Astonishing revelations have surfaced today over the amount Amber Harrison spent on company credit cards even before she commenced an affair with Seven West Media CEO Tim Worner in 2014.
The suggested figure was as much as $500,000 spent on luxury hotels, international flights, clothes, restaurants, day spas, a weight loss clinic, a hypnotherapist, concert tickets and trips to the hairdresser.
Harrison – whose affair with Worner lasted for 18 months from 2013 – had her employment terminated at Seven in 2014 when news of (the now ended) affair became public.
Seven cited her misuse of the company cards as reason for her dismissal. Seven alleged as much as $262,000 had been spent by Harrison for personal use, although the former PA admitted to only $54,000 being for personal use.
The Australian Financial Review is this morning reporting that Harrison ran up as much as half-a-million-dollars, although there is no suggestion that a large proportion of this wasn’t for legitimate business use (including a work Christmas party). Yet, it does highlight the largesse of the network and the pampered life of its senior employees.
The AFR has quoted a Deloitte report presented by Seven’s lawyers to show the extent of Harrison’s spendings; however, Harrison has disputed the claims made by the auditing firm.
It has been alleged that because of Harrison’s access to the emails of Seven execs – namely her boss Nick Chan, the then CEO of Seven’s Pacific Magazines – she could sign off her own expenses.
According to Seven, investigations into Harrison’s spending began before the commencement of the affair with Worner. Deloitte told the Seven board in an initial report it had found “extensive and deliberate efforts by Ms Harrison to conceal personal expenditure.”
Seven currently has a court imposed gag order on Harrison preventing her from speaking to the media or airing sensitive documents she took while an employee of the broadcaster via social media.
In documents tended to the NSW Supreme Court and obtained by Fairfax Media, in 2012 (prior to her affair with Worner), Harrison went to Hong Kong with her then boyfriend for a trip she described as the “Book project – accommodation for negotiating author deal”.
During the “book” trip Harrison stayed at one of Hong Kong’s top hotel’s – the Upper House (in main photo) – running up a $2237 bill. She also claimed another hotel stay for $2309, entertainment expenses of $948 and a $974 iPad.
Seven has admitted that it has had a problem with loose spending on company credit cards, something it has tried to crack down on.
At last month’s announcement of Seven’s half-yearly figures, Seven’s chairman, Kerry Stokes, publicly backed the embattled Worner and took the opportunity for a swipe at Harrison.
“There was a significant amount of money taken by her and no other excuse for it, that (was) just plain taken,” Stokes said. “Now and again dishonest people work for us and no system will stop dishonest people unfortunately.”
The AFR also quoted a Seven spokesperson relating to the misuse of company credit cards: “The Deloitte Report’s conclusions identify a pattern of deliberate concealment of unauthorised personal transactions using multiple corporate cards. It is hard for any organisation to completely eliminate fraudulent conduct.”
Canteen’s latest campaign features the combined talents of Director Luna Laure and creative agency Crater. The campaign strives to raise awareness for young people affected by cancer. The awareness campaign centres around Harry Barentson, who at 12 years of age found out his pregnant mum had cancer. While his mother fortunately survived, he lost his […]
In partnership with storytelling agency Enthral, AFL star Kevin Sheedy has voiced a video ‘Love Letter to Victoria’ using visuals to showcase the state’s natural beauty and culture. Victoria has been hit with the worst of the coronavirus pandemic compared with any other Aussie state experiencing four lockdowns. Sheedy has partnered with Ethral to share […]
Telstra’s lower-cost telco, Belong, has awarded its strategy and creative account to Howatson + White, and has reappointed OMD to its media buying account, after a competitive pitch process. Howatson + White will handle strategy, planning, creative and CRM, while former agency Clemenger will continue to have a relationship with Belong, managing PR and retail activation. […]
Coca-Cola Australia has rolled out its new campaign ‘Turn Up Your Break’. The campaign will be led by a TVC that encourages people to truly pause with a Coke on their break so they can walk away feeling refreshed and uplifted. The TVC features two busy chefs stepping outside for a break, the bustling kitchen […]
Nova 919’s Ben & Liam breakfast show announced that they’ll be throwing their support behind and raising awareness for a cause very close to their hearts, mental health. On Monday 21 June Ben Harvey and Liam Stapleton will be locked in a purpose-built glass structure, in the middle of Rundle Mall, for an entire week […]
TRENDii has announced TRENDii Ads, a new contextual advertising solution that leverages content and context to promote eCommerce products at scale around the world. TRENDii Ads is user privacy friendly and offers a new way for businesses and brands to target consumers at the moment that they are most inspired to shop. “We believe good […]
ARN and The New York Times have reached an agreement for ARN to become the advertising sales representative for The New York Times’s podcast portfolio in Australia. The deal will enable Australian brands to connect with Australian listeners to The New York Times’s most popular podcasts, such as The Daily, Serial and This American Life, […]
Verizon Media’s talent program has come to an end for the third year, closing with a hybrid pitch-off event for Musicians Making A Difference (MMAD). The Verizon Media Academy class of 2021, made up of 44 emerging leaders from across Australia and New Zealand media, advertising and marketing industry, were given just one hour to […]