale, employee number one at Google Australia and New Zealand NZ, and at Spotify Australia, is also on the program. Coming soon, Ms Thomas said, are Rebekah Campbell, serial Australian entrepreneur and founder and CEO of Zambesi; and Heidi Hackemer, vice president pf the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

The Hatton-Thomas podcasts also feature ‘How to’ episodes which explore common career issues and evidence-based tools to tackle these challenges.

Don’t Stop Us Now! is an initiative of next-generation leadership development company, Full Potential Labs.

Claire Hatton is CEO and co-founder of Full Potential Labs and has more than 25 years global business experience, most recently on Google Australia’s country leadership team. Ms Hatton sits on the board of ASX listed 3P Learning, a global EdTech company delivering innovative maths and literacy online learning solutions to 5.5 million children from kindergarten to year 12. A professionally accredited coach with a passion for neuroscience, she coaches, advises and builds leadership capability for some of the world’s most innovative companies.

Greta Thomas is also a board advisor and non-executive director,  as well as co-founder of Full Potential Labs. She has also helped launch and build numerous different ventures including several in the fintech space.

Ms Thomas is an expert contributor to Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In organisation in Silicon Valley. Her executive career spanned a variety of roles from award-winning McKinsey management consultant to launching eBay in Australia as CMO. She was also part of the leadership team at Sydney Opera House and helped establish entertainer Bono’s international high-profile business-for-purpose, (PRODUCT) RED in the US and Europe. Ms Thomas was named one of 50 Women to Watch by Advance and has served on the boards of an ASX-listed financial services business, a major retail business and now advises the board of Credit Union Australia.


THE Federal Government has passed the biggest changes to Australian media laws in 30 years – finally, with political concessions, and in part response to the rise of the internet.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the aim of the new laws was in “strengthening Australia’s media industry, enhancing media diversity and securing local journalism jobs, particularly in regional areas”.

“These changes bring Australia’s outdated media laws into the 21st century,” Mr Turnbull said. “They now finally recognise the enormous disruption that has been caused by the internet. Australian media companies will now be better placed to compete with the big online media companies from overseas.” 

In the environment of Network 10 being insolvent and held in administration – then eventually sold to lead creditor US media giant CBS – the government has abolished broadcast licence fees and replaced them with a more modest spectrum charge. This in effect provides almost $90 million a year in ongoing financial relief to metropolitan and regional television and radio broadcasters – acknowledging the importance of free-to-air television to Australian communities.

Another community-based measure is the ordered reduction in gambling advertising during live sport broadcasts. Communications Minister Mitch Fifield said this represented “a strong community dividend with the establishment of a clear ‘safe zone’ for families to enjoy live sport”.

A major financial concession is the abolition of redundant ownership rules that shackle local media companies and inhibit their ability to achieve the scale necessary to compete with foreign technology giants, according to Mr Fifield.

Also in the community interest is the retention of diversity protections that ensure multiple controllers of television and radio licences as well as minimum numbers of media voices in all markets. These are the two-to-a-market rule for commercial radio, the one-to-a-market rule for commercial television, the requirement for a minimum of five independent media voices in metropolitan markets and a minimum of four independent media voices in regional markets. These are supplemented by the competition assessments made by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Higher minimum local content requirements for regional television following trigger events, including introducing minimum requirements in markets across South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia and the Northern Territory for the first time.

There are also reforms to ‘anti-siphoning’ requirements – providing free access to key televised sporting events – designed to strengthen local subscription television providers.

“The package provides significant and permanent financial relief for Australia’s broadcasters, acknowledging the intense competition they face for audiences and advertising revenue, especially from online and on-demand operators,” Mr Turnbull said. “Legislation will also be introduced by the end of this year to give effect to a public register of foreign-owned media assets.”

Other items on the media law agenda are in response to specific requests from independent senators in order to have the bill passed by both houses of Parliament.

The government will implement a $60 million Regional and Small Publishers Jobs and Innovation package including which, among other things, provides a $50 million Regional and Small Publishers Innovation fund. There is also a Regional and Small Publishers Cadetship Program, to support 200 cadetships, and 60 regional journalism scholarships.

Mr Turnbull thanked the Australian media industry for its consultations and for supporting the reforms. He said discussions included WIN, Prime, Southern Cross Austereo, Nine, Seven, Ten, Fairfax, News Corp, Foxtel, Free TV, ASTRA and Commercial Radio Australia.

“The Australian media industry has been united in its support for these reforms and will now be given the fighting chance they need to secure their future,” Mr Turnbull said.

Also in the mix were the proposals of Senator Bridget McKenzie to enhance the ABC’s focus on rural and regional Australia and a range of “enhanced transparency measures” for the public broadcasters. The senator also lobbied to include the words ‘fair’ and ‘balanced’ in Section 8 of the ABC Act and for the introduction of a community radio package.

“The Government also thanks the crossbench for their constructive participation and commitment to ensure these reforms were passed in the Parliament, in particular, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, the Nick Xenophon Team, Senator Derryn Hinch, Senator David Leyonhjelm, Senator Cory Bernardi and Senator Lucy Gichuhi,” Mr Turnbull said.

He criticised the approach of the Opposition in seeking to “defend media laws that were decades out of date”.


