Luscombe and Murray called on to build Brand Australia

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 22nd October 2009

Minister for Trade Simon Crean today announced the make-up of the business Advisory Panel to the Building Brand Australia project, with two the country’s leading players in the FMCG sector joining forces.
Michael Luscombe, CEO of Woolworths – the nation’s largest supermarket chain and Rob Murray, Chief Executive of dairy, juice and alcohol group Lion Nathan National Foods, will be on a six-member board to be chaired by eminent businessman David Mortimer.

Mr Crean said he was delighted by the level of business interest in Building Brand Australia.

“Business has a vital role to play in guiding the direction of the Brand project,” Mr Crean said. “This project is not just about a slogan, it’s about promoting Australia as a country with a diverse and high quality range of products, services and skills.”

The board will oversee the tender process of the $20 million project which has the aim of boosting and broadening Australia’s global image. The new national brand is expected to be announced in February, 2010, with the international launch in May, 2010, at Shanghai World Expo.

“Submissions for the $4 million creative contract closed earlier this month, I am delighted to say we have received more than 60 submissions – many from Australian creative agencies with international links,” Mr Crean said.

The announcement of the board followed a meeting this morning between Mr Crean and Simon Anholt who is an expert on national image and has advised more than 40 governments.

The latest Anholt-Gfk Roper Nation Brands Index showed Australia has remained in 9th position on the 50-country index.

“Australia is one of the most consistently admired countries in the world. Unlike other countries, Australia’s problem is not building a strong image, but what to do with the strong image it has,” Mr Anholt said.

Indeed, that strong brand has been a key factor in the Australian food industry’s success on the world stage, with the nation’s food products lauded for their quality and safety.

The board members are:
· Sandra Chipchase – CEO, Melbourne Convention and Visitors Bureau
· Margaret Gardner AO – Vice Chancellor & President, RMIT
· Mark Johnson – Chairman, Australian Financial Forum
· Rob Murray – CEO, Lion Nathan
· Michael Luscombe – CEO, Woolworths
· Peter Yuile – Deputy CEO, Austrade