Ever noticed that Eddie McGuire loves to cross-promote his various interests across different media outlets, well today Crikey presents the evidence and it ain’t pretty. A former Herald Sun insider has kindly done this analysis of Eddie’s plug-factory since he started the estimated $1200 a week gig in mid 1997. Since then we have had about 200 full page columns in the Saturday Herald Sun by Eddie and this is an analysis of his plugging.

TOP 10 EDDIE MCGUIRE PLUGS IN THE HERALD SUN

1. The Footy Show hosted by Eddie on Packer’s Channel Nine: 126
2. Eddie’s Footy Show co-host Sam Newman: 102
3. Crown: 101 (casino only gets 26 because it’s an entertainment complex remember)
4. Triple M: where Eddie has been calling the footy for a few years: 63
5. Dermott Brereton: colleague at Nine and Triple M: 50
6. Who Wants to be a Millionaire hosted by Eddie: 38
7. Steve Vizard: Eddie’s mate and conflicted partner in Sportsview: 24
8. Garry Lyon: host of Nine’s Sunday Footy Show: 21
9. Ian Johnson: Channel 9 and Crown boss: 20
10. Emirates Air: chief Collingwood sponsor: 18

Readers should email Rupert at [email protected] and ask why a Packer man gets such a free run in the Murdoch daily? Afterall, the name Murdoch only comes up 7 times in 5 years of Eddie columns compared with 20 for Packer.

Packer’s top executive in Melbourne, Ian Johnson, gets 20 mentions but Rupert’s man in Melbourne Julian Clarke doesn’t rate once. And why should part-time commentator Garry Lyon, a key ally of Eddie’s on Channel 9, get 21 mentions in 5 years when Bruce McAvaney only rates 6 and Rex Hunt 9.

Hunt and McAvaney have been the two biggest names in football calling yet Eddie’s mate on Channel 9 and Triple M Dermott Brereton gets 50 mentions. 3AW has been the dominant talk station in Melbourne for 10 years but they only get 7 mentions in 200 columns compared with 63 for Triple M, where Eddie just happens to call the football.

The 18 mentions of Emirates Air is just a disgrace – is it any wonder Eddie was gloating at the recent Collingwood AGM that the Collingwood jumper pulls in 70 per cent more dollars than any other sporting jumper in Australia.

Even secondary Collingwood sponsor Primus Telecommunications gets 5 mentions. This analysis has provided rich pickings over Eddie’s conflicts of interest but naturally the Herald Sun can’t properly cover this story because they are being used by McGuire and are now part of the problem.

It really is time you all emailed Rupert and we’ll publish the best ones if you BCC them through to us. And it might be worth pointing out that Herald Sun editor Peter Blunden is Australia’s most politically biased editor with a 7-0 record in favour of the Libs at various state and federal election. Tell Rupert to pull him into line.

Best email sent to Rupert so far

This one from Crikey subscriber “Andrew” is a good example, although it is probably a little tough on Eddie as he does have some interesting things in his column. For instance on Saturday he complained about being done over by his insurance company when the Toorak mansion burnt down because he did not have photographic evidence of his possessions. Anyway, this is Andrew’s email and you’re all encouraged to follow suit, using an anonymous hotmail address if you’re in the media game and worried about being blacklisted. Don’t forget to BCC Crikey so we can publish.

“Dear Rupert,

I think you should pay attention to TV show host Eddie McGuire’s blatant conflicts of interest, in relation to the AFL, Herald Sun, Triple M Radio, Collingwood Football Club, and a myriad of other people, employees and or sponsors, such as Crown Casino and Eddie’s own TV programs.

I think you should be required to rein in Eddie McGuire’s conflicted and unethical promotional arrangements. As it is News Corp’s resources he exploits, could some reasoning be offered as to why Eddie has been allowed to use his Herald Sun column, for five years, to discuss his business interests, associates and friends, and little else?

