Pearman Pulse


Given the date for our next Federal election must be called this week, we thought it timely to look at Roy Morgan’s 5th year of measuring Trust and Distrust in Australia. Morgan says the election won’t be won on trust but will be lost on distrust as people will no longer believe the government. Morgan has a net Trust or Distrust score compiled by subtracting the level of distrust from the trust.  So, if someone is trusted by 30% of people but distrusted by 50%, they would have a -20 Net Distrust score. Morgan’s poll, before the budget, shows Australians’ voting intentions are split 42% for the LNP and 58% for Labor. The gap has now shrunk somewhat since the budget.

The further bad news for the Liberal party is despite a war and global pandemic, which would normally see a swing to the existing government, the electorate deeply distrusts the government.  The good economic news does not seem to be saving the government. Unemployment is at its lowest since 2008, the share market has hit a record high, interest rates are at a record low, GDP is growing, Retail sales are booming and Australian’s savings are at unusually high levels.  In spite of all this, consumer confidence is at a low level of 91.2 which is 17 points down since the beginning of the year.

In early March, Morgan conducted research to determine who our most trusted and distrusted politicians are.  The highest Net Trust scores were dominated by Labor politicians and females. Penny Wong came in at No.1 (prior to the mean girls episode), Anthony Albanese was No.2  and Tanya Plibersek No.3.  Gladys Berejiklian came it at 6th despite not being in parliament and very few people seem to distrust Jacqui Lambie.

The highest Net Distrust scores were dominated by coalition men.  Clive Palmer scored the highest in Distrust but he is not in parliament – perhaps something else money can’t buy?  For those in parliament, Scott Morrison had the highest Net Distrust, Peter Dutton was No.2 and Barnaby Joyce No. 3.  Over the last two years, Josh Frydenburg is the big improver having dropped from No.4 to No.9 least trusted. Perhaps he is the Steven Bradbury of the Liberals. Interestingly, on Trust alone, Morrison has the highest in the Liberals with Frydenburg second.  It is the distrust that lets Morrison down as it is huge for Morrison (and Dutton) meaning they score highly on Net distrust.

Morgan also measures Trust and Distrust on Industry Sectors and Brands. Supermarkets are Australians most trusted sector with Banking dropping down 14 places to become the 2nd most distrusted sector in the economy. Insurance fell 13 places from 4th to 17th while the Media sector was down seven rankings from 16th to 23rd. People lost trust in the ABC, but it is still the most trusted media brand.

In terms of Brands, the most trusted brand in Australia is Woolworths followed by Coles, Bunnings and Aldi. The most distrusted brands are Facebook at No.1, Telstra (2), Amazon (3) and Google (4).  The big fall from grace came from Harvey Norman and Uber who were amongst the most trusted brands in 2019 and are now both in the top 20 most distrusted brands.

Trust is the foundation of all human connections, from intimate relationships to everyday business transactions. It is particularly important in business as we buy off people we trust, like and respect and we give those people the last chance to lose the business. To quote a great philosopher, Billy Joel, “It’s a matter of Trust”!


Last month we wrote about the slowdown in SVOD audience growth and said a maturing consumer demand suggests an audience plateau sometime in 2022.  Who would have thought Disney was reading our article? Since our last Pulse, Disney announced it will be launching a Disney+ ad supported platform due to come to Australia in 2023.  Disney have already seen success with paid ad-supported platforms, with its US based service Hulu.  60% of its paying customers are subscribed to the system through ad supported memberships.  Echoing this sentiment, NBC’s streaming platform Peacock reported that only 4% of its entire subscription base are on the full price plan with the rest opting for at least some level of advertisements.

This is good news for us in the advertising business as it is evident that consumers are prepared to accept ads in exchange for a reduced cost or free video on demand service.  The trend in the US will probably be mirrored in Australia very soon, as consumers look to cut costs amidst astronomical fuel and grocery prices. Households in Australia subscribe to an average of 4.3 entertainment services and streaming services may soon find that without a lower price point offering, they may see subscriber numbers begin to dip for the first time.

