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What are family trusts?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jamie-thwin-1542004">Jamie Thwin</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/brett-david-freudenberg-226795">Brett David Freudenberg</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/melissa-belle-isle-1541984">Melissa Belle Isle</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a></em></p> <p>Many of us associate trust funds with their depictions in popular culture – tools used by the mega-rich to distribute enormous family incomes among “trust-fund babies”.</p> <p>Recently, they even went viral as the centrepiece of a <a href="https://www.tiktok.com/@girl_on_couch/video/7363742421588512043?lang=en">TikTok audio</a> by user @girl_on_couch, who was famously “looking for a man in finance. With a trust fund. 6'5. Blue eyes.”</p> <p>But trusts – which allow assets to be managed by one party for the benefit of others – are more widespread than many people realise.</p> <p>And they’re not just for the super wealthy. In 2020-21, <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2024-01/p2024-489823-teis.pdf">more than a tenth</a> of all Australians who lodged a tax return reported trust income.</p> <p>Among the most common types of trust in Australia are family trusts, which are often designed to hold family assets or manage a family business. But their popularity has seen them regularly <a href="https://www.afr.com/policy/tax-and-super/treasury-eyes-tax-on-60b-in-family-trusts-20240131-p5f1fr">in the sights</a> of government and the tax office.</p> <p>So what exactly are family trusts, and why are they so controversial?</p> <h2>First, what’s a trust?</h2> <p>A trust is a legal arrangement where a person nominated as a “trustee” manages assets for the benefit of another person or particular group of people. It isn’t a separate legal entity, but rather a kind of legal relationship.</p> <p>A trust imposes what’s called an “equitable obligation” on its trustee to hold and manage trust assets according to specific conditions. These are set out in a “trust deed” for the explicit benefit of others, known as the trust’s “beneficiaries”.</p> <p>The trustee acts as the legally appointed administrator of trust assets. But the beneficiaries still have what’s called “equitable interest” under the arrangement – certain rights to benefit from those assets.</p> <p>Trustees can be individuals or companies. And many trusts include an “appointor” who has ultimate control. This appointor can appoint or remove the trustee at any time, and in many cases must consent to any changes in the trust deed.</p> <h2>What’s a family trust, and why do people use them?</h2> <p>In Australia, a family trust is a type of “discretionary trust”. Unlike a “fixed trust”, this means the trustee can make decisions about how assets and income are allocated among beneficiaries.</p> <p>Family trusts are typically set up by a family member for the benefit of the family as a whole. A family trust deed can nominate multiple beneficiaries. These could include not only parents, children, grandchildren and other family members, but also other trusts and even companies.</p> <p>Family trusts are often used to take advantage of their tax implications. This is because between years, trustees can vary the distribution of income among beneficiaries.</p> <p>Any undistributed income left in the trust is taxed at the top marginal tax rate of 45%. But if distributed to beneficiaries with lower personal marginal tax rates, it is instead taxed at those rates, which can lower the total tax paid.</p> <p>This explanation oversimplifies the picture, and there are a range of important caveats.</p> <p>For example, if a beneficiary is non-resident of Australia for tax purposes, the trustee will be liable to pay tax on their behalf. And distributing trust income to beneficiaries aged under 18 can attract penalty taxes at the top marginal rate.</p> <h2>Why are they controversial?</h2> <p>Family trusts have attracted scrutiny from regulators and the public for a range of reasons – perhaps chief among them, this broad ability to lower taxation by splitting income.</p> <p>The private nature of many trusts means there is often minimal public reporting, so it can be difficult to determine who in society is benefiting from trust income, and how. There are also concerns that they can be structured inappropriately to hide income.</p> <p>Trusts can also help safeguard a family’s wealth by shielding a family’s assets from the liabilities of individual members. The beneficiaries of a discretionary trust generally have no legal entitlement to its assets.</p> <p>This means that if the beneficiary goes bankrupt or gets divorced, the trust’s assets may often be protected from any claims.</p> <p>In 2019, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) released the findings of an <a href="https://www.ato.gov.au/about-ato/research-and-statistics/in-detail/general-research/current-issues-with-trusts-and-the-tax-system">independent review</a> into trusts and the tax system. Some key areas of concern include:</p> <ul> <li>income tax shuffles (individuals exploiting differences in income definitions between trust law and tax law to dodge higher marginal tax rates)</li> <li>using convoluted structures like circular trusts (two trusts that are beneficiaries of each other) to obscure trust income and who the ultimate beneficiaries are, and</li> <li>trusts failing to lodge tax returns.</li> </ul> <p>The use of trusts as a business structure in Australia may yet require further review.</p> <p>This should not only seek to examine the legislation underpinning trusts, but also improve education for accountants to better understand trust and tax law.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/232601/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jamie-thwin-1542004">Jamie Thwin</a>, PhD Student (Tax Law), <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/brett-david-freudenberg-226795">Brett David Freudenberg</a>, Professor of Taxation, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/melissa-belle-isle-1541984">Melissa Belle Isle</a>, Lecturer Taxation, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-are-family-trusts-232601">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Money & Banking

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Australia's most trusted brands for 2024 revealed

