Margaret Simons has made some good points about conflicts of interest
for Fairfax over SMH
blogger Absolut Jack Marx. However, an ever worse
media ethical challenge in Sin City would appear to be Aunty’s
tolerance of Adam Spencer being the public face of a big Wild Turkey
advertising campaign.

There was 702 Sydney’s Breakfast presenter on page 29 of The SMH yesterday sitting in front of a pair of tumblers as part of a whiskey ad. How on earth does the ABC allow a current
broadcaster to host a $1 million-plus series of
advertisements for a hard liquor label when other ?

Other
ABC personalities and journalists have to get permission to give a
speech to open a school fete, yet the big names seem to be able to get
away with large scale sin industry endorsements.

Spencer’s Wikipedia entry
shows he’s covered plenty both inside and outside Aunty, but he’s still
best remembered for his Breakfast gig on Triple J where he built up
exactly the sort of cult youth following that a big whiskey brand would
love to tap into.

Spencer’s 774 ABC Melbourne counterpart Red Symons was given similar
latitude when he insisted that some hardware ads continue to run. The
management were keen to sign Red and ignoring ABC guidelines was the
price Sue Howard was prepared to pay to keep him.

Presumably Spencer’s Wild Turkey endorsement pre-dated the 702
Breakfast gig, but he started way back on February 20 so you’d have
thought it would have worked through the system by now.

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Peter Fray
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