Free financial advice from News Corp? Eureka Report's new financial product continues to raise eyebrows, not least at News Corp. Staff were yesterday sent an email from News Corp chief operating officer Peter Tonagh informing them that Eureka Report's new low-cost superannuation offering, Brightday, was "launching soon" with a "major marketing campaign to support it" starting in January. The spruiking has already started -- Brightday will offer a staff discount to News Corp employees, and its team will be visiting the News Corp bunkers in Holt Street and Southbank to run "free online educational seminars for staff though-out the year, so everyone has the opportunity to learn more about self-managed funds".
Media companies with diverse interests always run the risk of those interests distorting coverage. But the particular concern with Brightday is that it will lead what is still largely a media company, News Corp, to gaining an interest in the financial services sector, which has a history of dodgy practices uncovered, in part, by the journalists at News Corp. Indeed, even Alan Kohler, one of Eureka Report's founders and biggest stars, has been critical of financial advice in the past. This year he has repeatedly called for the banning of commissions to financial advisers, saying a ban was essential for ensuring the end of a "corrupt practice that has cost consumers billions of dollars and lowered trust in the entire financial advice industry".