<p>Despite the rise in cost-of-living, there are some brands that Aussies continue to have confidence in, and are willing to spend their money on. </p> <p>Over 4,000 Australians were surveyed by market research agency Catalyst, who were commissioned by Reader's Digest, and they were asked to choose the brands they trusted the most across nearly 70 different categories. </p> <p>"It's been a very challenging few years, but ultimately our category winners share a key common trait," Catalyst Research director Cameron Gentle said.</p> <p>"They consistently deliver on their promise. People have an expectation of what they're going to get, and the particular product or organisation delivers what they're after. Time and again."</p> <p>The survey, now in its 25th year, has crowned Bunnings as the ‘most iconic’ retailer and the fourth most trusted brand. </p> <p>Other noteworthy winners include Singapore Airlines for the most trusted brand to fly with, Panadol for pain relief, and Toyota for cars. </p> <p>Dettol was ultimately crowned the most trusted brand, earning the number one spot. </p> <p>"Since its humble beginnings in 1935, when Dettol Antiseptic Liquid was used as a post-surgery antiseptic skin wash in hospitals, Dettol has evolved to become the trusted brand in germ protection around the home," Readers Digest wrote.</p> <p><strong>Check out the list of Australia's top 20 most trusted brands below: </strong></p> <p>20. Yates</p> <p>19. Finish</p> <p>18. Lipton</p> <p>17. Woolworths</p> <p>16. Weet-bix</p> <p>15. Selleys</p> <p>14. Glen 20</p> <p>13. Dairy Farmers</p> <p>12. Royal Flying Doctors Service</p> <p>11. Weber</p> <p>10. Bega</p> <p>9. Toyota</p> <p>8. Panadol</p> <p>7. Bridgestone</p> <p>6. Cancer Council</p> <p>5. Dulux</p> <p>4. Bunnings</p> <p>3. Cadbury</p> <p>2. Band-Aid</p> <p>1. Dettol</p> <p><em>Image: Trusted Brands</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Is hyaluronic acid as effective as skincare brands claim?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lian-liu-1459225">Lian Liu</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-surrey-1201">University of Surrey</a></em></p> <p>Hyaluronic acid has become a huge buzzword in the beauty industry, with everything from creams and cleansers to shampoos containing it. Often, these products are marketed to consumers with the promise that hyaluronic acid will boost hydration – important for keeping the skin looking its best.</p> <p><a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fvets.2019.00192/full">Hyaluronic acid</a> is ubiquitous in our organs and tissues, playing a crucial role in the function of our cells and tissues.</p> <p>Hyaluronic acid has been in clinical use for decades, for example, as an injectable between joints to help <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31294035/">lubricate cartilage</a>. But at the turn of the century, cosmetic companies began using it as a moisturising ingredient in cosmetic products.</p> <p>Topically, it’s thought that hyaluronic acid works by holding and retaining water molecules in order to <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S014181301833770X">hydrate the skin</a> and restore elasticity, preventing wrinkles. When combined with sunscreen, hyaluronic acid may be capable of protecting the skin against ultraviolet radiation as it has <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2018.09.188">antioxidant properties</a> (meaning it prevents damage caused by oxidising agents, such as ultraviolet radiation).</p> <p>One of the most frequent marketing claims used to sell hyaluronic acid is the long-held belief that hyaluronic acid holds 1,000 times its weight in water. This means it can maintain moisture and reduce moisture loss.</p> <p>But this claim has been called into question recently, with <a href="https://www.newscientist.com/article/2418345-benefits-of-hyaluronic-acid-in-skincare-products-have-been-oversold/">numerous publications</a> recently discussing <a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-13140853/Benefits-hyaluronic-acid-skincare-oversold.html">the findings</a> of a <a href="https://chemrxiv.org/engage/chemrxiv/article-details/64b5b086b053dad33a6cdcaf">pre-print paper</a> which suggests this claim is not true.</p> <p>The authors of the pre-print, researchers from the University of California, looked into the molecule-binding properties of hyaluronic acid and water to test the claim that it can hold 1,000 times its weight in water.</p> <p>To do this, the researchers created a solution containing 1g of hyaluronic acid and 1,000g of water (0.1% of hyaluronic acid), which was compared with just water. They then applied heat to both solutions, measuring the thermal changes that occurred. They found that there was not much difference in the changes that occurred in the 0.1% hyaluronic acid solution compared with the pure water. They therefore concluded that the long-held claim is not true.</p> <p>These findings may have consumers wondering how well their hyaluronic acid products actually work if it doesn’t hydrate the skin as much as previously claimed.</p> <h2>How hyaluronic acid works</h2> <p>While there’s no disputing the experimental results obtained, the conclusion on hyaluronic acid’s water-holding capacity is not applicable to all forms of hyaluronic acids.</p> <p>Hyaluronic acid comes in different molecular sizes. This pre-print only looked at one medium-sized hyaluronic acid molecule in their experiments. This means the results may only be true for products containing medium and smaller sized hyaluronic acid molecules.</p> <p>When hylauronic acid interacts with water, its water-loving and water-hating parts lead to electrostatic repulsion. This enables large numbers of hyaluronic acid molecules to <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1468-3083.2004.01180.x">form networks</a>, which look a bit like honeycombs, and expand.</p> <p>The larger the hyaluronic acid’s molecule size, the more capable it is of forming these honeycomb structures – and also the more able it is to retain water relative to its own weight.</p> <p>Hyaluronic acid with larger molecular sizes will form these networks at a concentration of 0.1%, meaning it can hold 1,000 times its own weight in water. Some very large molecules will even form these networks at a <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2012600/">concentration as low as 0.05%</a>. This means it can hold 2,000 times its weight in water.</p> <p>It’s also worth noting that hyaluronic acid doesn’t just hold moisture and hydrate the skin. Because of its <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1468-3083.2004.01180.x">hydrating and antioxidant effects</a>, it also promotes cell regeneration and stimulates collagen production. So hyaluronic acid’s benefits go beyond its ability to retain water.</p> <p>Although this paper may have partially debunked one popular claim about hyaluronic acid’s moisturising abilities, that doesn’t mean you should stop using it. The research still shows there’s no doubt about hyaluronic acid’s moisturising abilities, which can leave skin softer, smoother and with fewer wrinkles. Plus, hyaluronic acid’s antioxidant effects promote the growth of new skin cells and collagen.</p> <p>But if you want to make sure you’re getting the most effective product possible, look for one containing multiple weights of hyaluronic acid molecules (sometimes labelled as “triple weight”, “multiweight” or “multi-molecular weight”). Also look for a product containing a minimum hyaluronic acid concentration of 0.1%.</p> <p>This is because research suggests products containing a <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jocd.14981">formulation of multiple sizes</a> of hyaluronic acid molecules could be more beneficial for skin than formulations containing only one molecule size. This is partly due to smaller molecules permeating skin better, while the larger ones hold more water.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/224906/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lian-liu-1459225"><em>Lian Liu</em></a><em>, Reader, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-surrey-1201">University of Surrey</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/is-hyaluronic-acid-as-effective-as-skincare-brands-claim-224906">original article</a>.</em></p>

