As keen students of Eddie McGuire’s vast conflicts of interest over the years, we couldn’t help but notice the amazing Media Watchstory on Monday night about Ronald McDonald gate-crashing a Hi-5 spot on Channel Nine’s Mornings with Kerry-Anne.

We all know that Eddie has been the master of using his many media
platforms to plug away and boost his empire over the years, but the
latest sequence of events is the first example since he ascended to the
Nine throne.

Eddie was announced as Nine’s new CEO on 8 February but he’s retained the
Collingwood presidency, where he remains a rainmaker, if this snippet
from The Age on February 27 is to be believed:

Collingwood and the fast-food giant (are) ready to sign off on an amazing
three-year sponsorship deal that …will mean (Collingwood coach Mick) Malthouse’s
face bobs up on ‘Maccas’ outlets all over the country. Sensing the talks between
the two parties had stalled, (Eddie McGuire) slipped into the Lexus Centre to
head up a crucial meeting and by the time he had left, an arrangement was in
place…”

The next morning Ronald McDonald gate-crashed the Hi-5 segment, prompting their executive producer Helena Harris manager to tell Media Watch:

We were deeply distressed that Ronald McDonald was put anywhere near Hi-5. Hi-5
has no association with junk food. We do not want to be seen in print or on TV
together. We did all we could to prevent the situation… Our creative director
was waving at them (Hi5 cast members) to get away from him.

Now this is a pretty serious allegation that deserves an answer. As CEO
of Channel Nine, did Eddie direct that Ronald McDonald get favourable
publicity on Channel Nine after agreeing to kick millions into his
football club? Given the horrors of multinationals targeting children
outlined on Four Corners on Monday night, Hi-5 has every right to be angry, as it damaged their fit and healthy image.

Peter Fray

Get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for $12.

Without subscribers, Crikey can’t do what it does. Fortunately, our support base is growing.

Every day, Crikey aims to bring new and challenging insights into politics, business, national affairs, media and society. We lift up the rocks that other news media largely ignore. Without your support, more of those rocks – and the secrets beneath them — will remain lodged in the dirt.

Join today and get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for just $12.

 

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW