• Garth Callender

Millions lost from 40-year-old secret


This Week – Neeson loses support, AMP loses data and crisis team established for flood affected farmers



Racist and violent comments send Hollywood into spin

66-year-old actor, Liam Neeson, has created a scandal that has potentially cost film producers millions and tarnished his character and future acting prospects.

  • The incident occurred when Neeson made a startling admission during an interview as part of the release of his latest film, ‘Cold Pursuit’. He spoke of how, 40 years ago, he was enraged to learn of a friend's rape and recounted how he spent days roaming city streets, a bludgeon in hand, looking for a ‘black bastard’ he could ‘kill’.

  • On social media, posters demanded that Neeson's scenes in the upcoming film "Men in Black: International" be re-shot, removing him from the film.

  • The incident is reminiscent of the backlash from Mel Gibson’s homophobic, racist and anti-Semitic remarks in 2006 that stunted his career for a decade or more.

  • A swift response by Neeson to minimise the damage included interviews and apologies. However this could not stop the cancellation of Neeson’s red carpet and other planned promotional events and the delay in the release of the new film in some cinemas.

  • While the effect on the film box-office takings may be difficult to assess, it does raise questions about how stars are managed during film releases and what decisions need to be made to manage the flow-on effects from the damage caused by Neeson’s remarks.

AMP data breach

In the latest scandal to hit wealth manager, AMP, a contractor has been accused of stealing customer data with the intention of selling it on the ‘darkweb’.

  • AMP has been in damage control since the banking royal commission heard claims customers were charged for advice they never received, including some cases where clients were deceased. The admissions led to the resignation of AMP CEO in April last year.

  • Adding to their issues, last month an AMP contractor was arrested while attempting to board a flight to China, after downloading 23 documents including passport and driver’s licences of 20 different customers at AMP. He had then attempted to install a ‘darkweb’ internet browser on his AMP laptop in December using an external USB storage device. The accused plead guilty to charges of possessing identity information to an indictable offence.

  • AMP has been working with NSW Police and said it had strong cyber-security systems in place to protect customer data. It has reportedly contacted all affected customers and claims that extra security controls are in place for them.

  • Cyber security and data breaches are an ongoing and growing concern for Australian businesses. Having cyber safeguards in place will go a long way to protect your business and your clients. However, it is important to ensure your leadership team is trained in how to react if a cyber-attack or data breach occurs. Trebuchet Pivot offers crisis management services that ensure leadership teams are prepared for considered, deliberate and calm responses, when it counts.

From drought to flood – crisis team established

A crisis team has been established to coordinate support to cattle producers across Northern Queensland as their herds are devastated by floodwaters.

  • AgForce, the peak body representing Queensland beef, sheep and wool, and grain producers, has establish a crisis management team to ensure affected producers receive the required support.

  • While experts say it is too early for an accurate estimate of the financial cost from livestock losses and damage to property and equipment, it is assessed to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

  • The crisis team has been established to initially determine the scale of the disaster and assess what resources and services they will need to support producers through the next few weeks. The team has been selected for their expertise in farming, connections across the sector and close relationships across State and Local Governments.

  • Experience from past events leads them to believe that stock losses will be much higher than normal, because drought-weakened cattle are more susceptible to being caught and drowned in floodwaters or dying of exposure in the wet, cold winds.

  • They will also be considering the emotional, as well as financial, impact on producers.

  • A whole-of-industry team, such as this, is vital to ensure effective decisions are made to achieve the industries strategic objects - ensuring the well-being of the producers, welfare of the animals and recovery of the individual producer and the industry.

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