Beauty & Style

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Bunnings has toppled Woolworths as Australia’s most ‘trusted’ brand – what makes us trust a brand in the first place?

<p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/louise-grimmer-212082">Louise Grimmer</a>, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-tasmania-888">University of Tasmania</a></em></p> <p>Think of some of the world’s biggest brands: Nike, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Apple. With what do you associate them? Are they positive associations? Now consider, do you trust them?</p> <p>Brand trust is a measure of how customers <em>feel</em> about a brand in terms of how well the brand delivers on its promises. Trust is an important measure for any organisation, large or small.</p> <p>Whether or not customers trust a brand can be the difference between choosing that brand’s products or services over another.</p> <p>In Australia, Woolworths <a href="https://www.roymorgan.com/findings/9472-risk-monitor-quartely-update-december-2023">held the title</a> of our most trusted brand for three and a half years. But recent cost-of-living pressures have put supermarkets in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.</p> <p>Roy Morgan Research’s <a href="https://www.roymorgan.com/findings/9472-risk-monitor-quartely-update-december-2023">most recent trust rankings</a> show Woolworths has slipped to number two, handing its crown to hardware behemoth Bunnings.</p> <p>It’s clear that trust is fragile and can be quickly squandered when brands lose touch with those they serve.</p> <p>So what makes us trust a brand in the first place? And why do we trust some more than others?</p> <h2>What makes us trust a brand?</h2> <p>According to customer experience management firm Qualtrics, <a href="https://www.qualtrics.com/au/experience-management/brand/brand-trust/">brand trust</a> is</p> <blockquote> <p>the confidence that customers have in a brand’s ability to deliver on what it promises. As a brand consistently meets the expectations it has set in the minds of customers, trust in that brand grows.</p> </blockquote> <p>There are many ways to go about measuring brand trust. A typical first step is to ask lots of people what they think, collating their general opinions on product quality and the brand’s customer service experience.</p> <p>This can be strengthened with more quantifiable elements, including:</p> <ul> <li>online ratings and reviews</li> <li>social media “sentiment” (positive, negative or neutral)</li> <li>corporate social responsibility activities</li> <li>philanthropic efforts</li> <li>customer data security and privacy.</li> </ul> <p>Some surveys go even deeper, asking respondents to consider a brand’s vision and mission, its approaches to sustainability and worker standards, and how honest its advertising appears.</p> <h2>Is this a real and useful metric?</h2> <p>The qualitative methodology used by <a href="https://www.roymorgan.com/findings/9472-risk-monitor-quartely-update-december-2023">Roy Morgan</a> to determine what Australian consumers think about 1,000 brands has been administered over two decades, so the data can be reliably compared across time.</p> <p>On measures of both trust and distrust, it asks respondents which brands they trust and why. This approach is useful because it tells us which elements factor into brand trust judgements.</p> <p><a href="https://roymorgan-cms-prod.s3.ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/07035120/9472-Risk-Monitor-Quartely-Update-December-2023-1-1.pdf">Customer responses</a> about the survey’s most recent winner, Bunnings, show that customer service, product range, value-for-money pricing and generous returns policies are the key drivers of strong trust in its brand.</p> <p>Here are some examples:</p> <blockquote> <p>Great customer service. Love their welcoming staff. Whether it’s nuts and bolts or a new toilet seat, they have it all, value for money.</p> <p>Great products and price and have a no quibble refund policy.</p> <p>Great stock range, help is there if you need it and it is my go-to for my gardening and tool needs. Really convenient trading hours, and their return policy is good.</p> </blockquote> <p>In addition to trust, there are three other metrics commonly used to assess brand performance:</p> <ul> <li> <p><strong>brand equity</strong> – the commercial or social value of consumer perceptions of a brand</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>brand loyalty</strong> – consumer willingness to consistently choose one brand over others regardless of price or competitor’s efforts</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>brand affinity</strong> – the emotional connection and common values between a brand and its customers.</p> </li> </ul> <p>However, trust is becoming a disproportionately important metric as consumers demand that companies provide <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernhardschroeder/2020/01/16/from-the-traditional-to-the-outrageous-four-brands-that-use-honest-transparency-to-build-loyal-customers-with-non-traditional-marketing-and-branding/?sh=6689f81320a1">increased transparency</a> and exhibit greater care for their customers, not just their shareholders.</p> <h2>Why do Australians trust retailers so much?</h2> <p>Of Australia’s top ten most trusted brands, seven are retailers – Bunnings, Woolworths, Aldi, Coles, Kmart, Myer and Big W.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/582082/original/file-20240314-28-h0xdf4.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/582082/original/file-20240314-28-h0xdf4.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/582082/original/file-20240314-28-h0xdf4.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=279&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/582082/original/file-20240314-28-h0xdf4.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=279&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/582082/original/file-20240314-28-h0xdf4.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=279&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/582082/original/file-20240314-28-h0xdf4.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=350&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/582082/original/file-20240314-28-h0xdf4.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=350&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/582082/original/file-20240314-28-h0xdf4.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=350&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="table shows that Bunnings is now Australia's most trusted brand, and Optus the least trusted brand." /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">The latest changes to Australia’s most trusted and most distrusted brand rankings.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="source" href="https://www.roymorgan.com/findings/9472-risk-monitor-quartely-update-december-2023">Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia)</a></span></figcaption></figure> <p>This <a href="https://www.fastcompany.com/90901331/america-most-trusted-brands-companies-report-2023-morning-consult">stands in contrast</a> with the United States, where the most trusted brands are predominantly from the healthcare sector.</p> <p>So why do retail brands dominate our trust rankings?</p> <p>They certainly aren’t small local businesses. Our retail sector is <a href="https://www.afr.com/companies/retail/in-the-shopping-trolley-war-the-supermarkets-have-to-give-20240122-p5ez4k">highly concentrated</a>, dominated by a few giant retail brands.</p> <p>We have only two major department stores (David Jones and Myer), three major discount department stores (Big W, Target and Kmart) and a <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-02-23/a-history-of-the-duopoly-coles-woolworths/103494070">supermarket “duopoly”</a> (Coles and Woolworths).</p> <p>It’s most likely then that these brands have been enjoying leftover goodwill from the pandemic.</p> <p>As Australia closed down to tackle COVID-19, the retail sector, and in particular the grocery sector, was credited with enabling customers to <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/inside-story-how-woolworths-and-coles-joined-forces-to-avert-covid-19-disaster-20200611-p551lk.html">safely access</a> food and household goods.</p> <p>Compared with many other countries, we did not see a predominance of empty shelves across Australia. Retailers in this country stepped up – implementing or improving their online shopping capabilities and ensuring physical stores followed health guidelines and protocols.</p> <p>Now, with the pandemic behind us and in an environment of high inflation, the <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-02-20/woolworths-coles-supermarket-tactics-grocery-four-corners/103405054">big two supermarkets</a> face <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2024/feb/20/do-coles-woolworths-specials-actually-offer-savings-choice-survey-supermarket-price-gouging-inquiry">growing distrust</a> and a <a href="https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Supermarket_Prices/SupermarketPrices">public inquiry</a>.</p> <h2>Lessons from the losers</h2> <p>After <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/business/2023/nov/20/optus-scandals-network-outage-cyberattack-ceo-resignation-kelly-bayer-rosmarin">two high profile disasters</a>, Optus finds itself the most distrusted brand in Australia.</p> <p>Its companions in the “most distrusted” group include social media brands Meta (Facebook), TikTok and X.</p> <p>Qantas, Medibank Private, Newscorp, Nestle and Amazon also made the top 10.</p> <p>The main reason consumers distrust brands is for a perceived failure to live up to their promises and responsibilities.</p> <p>For example, <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2023/09/18/amazon-working-conditions-safety-osha-doj/">worker conditions at multinational firm Amazon</a> are seen by some consumers as a reflection of questionable business practices.</p> <p>Other brands may have earned a reputation for failing to deliver the basics, like when chronic <a href="https://www.afr.com/companies/transport/compensating-travellers-for-cancelled-flights-long-overdue-20240212-p5f45c">flight delays and cancellations</a> plagued many Qantas customers.</p> <h2>Lessons from the winners</h2> <p>On the flip side, consumers have rewarded budget-friendly retailers with increased trust in the most recent rankings.</p> <p>Aldi, Kmart and Bunnings have improved their standing as trusted brands, no doubt in part because they have helped many Australian consumers deal with tight household budgets.</p> <p>As discretionary consumer spending continues to tighten, we may see a more permanent consumer shopping <a href="https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/retail/rise-of-the-value-shopper-as-budgets-are-crunched-a-threat-and-opportunity-for-retailers/news-story/9b7a355cfb3866ec60d2ee42b7cbd567">shift towards value for money</a> brands and discounters.</p> <p>Trust is a fragile thing to maintain once earned. As we move through 2024, Australian companies must pay close attention to their most important asset – strong relationships with those they serve.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/225578/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/louise-grimmer-212082">Louise Grimmer</a>, Senior Lecturer in Retail Marketing, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-tasmania-888">University of Tasmania</a></em></p> <p>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/bunnings-has-toppled-woolworths-as-australias-most-trusted-brand-what-makes-us-trust-a-brand-in-the-first-place-225578">original article</a>.</p>

Money & Banking

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Gina Rinehart snaps up another iconic Aussie brand

<p>Not long after being crowned<em> The Australian Financial Review’s (AFR)</em> Business Person of the Year, Gina Rinehart has made another big move in the fashion industry. </p> <p>The mining magnate has purchased heritage shoe brand Rossi Boots, which has been operating since 1910, as part of her  “commitment to preserving iconic national brands”. </p> <p>“(This) ensures that Rossi’s manufacturing excellence remains in Australian hands and will see it expand into new markets,” Rinehart’s company S. Kidman and Co said. </p> <p>Rossi Boots was founded by Arthur Rossiter, and sell high-quality leather boots for both men and women.</p> <p>They even supplied hundreds of boots to Australian soldiers during World War I and World War II, which Rinehart said is a “recognition of our national history”.</p> <p>“Rossi Boots is more than just a brand, it represents a cherished part of rural Australia’s way of life,” she said.</p> <p>“We are committed to nurturing its legacy by maintaining operations in Australia and are excited about the possibilities that lie ahead for Rossi Boots under the umbrella of S. Kidman and Co.”</p> <p>The acquisition of Rossi's boots follows Rinehart's recent purchase of another heritage fashion brand, Driza-Bone, known for their oil-skin jackets, which has been a staple in Aussie wardrobes for 125 years.  </p> <p>“We want to keep and preserve its magnificent past but we also want to rejuvenate it,” she said. </p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Post break-up Hugh Jackman reveals brand new look

<p>In an inspiring turn of events, Hugh Jackman, the ruggedly handsome Wolverine of our dreams, has ditched his trademark beard, just a month after amicably splitting from his wife, Deborra-Lee Furness. We're not entirely sure if the divorce court stipulated a "no facial hair" clause, but the man's commitment to cleanliness is truly inspiring.</p> <p>Jackman took to social media to reveal his fresh, beardless face to the world, leaving fans flabbergasted. The Aussie actor, who previously resembled a distinguished mountain man, now flaunts a look that screams "I might be going through a breakup, but my grooming game is still on point."</p> <p>The transformation was nothing short of astonishing. Instead of the wild and untamed beard we've come to know and love, Jackman shared pictures of himself sporting neatly trimmed facial hair, captured during a visit to a New York barbershop. He even took two street selfies to commemorate this momentous occasion, radiating a vibe that said, "I am ready to tackle life with a jawline as sharp as my wit."</p> <p>On his Instagram stories, Jackman posted a photo of himself grinning like a Cheshire cat in the barber's chair, with the caption, "Thank you Gabriel!!!" Clearly, he was thankful not just for the fine work of his barber but also for the chance to lighten his facial load.</p> <p>Fans couldn't contain their excitement over the "fresh" new look. One fan enthusiastically wrote, "Post break-up Hugh is here! Bring it on." Another chimed in, "You look great Hugh, much cleaner and fresher." It seems the internet was united in their appreciation for the change, as one person couldn't help but comment, "OK, that beard was a bit too long. Now it is 👌. Good decision 😁."</p> <p>Others couldn't resist a good-natured ribbing, with one cheeky commentator joking, "I bet that feels SO much better! We were going to start calling you Grizzly Adams soon 😂." Indeed, Jackman's transformation from a forest-dwelling hermit to a dapper gentleman is a sight to behold.</p> <p>And, of course, there were those who declared Jackman "handsome as ever". It seems that even without his facial fur, the man can still make hearts flutter.</p> <p>Jackman and Furness, who were married for 27 years, <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/relationships/hugh-jackman-devastated-after-marriage-split" target="_blank" rel="noopener">announced their separation</a> in September. They revealed their intention to part ways for the sake of "individual growth". And it seems that Jackman's journey of personal development begins with a well-trimmed beard.</p> <p>But what's next for this newly clean-shaven Jackman? Reports suggest that he's on a quest to find love again, with his inner circle placing bets on him "remarrying fairly quickly". Although some reports say he's still "mourning" his past relationship and isn't quite "back in the dating game" just yet, we have no doubt that his fresh face and renewed sense of self will lead to exciting prospects.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CydYhgjOenY/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CydYhgjOenY/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Hugh Jackman (@thehughjackman)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>In a surprising twist, <em>US Weekly</em> has reported that the actor is "in the early stages" of writing his memoir, promising "big bombshells." Perhaps this newfound style transformation is just the tip of the iceberg in a series of revelations that will leave us all reeling. We can only imagine the epic tales of his time as Wolverine, his love story with Deborra-Lee Furness, and of course, the "No Beard, No Baggage" chapter.</p> <p>October 12 marked Jackman's 55th birthday, with the actor reuniting briefly with Furness to celebrate at a New York restaurant. The couple enjoyed a "very happy" meal together with friends, and a source reported that it was a "good birthday". A representative for Jackman confirmed, "Yes, it's true. It was a lovely evening," proving that even in the wake of a separation, these two can still dine amicably.</p> <p>Jackman and Furness are said to be speaking fairly regularly following their separation, and the bond between them remains strong. So, as we look forward to the next chapters in the life of Hugh Jackman, we can only hope they come with more shocking style changes, captivating memoirs, and a dash of his infectious charisma. After all, when it comes to Jackman, it's clear that even without his beard, he'll always be a cut above the rest.</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Beauty & Style

