Sharing lunch and then a panel discussion with Bob Miller, the man who conceived the original John Laws cash for comment deal with the Australian Bankers’ Association, was an enjoyable experience last Thursday.

The event was Grey Advertising’s annual Eye on Australia consumer survey, which produced a cover story and six pages inside in last week’s BRW and plenty of other media attention for researcher Mary Winter, who chatted about her study with Jon Faine’s fill-in last Friday.

Miller, who’s now the general manager of 2UE, told an audience of about 600 marketers on Thursday that he’ll be swapping with his 3AW counterpart for six weeks in the middle of winter to get a feel for the Melbourne market. It sounds like Southern Cross Broadcasting CEO Tony “Slasher” Bell wants to instill the 3AW culture into 2UE. It will be interesting to see if 3AW general manager Shane Healy tries to slash and burn at 2UE during his six-week visit to Sin City.

Miller is regarded as a marketing guru from his time at Toyota, where he came up with the “Oh what a feeling” slogan and also was quite a maverick critic of the media buying system in Australia. He has long been close to John Laws, and his appointment as general manager was seen as a means of keeping 2UE’s most important on-air talent happy after the troubles that flowed from losing Alan Jones and Ray Hadley.

Miller’s brief contribution to the panel discussion on Thursday was entertaining and extremely frank as he declared Mike Carlton was a lefty and evening presenter Stan Zemanek is about as mad as his audience, most of whom are drunk when they ring in for a chat. But as Miller noted later, Stan makes a profit so who cares how mad or bad it is?

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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