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Nine Newspapers got themselves a scoop this week, revealing that News Corp was ending its climate denial.

Evidence given at Senate Committee a few hours later showed why this is very likely not the case.

This week we're fired up about

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The scoop that News Corp was ending the days of climate denial, was just a clever leak from News Corp itself, according to former Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd.

Mr Rudd told the inquiry into media diversity that the story about News supporting carbon neutrality was leaked so "a certain part of the media market" would think News Corp are "fine fellows" while at the same time..... 

"unleashing the dogs of war... across the mass media market to continue to fuel fear in the community about any government or alternative government which proposes to take substantive climate policy action."

Evidence to the same committee by Sky News Australia CEO Paul Whittaker gave some credence to Mr Rudd's theory.

He told Senators that Sky's role in the supposed pro-climate campaign would merely be a documentary that would examine technology and costs of climate action.

He said that global warming is one of the "biggest issues facing the world" but it's...

"..not a costless exercise, there are going to be trade offs and there's going to be winners and losers in terms of net zero emissions..."

 "We don't deny climate change, I accept climate change is happening, the question is; what is the solution and what is the cost."

You can see here how things may play out...
  1. News Corp repositions itself as the green sensible centre to avoid criticism around COP26 climate talks in November
  2. The Morrison government therefore gets political wriggle room to announce a net zero emissions target by 2050
  3. Journalists portray this as a win for climate, ignoring that we need to halve emissions by 2030
  4. Morrison has a better chance of wedging Labor on climate and winning the upcoming election
  5. News Corp and Morrison continue to ignore science-based calls to stop new coal and gas production, because 'costs' and waiting for new technology.

According to Mi3, the Head of the World's biggest ad buying group, Group M, will advise brands to not spend with publishers and platforms that don't align with 'corporate and sustainability goals.' Coincidence?

Australia's biggest fuel supplier, Ampol, is midway through a massive rebrand, reportedly costing $160 million plus. The Saatchi & Saatchi campaign aims to get consumers who love Australia to also love petroleum (or as they say, "possibilities"). The campaign has a special emphasis on young people, with media spends on TikTok, Twitch and Pedestrian.

It is in this context that we can read Ampol's latest trial of 'carbon neutral fuel'.

Ampol is offering business customers the chance to pay extra to offset part, or all, of their petrol use for three months. 

For this token, Ampol, received a whole bunch of positive media for being green, including in the AFR.

The back-slapping for green gestures previously includes the positive media for Ampol's net zero by 2040 goal. This goal only includes Ampol's (Scope 1) operations which only accounts for 2% of its overall emissions.

Then there's the $77 million investment in 'future fuels', pretty small fry when you remember than Ampol received $1.1 billion from Australian taxpayers to keep its refinery afloat.

As we reported last week, Royal Dutch Shell's similar campaign, called 'Drive Carbon Neutral' has been found to be misleading by the Netherland's national advertising watchdog

Ampol's proposed takeover of Z Energy in New Zealand has raised concerns about it's failure to have plans to reduce all its greenhouse gas emissions.


GRACosway calls itself Australia's leading public affairs agency. It lobbies for miner, BHP, and Halliburton, which supplies oil field services. It also provides advice to Santos.

The founder of GRACosway, Les Timar, has just been made CEO of the $500m Clemenger BBDO group.

His Chair at GRACosway was Helen Coonan (pictured to the left of Les above). Coonan is also on the board of the Minerals Council of Australia

Meantime, Chevron which owns Caltex, has a new Australian agency, New World Order,  which joins our polluter relations list.

New World Order Head of Strategy and Creative, Scott Oxford, told Mumbrella, "It’s an exciting and competitive category and we’re thrilled to be able to play our part in helping Chevron grow its market share."

Of course, Chevron and Caltex, do more than just try to increase their market share. Chevron has a long history of opposing climate action. The companies also employ lobbyists in Australia such as Willard Public Affairs and MCM Strategic.

Other recent additions to the list are Bright Yellow and Twelve, for working with Santos, as well as lobbyists, JPG Advisory, DPG Advisory and Northstar Public Affairs.  

Helen Coonan recently retired as Executive Director and Director of Crown Casinos after counsel assisting the Victorian royal commission into Crown said she was not the right person to oversee the cultural reform required to make Crown suitable to hold its Melbourne casino licence. 
1. Stephanie Zillman at the ABC for lifting the lid on how gas giant, INPEX, gets to sign off on scientific research by the Northern Territory government. This is because INPEX pays for all of the Territory's marine science research. 🤯😨🤯

2. Media & Climate Change Observatory which follows climate reporting across the globe, including Australia. 

3. Anika Molesworth for her new book on changing the food system, and for getting a full page in the Sunday Telegraph.
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