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Sapling planted at Sycamore Gap to "restore hope" removed by National Trust

<p>UK resident Kieran Chapman, 27, is "absolutely gutted" after the sapling he planted in memory of the<a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/you-can-t-forgive-that-teen-arrested-after-felling-of-iconic-200-year-old-tree" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> felled Sycamore Gap tree</a> was heartbreakingly removed by National Trust. </p> <p>The 27-year-old spent hours on Friday planting the sapling just metres away from the stump of the iconic Sycamore Gap tree, but his efforts were in vain, as the sapling had been dug up by the National Trust on Sunday morning. </p> <p>The conservation charity said that they had to remove the sapling because it is a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site.</p> <p>A National Trust spokesperson told the <em>Newcastle Chronicle </em>that while they understand  “the strength of feeling following the events at Sycamore Gap” the site “is a scheduled ancient monument and a globally important archaeological setting, with UNESCO world heritage designation”.</p> <p>“Altering or adding to it can damage the archaeology, and is unlawful without prior consent from government.”</p> <p>But Chapman couldn't hide his disappointment: “It’s just devastating, isn’t it? It genuinely brought people a lot of joy and that’s been taken away," he told the publication. </p> <p>“I honestly thought if it got a good response they might end up keeping it.”</p> <p>Chapman planted the sapling because he wanted to “restore people’s faith in humanity, bring a smile back to people’s faces and just give them a bit of hope”.</p> <p>“I planned to go and take the dog for a walk next weekend there," he added. </p> <p>In a follow up post on Facebook, Chapman added that he was told by the National Trust that his tree will be replanted on another piece of land at the Housesteads Visitor Centre on Hadrian’s Wall. </p> <p>“Too many politics around all this for my liking, the top and bottom of it, it’s a tree, planted in soil. I understand the land is protected, but to protect a tree from being planted in the earth, where they’re designed to be, no matter where it’s location, is crazy,” he wrote.</p> <p>Two people were arrested over the incident,  a 16-year-old boy and 69-year-old former lumberjack. </p> <p>Both have been released on bail, with the lumberjack insisting that he had no involvement in the felling. </p> <p>“You’ve got the wrong feller,” he told<em> The Sun</em>.</p> <p>“I’m a former lumberjack and I’ve just been kicked off my property so I can see why people have pointed the finger.</p> <p>“My brother came down to make sure I hadn’t been arrested as he had heard a rumour that I had cut it down. I didn’t do it," he added. </p> <p><em>Images: Getty/ Facebook</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Sam Armytage opens up on interview with Russell Brand

<p>In light of recent accusations against the comedian and entertainer, Samantha Armytage recently revisited her unforgettable 2009 television encounter with what she described as the charismatic but somewhat "touchy-feely" Russell Brand.</p> <p>Reminiscing about the interview that took place during Brand's peak fame while he was touring Australia, Armytage <span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">candidly acknowledged that the experience was "pretty full-on".</span></p> <p>"Obviously, he was always rather outrageous in his persona," Armytage told <a href="https://www.news.com.au/entertainment/tv/flashback/sam-armytage-spills-on-infamous-russell-brand-interview/news-story/846c856fa73dab665e3e9dfb983fa320" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Daily Telegraph's Confidential</a>. "But I do recall him being very touchy-feely, which was quite intense considering I didn't know him personally."</p> <p>During the interview segment, viewers witnessed Brand's playful antics, including seductively biting into a banana and engaging in light flirtation with the Seven Network presenter. He complimented Armytage, telling her she was "gorgeous".</p> <p>"If you were on my television when I was a teenage boy, it would mess me up. I think you are gorgeous," Brand remarked.</p> <p>Blushing, Armytage responded with a compliment of her own, calling him "kind". Brand, with his characteristic humour, swiftly replied, "It ain't kind... it's just a bit rude."</p> <p>Recent discussions have resurrected clips of other prominent Australian presenters, such as TV and radio host Fifi Box and Nine journalist Liz Hayes, engaging in similar playful banter with Brand. However, Armytage is the first to publicly comment on these encounters, which comes at a time when Brand faces allegations of misconduct, rape and sexual assault.</p> <p>It's important to note that Brand has categorically denied all allegations made against him. These accusations surfaced in a joint investigation published by <em>The Sunday Times</em> of London, the <em>Times</em> of London, and Channel 4 Dispatches. Four women have accused Brand of rape, sexual assault, and emotional abuse during the height of his fame from 2006 to 2013.</p> <p>In response to the allegations, Brand released a video statement, vehemently denying what he called "very serious criminal allegations". He insisted that any encounters during his "promiscuous" period were consensual and claimed that he was the target of a "coordinated media attack".</p> <p>As a consequence of these allegations, numerous major organisations have distanced themselves from Brand. Media reports have indicated that episodes of popular UK reality shows, including <em>Big Brother</em>, <em>The Great British Bake Off</em>, and the comedy quiz show <em>QI</em> have been removed from streaming services, years after their initial release.</p> <p>Additionally, London's Metropolitan Police confirmed <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/london-police-receive-even-older-russell-brand-sexual-assault-allegation" target="_blank" rel="noopener">that they received a report</a> of an alleged assault involving Brand, though it appears to be distinct from the four victims previously reported in the media.</p> <p><em>Images: Channel 7</em></p>

