oOh!media Embroiled In $1 Million Charity Fraud

oOh!media Embroiled In $1 Million Charity Fraud
SHARE
THIS



One of Australia’s biggest media companies, the out of home provider oOh!media, has fallen prey to a charity fraudster to the tune of over $1 million in free advertising on its network.

Last night the ABC’s 7.30 ran a 15-minute investigation (which you can watch in full here) into a charity called Walking Wounded.

The group was founded by ex-serviceman Brian Freeman (below) with the aim of rehabilitating army veterans returning from Afghanistan or aiding the families of those killed in action.

Screen shot 2018-04-11 at 8.37.31 AM

However, 7.30 alleges that Freeman misappropriated some $1.3 million in donations for his own personal use. While victim’s families interviewed for the program claimed none of the money had gone to the promised counselling and rehabilitation services.

Following a number of complaints, Walking Wounded was stripped of its charity status and it is reported that the Queensland Police are now investigating Freeman’s actions.

In 2016, Walking Wounded won oOh!media’s “Million Dollar Pitch”, a competition which saw the winning entrant receive $1 million worth of free advertising on oOh!media billboards to promote its particular cause. The poster campaign was created by independent creative agency BCM.

However, there is no suggestion that oOh!media or BCM were aware of Freeman’s actions at the time.

Following the successful and hugely publicised campaign, oOh!media released Walking Wounded Case Study (Effectiveness and Brand Innovation in Out Of Home Advertising) to show the effectiveness of its products to potential advertisers.

Following last night’s 7.30 story, a oOh!media spokesperson told B&T the company was “shocked and disappointed” to learn of the revelations against Walking Wounded and Brian Freeman.

“We felt that the campaign’s message that 46 were killed in service but tragically 239 committed suicide upon their return was an important one for all Australians to hear and as a result announced advertising agency BCM as the winning entry,” the spokesperson said.

He added that Walking Wounded’s message about post-traumatic stress disorder in returning servicemen was still a poignant one and “while it would have been preferable that Walking Wounded wasn’t wound-up, there were clearly strong community positives from the work we did with them in raising awareness of PSTD.”

oOh!media wasn’t the only company to be seduced by Walking Wounded’s claims. Another sponsor, Sunny Queen Eggs, told 7.30 it ended its association with Walking Wounded in late 2016 after donating $300,000 in cash and in-kind support.

The company said it did so after becoming “increasingly uncomfortable with Mr Freeman’s lack of transparency in terms of how the funds raised were being utilised and with his increased focus on the adventure trekking side of things.”

Freeman himself refused to be interviewed on camera for the 7.30 story, however, denied he’d misused donations and said the charity had paid for a number of veterans to go on treks to places like the famed Kokoda Trail.

Latest News

THIS
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Meet Your Judges For The 2018 B&T Awards!

B&T is calling this year's awards judges probably the finest ever assembled. As a chamber choir, arguably less so.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
CBS Snares Format Rights For Quiz Show ‘Have You Been Paying Attention?’
  • Media

CBS Snares Format Rights For Quiz Show ‘Have You Been Paying Attention?’

CBS Studios International has announced an agreement with Working Dog Productions for the exclusive, worldwide format rights to comedy quiz show Have You Been Paying Attention? Now in its sixth season, HYBPA? is broadcast on the CBS-owned Network Ten in Australia, and is the number one quiz show and the third-highest-rated overall show on the […]

Delacon Appoints Kenshoo Sales Chief As Director Of Operations
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Delacon Appoints Kenshoo Sales Chief As Director Of Operations

Call analytics provider Delacon has appointed Ezri Lerba to the newly created position of director of operations to manage partnerships and business development. Lerba joins Delacon after more than eight years with marketing technology company Kenshoo where he most recently held the role of director of sales across Australia and New Zealand. As first boots […]

Abstract spherical technology network background.
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media
  • Opinion
  • Technology

Why Tech Is The Best Thing That Happened To Agencies

In this opinion piece, Schedugram CEO Hugh Stephens (pictured) tackles the complexity of agency business models. Agency models are high touch, human resource heavy and require the constant balancing and correcting of clients to account managers. With too many clients, staff will struggle under the workload (a big part of high agency attrition rates) or […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Weet-Bix Celebrates 90 Years Of Aussie Kids Being Weet-Bix Kids
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns
  • Media

Weet-Bix Celebrates 90 Years Of Aussie Kids Being Weet-Bix Kids

This year Sanitarium Weet-Bix via The Mix Agency, Shopitize and The Kanga Group, is celebrating 90 years of Australian breakfasts. Sanitarium is celebrating by inviting Aussie kids (young and young-at-heart) to help them celebrate with the release of limited edition birthday packs and personalised Weet-Bix bowls. From Kalgoorlie to Kiama, Bowen to Broome and Darwin […]

Admation Agency Management Software Integrates With Mediaocean Finance Software
  • Media
  • Technology

Admation Agency Management Software Integrates With Mediaocean Finance Software

Automaton integrates finance software with admation – its agency management and workflow solution to enhance productivity for ad agencies. Automaton is always evolving admation, its agency project management and approval workflow software, to enable ad agencies to better manage their creative projects and resources. The business recently completed phase one of its integration with Mediaocean’s […]

Indie Agency KWP! Snares Tourism NT’s Creative Account
  • Advertising

Indie Agency KWP! Snares Tourism NT’s Creative Account

Tourism NT has appointed KWP! as its lead strategic and creative agency. The independent agency, with offices in Darwin and Adelaide, has won the two-year contract following a competitive pitch in September this year. As the lead agency, KWP! is required to formulate sound strategic insights based on ongoing analysis of market research, consumer insights and […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
McCann’s Action-Packed Army Ad Plays Out Like A War Flick Or Video Game
  • Campaigns

McCann’s Action-Packed Army Ad Plays Out Like A War Flick Or Video Game

Most army recruitment ads tend to steer clear of the blindingly obvious of military life – you get a gun to shoot the enemy or you get shot yourself. More so, agencies aren’t overly keen on promoting recruitment ads that are heavy on the guns or violence, preferring lifestyle or technical aspects of military life. Not so McCann’s new action-packed spot for the US […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Are You Dragging The Wrong People Into Pointless Meetings?
  • Opinion

Are You Dragging The Wrong People Into Pointless Meetings?

Donna McGeorge (pictured below) is a speaker and  mentor who helps people make their work work. McGeorge is also author of The 25-Minute Meeting: Half the Time, Double the Impact. In her latest guest post for B&T, McGeorge offers her tips on avoiding every workers’ hell- the pointless meeting… We all complain about having to attend too […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Francis Leach Joins The New Daily As Sports Editor
  • Media

Francis Leach Joins The New Daily As Sports Editor

Famed sports reporter Francis Leach has joined online publisher The New Daily as sports editor. A prolific broadcaster, journalist and program host, Leach brings his encyclopedic knowledge of sport and no-holds-barred critical analysis to the role. “Let’s face it, sport these days is big business. I’m interested in connecting and contextualising sport with the big […]

AIME Appoints Eleven To Champion 2019 Vision
  • Advertising
  • Media

AIME Appoints Eleven To Champion 2019 Vision

Eleven has been appointed to manage all PR for the Asia Pacific Incentives Meetings & Event (AIME) 2019, the leading show for the business events industry. Selected by Talk2 Media & Events, Eleven will drive a global PR campaign, working with sister agency FleishmanHillard, to leverage international media networks across Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East […]