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Industry Contributor 23 Mar 2020 - 3 min read

Trust hunting: US, UK, Oz media consumption trending similar in crisis

By Richard Hunwick, Director of TV Sales

The global COVID-19 pandemic has seen the media not only in Australia but also in the US and around the world step up and unify around our obligation to inform and educate people in a time of crisis. What is interesting to me is how audiences at this time know where to go: it is to trusted media platforms that people turn. Proven media has been showcasing its ability to not only information/educate but also provide an outlet for entertainment and distraction, at an uncertain time.

Key points

  • The US Ad Council is working with government and health authorities to show public service ads across major media platforms that discuss social distancing, personal hygiene and mental health in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The campaign is to inform high-risk populations about the steps they can take to protect themselves and the public about how they can help stop of the spread of coronavirus.
  • Not only will there be national broadcast PSAs featuring the Surgeon General but also the campaign will include selfie videos and takeovers from music and celebrity talent across the company’s portfolio showing them at home socially distancing.

In times of crisis you really do see how our community turns to trusted media outlets for the information that they can rely on. We see in how the US has responded with their PSA but also in Australia where the Federal Government has pumped more than $30m into a COVID-19 information campaign.

We have also seen it in clear audience terms where audiences on linear TV are up particular in the 6pm news slot week-on-week 17%, Breakfast TV viewing up almost 30% but also in entertainment where a show like Married at First Sight has lifted too as people seek relief and entertainment at home. We have also seen similar audience lifts across platform be it on BVOD or in our mastheads as the crisis drives people to the brands they know and trust.

As others have noted in recent days this is a time when everyone is listening. For marketers, facing an uncertain economic climate, they need to advertise where they know the audiences are. They need take advantage of this not only in the short term but also in the medium to long term – where brand and trust will be key – they need to ask themselves why are people turning to trusted media… and shouldn’t your brand be alongside them?

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Richard Hunwick, Director of TV Sales


Richard Hunwick is Nine’s Director of Sales – Television where he oversees all television sales for Nine. He has also worked as Nine’s Director of Sales – Brisbane and General Manager of Sales, Brisbane for Network 10. Prior to that he was a co-founder and partner in Queensland’s largest media operation Mitchell Media.

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