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Seven News presenters in burger ads

What's a news brand worth?

What’s a news brand worth?

An ice coffee and a burger, according to Seven News Queensland’s Nathan Spurling and Simon Nicholls, in what will go down as one of the most startling in-house advertisements of the year.

ABC Media Watch last night drew attention to the ad -which ran in a commercial break during the news.

Nichols rang Spurling at the news desk to take an order for his Maccas run.

Paul Barry said, “And it’s been running for weeks across Queensland from Toowoomba to Bundaberg, Rockhampton, Townsville and Cairns.

“Real journalists, on the real news set, selling coffee and burgers. Unbelievable.

“As is the fact that it was Seven’s idea and the journalists weren’t even paid by Macca’s — it’s apparently part of their job these days.”

Barry reminded viewers of a slap by ACMA after Today also plugged McDonald’s in October 2020. Nine News has also had graphics for Officeworks as it plugs upcoming news items when it segues to an ad-break.

But the Maccas ad is, well, ‘unbelievable.’

Seven defended the ad telling ABC, “Seven is confident its viewers would understand these are clearly advertisements.”

14 Responses

  1. It’s cheap. If they want to do it, I think it needs to be off the news set. I’ve always seen the news desk as something which commands the respect for authority and facts. I personally don’t enjoy the today show on the 6pm news desk as I feel they cheapen the respect a news desk should have

  2. I feel like there’s some context missing here too. Like where was it played? If it was in an actual ad break, sorry there’s nothing wrong with that. If it was straight after the headline bumper, ok a little sneaky but still has a totally different look and feel to the bulletin.

    Also, people and Media Watch keep bemoaning the loss of local news and journalists. This is the sort of thing that needs to be done to make it viable. I don’t see an issue if Nathan and Simon were both willing and its clearly distinguishable from the bulletin.

  3. Ordinarily, the network Head of News would have to be in the loop and have the sign off on this initiative from the Sales Dept. If that is the case in this instance, and News approved it (to be fair maybe reluctantly or under pressure) then that says a lot about current management at Seven, esp with a CEO who has sales in his DNA.

  4. Radio journalists have been reading out adds before/after they get to actually read out the headlines for some time now: it was just a matter of time before it started seeping into TV journalism.

  5. Fox (US) did something similar with Thursday Night Football a few years ago where mid-break it would look like the broadcast had returned, but it quickly became apparent that you were actually watching a commercial for laundry detergent dressed up as a football broadcast and starring commentators, referees and players.

    The ads aren’t online any more but there’s a video on YouTube from the advertiser gloating about how well the brand did from it which contains clips of the commercials youtu.be/JBf_5tbgFH8

    Clearly it’s an effective advertising strategy.

    7QLD’s McDonald’s commercials are much more identifiable as commercials from the get-go than Fox’s detergent ads were. Filming studio shots from just behind the main camera is a dead giveaway. Unlike Fox’s effort, I don’t think there is any real chance of mistaking these commercials for news, so I don’t see a problem with it. It’s a bit of fun with the sports presenters, not the main news presenters, so I see no issue.

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