Australia’s No.1 SVOD service, Netflix, has naturally relied on audience growth and subscription price increases to keep shareholders happy. This can be a difficult task based on Netflix’s volatile share price which is around 50% down from Nov’21. It is reasonable to assume Netflix is under a little pressure having borrowed $16 billion over 10 years and now seeing larger companies like the Walt Disney Company (Disney+), Apple and AT&T (HBO Max) making big inroads in streaming. The announcement from Disney seems to signal a changing of strategy from Netflix whose CEO commented on the Disney move by saying “Never say never”, a strong departure from Netflix’s steadfast No Ad policy.

Whilst BVOD has become flavour of the day, it may not be long before we are talking a lot more about AVOD (advertising video on demand).


That’s right.  Google are moving to a new version of analytics, “Google Analytics 4”.  Perhaps the imminent death of ‘cookies’ and the issues around privacy have driven the arrival of GA4. Google describes the new version as the next generation solution to “privacy-first” tracking and artificial intelligence (AI) based predictive data all in one app.  Essentially, the AI should fill out the gaps in data for website traffic and user behaviour without relying on the traditional method, using “cookies”.

GA4 allows marketers to understand their consumer to greater depth.  The ability to extrapolate existing data and make assumptions about website traffic/user behaviour takes digital marketing capabilities to the next level.  It’s clear that it can be difficult to understand a consumer’s patterns and actions.  Luckily for all, GA4 allows for a more complete understanding of the customer journey across multiple devices. The new tool lets marketers easily edit, fine tune and correct the way events are tracked, without having to incorporate coding to alter the script (like the previous version).

Should you get onboard with the new GA4?  Absolutely, as soon as possible! After June 2023 your existing GA won’t work and you will only be able to analyse any old data for 6 months before it is gone. Ideally you should back up as much existing GA data as you can. To compare year on year data it is crucial GA4 is in place and running smoothly by June 2022.


February was going to be a difficult month when compared to last year as the 2021 Australian Open was in Feb’21 but moved back to January this year.

However, the February spend of $595 million was still 3.3% up on Feb’21. We have now had more than 12 months of continuous growth and the YTD is 22% up on the previous year YTD.  Jan-Feb’22 is even 9.4% up on the pre-covid Jan-Feb’20 period.

Well, here’s a surprise, Government spend was once again the stellar performer in February, spending $42.4 million which is a 73.7% increase on Feb’21.  Travel continues to recover strongly and increased 40.1%, while ‘Communications’ (+37.1%), Financial Services (+30.5%) and Insurance (+17.5%) also had strong increases.  Automotive continued to reduce their spend and was -3.3% down for the month. Perhaps understandable if you’ve tried to buy a car lately.

Television expenditure was down -7.1% due to the metro markets as Regional TV spend was up +2.5%. Digital was up +17.8% with strong support from the Automotive category and a +19.2% increase in ‘Display’ activity.  Radio had a modest +0.1% increase and again this was due to Regional Radio which was up +5.1% while Metro Radio spend was down -1.7%. ‘Digital’ Radio also increased +39.8%.  Outdoor increased by +7.5% with QMS having the strongest Feb growth at +24.2%. News Media spend (Printed & Digital papers) grew by +1.2% and Magazines (Print & Digital) declined by -9.4%.  As expected, Cinema had another strong increase of +107.2% compared to Feb21.


  1. Princess Anne last attended the Sydney Royal Easter Show in 1988
  2. The Anzacs were all volunteers
  3. Oh to be a snail – they can sleep for 3 years
  4. The Mona Lisa has no eyebrows
  5. The ABS Retail sales figures for February 2022 are up +9.07%
  6. Only 28.2% of Australians agree “its important to look fashionable” (Morgan)
  7. You lose up to 30 percent of your taste buds during flight
  8. In Germany, it is illegal to dance on Good Friday
  9. Book your holiday quick – over 4 mill Aussies are planning a trip away this Easter