The contents of his column are unbalanced. For example, he has mentioned Packer’s, Footy Show on more than 120 occasions, Collingwood Football Club sponsor, Emirates Air has been mentioned repeatedly, Triple M has been mentioned 63 times but the most successful station in Melbourne, 3AW, has been discussed only 7 times. The inconsistencies are explicit, such subjective and biased reporting undermines the Herald Sun’s credibility, as a newspaper. Eddie McGuire is using it as a vehicle to promote personal interests for personal gain, I would like these anomalies justified and published in the Herald Sun newspaper.

andrew

Examples of Eddie’s use of his column to promote Sportsview

“THE Collingwood, Western Bulldogs and Hawthorn football clubs have opened their respective best and fairest night counts to the world, with the events being Web-cast on the Internet.

Last night the Magpies and the Bulldogs were able to allow supporters from around the globe to see the concluding stages of their counts, while the Hawks’ big night at Crown tonight will be open to those unable to physically be there.

The Web-casts are being produced by QuickStream Australia, a Brisbane-based streaming media company.

Last night Magpie supporters were able to see their captain Nathan Buckley accept his record-equalling fifth Copeland trophy.

THE best and fairest count that should have been Web-cast was this week’s verdict in the Victorian Amateur Football Association competition. Football followers have long suspected that players can win the umpires’ votes with eye-catching performances in the final term.

But the case of Ben Klein, who played for Ajax in the C-grade competition, defies even that assumption. Klein played the last 15 minutes of his only senior game, but was still awarded one vote by the umpires.

While Klein’s vote had his teammates scratching their heads about the judgment of umpires, Gabriel Dukes won Ajax’s club best and fairest award with 26 votes. Despite club officials awarding him twice as many votes as his nearest teammate the umpires couldn’t squeeze him in for one vote in the competition’s award, the Lou Zachariah Medal.

* Eddie McGuire owns shares in Sportsview, publisher of the Collingwood, Hawthorn and Western Bulldogs sites.

Eddie loves Big Jack coz he signed Carlton over to Sportsview

CARLTON President John Elliott’s challenge to the AFL that he would be broadcasting the Blues games live on the Internet in the next five years has overshadowed the announcement of new Net sites for Collingwood, Western Bulldogs, Hawthorn and Carlton.

Produced by Sportsview, a company in which my company McGuire Media holds an interest, the new sites have had an amazing response. In the first week of operation the sites have had 2.3 million hits.

Naturally, Collingwood is the most popular with 620,000. Hawthorn has had 613,000, hits, Carlton 598,000 and the Western Bulldogs 540,000. The site is at www.collingwoodfc.com.au or for the others, by inserting their club name.

ends

The plugging extends a lot further than the Herald Sun column but Crikey has not been able to do an analysis of plugs on The Footy Show, Triple M or Who Wants to be a Millionaire and therefore relies on some of this anecdotal and subscriber evidence.

EDDIE MCGUIRE AND THE YOUNG AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR

A regular Crikey reader writes:

“The 1998 Young Australian of the Year is a Vietnamese-born entrepreneur called Tan Le who is now aged just 22. She has just purchased her first home for $750,000.00. She was working as a solicitor for Freehills but decided that she was not making enough money so she set up a joint venture with a couple of Vietnamese pals and developed a software program which enables one to access the internet using text mobile phone messages. Eddie McGuire has invested $1 million for a 20% stake in the venture and Edward De Bono has given the young team a suite in his Melbourne offices. Eddie even promoted her new product on The Footy Show showing viewers how to use her product to enter a vote in the sexiest foot player competition. Did Eddie disclose he had an interest in the product? You should check this one out.”

ends

Now, this is an earlier account Crikey has carried about Eddie’s various conflicts of interest.

EDDIE McGUIRE’S CONFLICT OF INTEREST

3AW carried the rumour a couple of weeks back that Collingwood President Eddie McGuire had poached a sponsor from Richmond with the promise of exposure on The Footy Show.

Speaking of which, his column in the Herald Sun on November 17 was very odd before he devoted about one third of it to detailing what sponsorship opportunities are open for companies with the AFL next year under the corporate brochure like headline: “Give your product a kick start”.

No doubt the AFL would have been delighted by this exposure from one of its club presidents in “The official AFL paper” as Eddie ran through the sorts of companies that could tip cash in. For example:

“Item 1: The pre-season competition, known until this year as the Ansett Cup, will be played over five weeks in all capital cities and regional markets including Launceston, Cairns and Darwin.