TV

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London police receive even older Russell Brand sexual assault allegation

<p>London police have announced that they are investigating a sexual assault allegation involving British comedian and actor Russell Brand. This revelation comes in the wake of media reports that have emerged, detailing accusations <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/bbc-responds-to-damning-russell-brand-allegations" target="_blank" rel="noopener">made by four women against Brand</a> for incidents that allegedly occurred between 2006 and 2013, including a rape allegation linked to his Los Angeles residence.</p> <p>Brand, known for his comedy and acting career, has vehemently denied all allegations, asserting that all of his sexual relationships were consensual. The comedian gained fame as a commentator on the reality show <em>Big Brother</em> and subsequently played significant roles in Hollywood films such as <em>Forgetting Sarah Marshall</em> in 2008 and <em>Get Him to the Greek</em> in 2010. He was also briefly married to singer Katy Perry.</p> <p>In recent times, Brand has gained prominence as a political commentator and video blogger, although some of his content has featured COVID-19 conspiracy theories and misinformation regarding vaccines.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/CxOooOsIGXd/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/CxOooOsIGXd/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Russell Brand (@russellbrand)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The police announcement specifically referenced a new allegation stemming from an incident in central London's Soho neighbourhood in 2003. The Metropolitan Police stated that they are in contact with the woman who made this allegation and are providing her with support. They have also reached out to <em>The Sunday Times</em> and Channel 4, urging anyone who believes they have been a victim of a sexual offence to come forward and report it.</p> <p>In response to these allegations, three of Brand's former employers, including the BBC, Channel 4, and Banijay UK production company, have initiated their own investigations into the claims.</p> <p>Consequently, Brand's upcoming stand-up performance at the Theatre Royal Windsor, scheduled for Tuesday, has been cancelled, with tour promoters announcing the postponement of additional shows in light of the ongoing situation.</p> <p>Talent agency Tavistock Wood has severed ties with the comedian, citing feeling "horribly misled" by him, and Bluebird publisher has decided to "pause" future collaborations with Brand.</p> <p><em>Image: Instagram</em></p>

Legal

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BBC responds to damning Russell Brand allegations

<p>The BBC has shared that they are "urgently looking" into a series of sexual assault allegations against comedian and actor Russell Brand. </p> <p>The allegations from several women emerged after Channel 4's <em>Dispatches</em> program aired a bombshell documentary about the alleged assaults. </p> <p>The documentary, which was a years-long joint investigation between Channel 4 and the Times, has accused Brand of rape and sexual assaults between the years of 2006 and 2013. </p> <p>Brand has denied all the allegations and said all of his relationships have been consensual.</p> <p>Some of the alleged incidents raised by the women in the documentary occurred while Brand, 48, was working at BBC radio stations between 2006 and 2008. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">The BBC say they are "urgently looking into the issues raised" by allegations about Russell Brand in the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/C4Dispatches?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#C4Dispatches</a> documentary, Russell Brand: In Plain Sight.</p> <p>The production company Banijay UK and Channel 4 have also said they are launching their own internal investigations. <a href="https://t.co/937IBnPnOJ">pic.twitter.com/937IBnPnOJ</a></p> <p>— Channel 4 Dispatches (@C4Dispatches) <a href="https://twitter.com/C4Dispatches/status/1703459588379406500?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 17, 2023</a></p></blockquote> <p>A BBC spokesperson said in a statement, "The documentary and associated reports contained serious allegations, spanning a number of years."</p> <p>"Russell Brand worked on BBC radio programmes between 2006 and 2008 and we are urgently looking into the issues raised."</p> <p>Mr Brand resigned from the BBC programs in 2008 following public uproar over a on-air prank, when he made prank calls to actor Andrew Sachs with offensive comments about the actor's granddaughter.</p> <p>Channel 4's production company has also launched an "urgent" internal investigation into the allegations. </p> <p>In response to the damning allegations, Dame Caroline Dinenage, who chairs the House of Commons media committee, said, "We will be closely monitoring the responses of the media, especially our public service broadcasters, to these allegations, and looking at the questions that this, yet again, raises about the culture in the industry as a whole."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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Coles and Woolies branded "price gougers" by disgruntled shopper

