ABC International’s multiplatform international media service Australia Plus (A+) has confirmed partnerships with Monash University, the Victorian State Government and Swisse Wellness, to increase Australia’s presence in the region and ABC content presented in neighbouring countries.
In the ABC announcement revealing the deal, the organisation endorses Swisse Wellness, calling the company “Australia’s leading natural health brand”.
The ABC added: “The Foundation Partnerships will see ABC International highlight the work of Monash, the Victorian state government and Swisse in their respective fields across its Australia Plus platforms and through Australia Plus’ media partner networks across Asia. Other partners will be announced in coming months.”
Commenting on whether or not it should be accepting sponsorship dollars, the ABC commented: “ABC International is a commercial operation and is permitted under the ABC Act to partner with commercial organisations, a model similar to the BBC World Service. ABC International retains full editorial control over all content under the ABC Australia Plus brand. Any partnership branding on Australia Plus platforms will be consistent with ABC International standards and guidelines.”
The ABC has a checkered history with Swisse with the company unhappy with a report on the business that appeared in the consumer program The Checkout.
Just over three years ago, The SMH reported a writ filed with the Victorian Supreme Court on 26 April, Avni Sali, the father of Swisse chief executive Radek Sali, claimed that The Checkout defamed him by saying he ‘‘manipulated’’ clinical tests of a Swisse appetite suppressant to benefit the company. The writ identified the producers of The Checkout Nick Murray (from CJZ) plus Julian Morrow and Craig Reucassel (from Giant Dwarf) as the defendants.