Price: $2 million

Example: Good for any multi-national company such as Coles Myer, Harvey Norman, Woolworths, even BHP-Billiton (‘The Big Australian for the Big Australian game.’)”

And naturally Eddie gave a couple of his commercial interests a go with the following:

“Item 4: naming rights for the toss of the coin on grand final day. Perfect for an incentive program for a national consumer brand.

Price: $250,000

Example: Tipstar, CUB, Coke, Crown, loyalty programs.”

So Eddie’s failing footy tipping venture Tipstars is now a “national consumer brand” up there with the likes of Coke and VB.

Crikey was also curious the other week when Eddie gave significant exposure in his Herald Sun column to the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Award which went to Resmed CEO Dr Peter Farrell.

But it all made sense on Business Sunday last week when they showed some footage of Farrell picking up his prize and there was Eddie on stage as the MC.

The multi-millionaire would no doubt have picked up at least $5000 for the gig but did he promise some exposure to the winner in his Herald Sun column as a result? Announcing winners of obscure Sydney corporate awards in his Melbourne sport and gossip column certainly looked odd at the time.

It would probably be stretching the conspiracy a bit too far to link the Eddie and Business Sunday support of the awards to the fact that Ernst & Young are the PBL auditors and the people the Packers brought in to try and sort out One.tel.

The other interesting statistic to check would be the number of appearances that Presidents of AFL clubs that have signed up with Eddie’s Sportsview’s business have had on The Footy Show.

Melbourne’s Joe Gutnick and Carlton’s John Elliott certainly seem to be right up there and those two clubs signed off their internet development rights to Sportsview.

Plugs for Emirates

A subscriber writes:

Stephen

I don’t know whether you happened to see ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire’ last night. There was a question on how many countries make up the United Arab Emirates.

Eddie Everywhere took that opportunity to mention that Emirates Airlines were a sponsor of the Collingwood Football Club! Does this man have no shame?

Cheers, Angus

Everyone’s plugging Emirates Air

Stephen,

Just been watching Sports Tonight and saw another gratuitous plug for Emirates Air. Their racing tipsters (who I don’t usually pay any attention to) mentioned “Gerard Whately isn’t here with us this week as he’s holidaying in Dubai as a guest of Emirates Air…”

I read a puff piece in the Australian yesterday about Mick Malthouse and Josh Fraser being in Dubai doing some promotional work – at the end of the article, there was the disclosure that so-and-so “was a guest of Emirates Air”.

Nothing too untoward in either of them, but I’ll do some more digging and see who else got a gig on the junket.

Cheers, Neal

The Herald Sun’s Mike Sheahan is also said to be in Dubai on this junket. As Australia’s leading football writer, Sheehan should be campaigning to have Eddie McGuire’s massive conflicts exposed and corrected.

Yet instead of calling for his resignation as Collingwood President given his massive media conflicts and commitments, Mike is on the take from Collingwood in the form of a junket from one of their sponsors.

Crikey has been tracking the Eddie plug factory for a while now and subscribers were sent this item a few months back.

The cross-promotion machine

Another week and another $2000 (approx) to Eddie McGuire for his Saturday Herald Sun column full of plugs for his mates and other interests when it is billed as a column which “delivers all the inside news”.

There’s the item saying how professional Geri Halliwell was when performing on The Footy Show’s London show and then a separate even more fascinating piece about Sam Newman having his little pocket knife confiscated at Heathrow.

Then there is a plug for Eddie’s mates at Visyboard for sponsoring a new baseball arena on Staten Island in New York and another piece talking about how busy AFL powerbroker Graeme Samuel is. It mentions the upcoming AFL internet rights negotiations with Telstra where Eddie will be hoping to make a quick pile through his interest in Sportsview which has the lucrative internet rights for four AFL clubs, including the Pratt-backed Carlton.

Finally we have the piece which basically says AFL club administrators need to get more commercial to stay financially viable.

Eddie’s columns used to be half written by his brother Frank who is now the puppeteer behind Natasha stott Despoja so maybe Eddie’s lawyer agent Geoff Browne is writing them now, making sure the right people are getting plugged the right amount of times. Geoff Brown is an interesting character himself. He used to date Anne Fulwood and is Collingwood’s lawyer at the same time as being the AFL’s lawyer and Eddie McGuire’s agent.