COLLABOSAURUS has launched innovative new tools to help its 4,000 business members so far – ranging across Australia, the UK, US, New Zealand and Canada – to connect and collaborate on marketing partnerships.

An Australian-developed start-up and business match-making platform, Collabosaurus this week launched a new website incorporating a new tool set which aims to help businesses grow more rapidly and cost-effectively through collaborative marketing.

Since inception in 2015, the Collabosaurus has attracted almost 4,000 members and has a  client list including major brands such as Topshop, AMP, Mirvac, Red Bull and Cotton On. 

Founder Jessica Ruhfus said Collabosaurus effectively streamlines the partnership process, reducing what currently takes an average of six months to accomplish down to six weeks. The platform quantifies the dollar value of a brand ‘match’ weighed against the average cost of digital advertising. Ms Ruhfus said the platform made it easier to see the value from a marketing or return-on-investment (ROI) perspective.

“Additionally it opens up global opportunities to collaborate, cross-promote, grow audiences and networks,” Ms Ruhfus said.

She pointed to a recent report by American Express which found mid-sized companies that invested in brand collaboration achieved a profit 1.5 times their investment and brand collaborations have been found to be 30 time less expensive than other digital advertising. However, 37 percent of small and mid-sized companies reported said their most recent collaboration took six months or more from initial conversation to the start of the collaboration.

Ms Ruhfus said among the new tools available to brands was ‘Match Value’ which enabled brands to pre-determine potential exposure and the impact of a collaboration against the average cost of advertising before starting a conversation with the other brand.  There are also new analytics and reporting tools, a chat function and a new ‘matching’ algorithm.

Callabosaurus’s Match Value tool is designed to weight the potential exposure and impact of a collaboration against the average cost of digital advertising.

“It’s easy to see what a connection could potentially be worth, in a dollar sense, before a connection is made,” Ms Ruhfus said.

The new ;’view company names’ feature, available to subscribers, allows users to see the company names of their top matches, reducing the time it takes to secure a valuable connection.

The impact from collaborations has traditionally been hard to track, because of the  multiple assets, leverage points and channels potentially involved. Ms Ruhfus said the new Collabosaurus analytics and reporting tools brings marketing analytics data into the one dashboard “for transparency between brands and a well-rounded overview of the campaigns’ results”.

There is also a new chat function and legal agreements capability. Collabosaurus partnered with Law Squared to provide joint marketing agreements and memorandum of understanding (MOU) documents.

“When brands connect, the conversation now happens within the platform and suggests next-steps,” Ms Ruhfus said.

Template campaigns are now also part of Collabosaurus.This feature allows the creation of a campaign based on a specific collaboration idea, but it also has functions to support brands open to opportunities.

“For the time poor, we now have a ‘template campaign’ where only four fields are required,” Ms Ruhfus said. “ Collabosaurus will automatically generate matches based on the industry you’re in and the potential for mutually beneficial exchange.”

Ratings have also been introduced.

“Just like in the Uber app, where you rate your driver at the end of your trip, you can now rate your collaborators based on the value of the exchange and their communication,” Ms Ruhfus said.


A QUT study has challenged a marketing maxim that too many product offerings, such as those offered on aggregate websites, cause choice overload and actually decrease purchases. The findings are important, in particular, for online retailers.

QUT marketing lecturer Frank Mathmann said his research found a customer segment who were ‘high assessors’ and who were not spoiled by choice, but, rather, preferred selecting from a wide range. 

“Customers who have a strong interest in comparing and evaluating options are high assessors and likely to make multiple comparisons among multiple options to find the best choice,” Dr Mathmann said. He is based at QUT’s School of Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations.

“My research experiments found high assessors were willing to pay more for items they had chosen from a large range than from a small range,” Dr Mathmann said.

"This was because they had invested thought in the decision and so were more certain of their choice, which gave their chosen product greater value to them.

“This has important implications for digital retailers. By segmenting customers according to their assessment orientation, they can adjust the size of their assortment easily, similar to the way they already tailor product recommendations to customer tastes.

“It also highlights the problem for Australian online retailers who have a smaller set of offerings than their US counterparts.”

Dr Mathmann’s experimental research found that assessment was susceptible to ‘priming’.

“We found that customers who received a ‘priming’ advertisement which suggested they make the best decision possible could become high assessors and spend time evaluating options,” he said.

“Some sites put customers into assessor mode with advertisements showing someone comparing many options to prime customers into thinking ‘this is an important decision’ and that they need to take time and engage with their intended purchase.’;

Dr Mathmann said there was an ongoing marketing debate about assortment size.

“On one side, there is the threat of ‘choice overload’ which discourages purchase and on the other is the ‘more options the better’ argument,” he said.

“While some studies have found large assortments increase purchase likelihood and consumption, others indicate large retail assortments tend to decrease purchases and reduce decision satisfaction.

“However, when we look at the rising growth of sites such as Netflix and that aggregate a huge number of choices, the notion of a universally negative comparison experience is questionable.

“My research aimed to explain this variance and investigate the type of consumer who responds to a large range of choice positively.”

Dr Mathmann’s research found assessors actually liked the experience of comparing.

“They are engaged in their purchase and feel good which leads them to be willing to pay more for it. For them online window-shopping is an enjoyable activity and is valued especially if there are many options,” he said.


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