Home » Positively manifesting post-Bruce Lehrmann

Positively manifesting post-Bruce Lehrmann

What a time Seven is having! James Warburton‘s doing a CEO hand-over, late-night text addict Bruce McWilliam’s gone, and when staff aren’t fanning the flames of an antisemitic online horde, the network’s trying to calm them about revelations its newsroom provided material support to Bruce Lehrmann, now Australia’s most famous rapist.

There’s also the advertisers to think about.

Seven West Media’s revenue heavily relies on the country’s blue-chip companies shelling out millions in ad buys to have their brands placed against family-orientated TV such as Farmer Wants a Wife and My Kitchen Rules.

Surely, there comes a point where stink of scandal starts sticking to those commercial relationships. And we’re not the only ones pointing it out.

After former senior ad executive Mat Baxter took to LinkedIn to argue that Seven was “in danger of becoming a liability for clients” because it “doesn’t currently exemplify the qualities [or safety] marketers are looking for”, Seven’s chief marketing officer, Melissa Hopkins, was quick with a response she felt “compelled” to write.

Hopkins, who sits on Seven’s executive team, didn’t explicitly mention the Lehrmann judgment or Baxter’s post (which she partially quoted), but did she have to?

She described herself as a “seasoned senior leader” who has “navigated many businesses through complex challenges, reputational challenges and crises”, which meant she believed she was “well-equipped to provide this narrative”.

And then she delivered what we’ll call an “I am proud” pseudo-acrostic. This list included the fact that she worked at Seven (“as a key member of the executive team”), her “choice to join the business”, the employees, the advertisers and viewers, and to be a “leader who steps up in adversity and hard times”, attached to a glossy corporate shot of her.

File it with all the other dross that gets LinkedIn followers in a lather (“Well done Mel!” “#Proud too, Mel”). But honestly, who exactly is this meant to convince?

To think that real leadership (sorry, #leadership) used to be something that was shown, and not meaninglessly telegraphed through tedious LinkedIn posts. Manifesting positivity does little to put out the fires. But Seven’s execs are going to give it a go.