<p>It's no secret that while millions of Aussies are struggling to put food on the table during the ongoing cost of living crisis, supermarket giants Coles and Woolworths are raking in record-breaking profits. </p> <p>While the unreasonable inflation of grocery prices is endlessly frustrating, it seems as though there's nothing everyday shoppers can do to avoid the price increases. </p> <p>But that didn't stop one frustrated Aussie from making a statement against the supermarket chains. </p> <p>The man from Sydney shared a video of him targeting Coles and Woolies shops in the Eastern Suburbs, as he chose to rephrase their taglines.</p> <p>Heading to a Woolies Metro in Bondi Junction, he printed on the logo, "The price gouge people", playing on their slogan of "The fresh food people".</p> <p>He then went to Coles in Rose Bay, reprinting their logo of the pointed down hand with the phrase, "Down, down, morality down", referencing the "down, down, prices are down" jingle.</p> <p>The posted a video of his antics to Instagram, captioning his antics, "So over this bull***t duopoly that Australia just puts up with for some reason. Using inflation as a smoke screen to rake in billions by price gouging people during a cost of living crisis."</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/CwbFvB4hX0-/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/CwbFvB4hX0-/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by NOTNOT (@notnotcamscott)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>"There’s a reason why Coles and Woolworths make double the profit margins of other supermarkets in comparable markets overseas. 2/3 domination of our market leaves battlers with no time to seek out alternatives, no choice but to give into their greed."</p> <p>The video was quickly met with a flood of support, with one person writing, "When you inevitably get a fine for this, please put up a GoFundMe on Reddit and I will donate to cover part of the cost. Thanks for doing something more people should be doing!"</p> <p>Another person wrote, "I love how you can hold some tools and wear high-vis and nobody blinks and eye in this country", while several more commenters dubbed the man a "legend". </p> <p>Speaking to <a href="https://au.news.yahoo.com/disgruntled-shopper-sabotages-woolworths-and-coles-signs-the-price-gouge-people-072137676.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Yahoo News</em></a>, Woolworths confirmed that the new signage had been removed from their Bondi store, and said they are committed to helping families during the cost of living crisis.</p> <p>"We're acutely aware of the pressure that's being placed on Australian families through cost of living increases, whether they are our customers or our team members," a spokesperson said.</p> <p>"And we're doing more everyday to help customers spend less with us."</p> <p>A spokesperson for Coles also told <em>Yahoo</em>, "We know cost-of-living pressures are front-of-mind for our customers and are always looking for ways to help their dollars stretch further. This week, Coles announced it will bring down the price of more than 500 products for at least three months."</p> <p>"We value feedback from our customers, and encourage them to let us know about their shopping experience through our normal feedback channel – Tell Coles – or through our dedicated customer care team."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p>

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6 reasons Australians don’t trust economists, and how we could do better

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/peter-siminski-250958">Peter Siminski</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-technology-sydney-936">University of Technology Sydney</a></em></p> <p>Economics is about organising markets in ways that contribute to social welfare, which means anyone interested in anything from inequality to housing affordability, to health and education systems, or climate change to gender gaps ought to be interested in it.</p> <p>But economists are far from the most trusted professionals. We are apparently among the <a href="https://kingcenter.stanford.edu/news/abhijit-banerjee-good-economics-hard-times">least-trusted</a> in the US and <a href="https://www.ipsos.com/en-uk/ipsos-veracity-index-2020-trust-in-professions">midway</a> down the ranking in the United Kingdom.</p> <p>In Australia, such surveys on our most trusted professions <a href="https://www.governanceinstitute.com.au/advocacy/ethics-index/">don’t include</a> <a href="https://www.roymorgan.com/findings/roy-morgan-image-of-professions-survey-2021-in-a-year-dominated-by-covid-19-health-professionals-including-nurses-doctors-and-pharmacists-are-the-most-highly-regarded-but-almost-all-professions-d">economists</a>, which itself is noteworthy.</p> <p>Nevertheless, it’s worth reflecting on why Australians may distrust economists, and the ways in which economics can better serve Australia.</p> <h2>1: Weak diversity and reflexivity</h2> <p>Diversity is imperative for a field that helps make decisions about the allocation of resources.</p> <p>At <a href="https://www.rba.gov.au/publications/bulletin/2020/jun/why-study-or-not-study-economics-a-survey-of-high-school-students.html">high school</a>, economics students are increasingly male, and concentrated in metropolitan and high socio-economic status locations.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="Pdz6D" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/Pdz6D/2/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>Only 0.5% of Indigenous graduates identified economics or econometrics as their main discipline in the 2021 census.</p> <p>Two-thirds of the Australians employed as economists are <a href="https://labourmarketinsights.gov.au/occupation-profile/economists?occupationCode=2243">male</a>, and although university economics departments have improved recently, they are still notoriously <a href="https://genderinstitute.anu.edu.au/gess/academic-appointments-in-economics-in-Australia">male-dominated</a>.</p> <p>Compounding this is that – unlike other social sciences – mainstream economics is not a tradition where <a href="https://medicine.unimelb.edu.au/school-structure/medical-education/research/qualitative-journey/themes/reflexivity">reflexivity</a> is encouraged.</p> <p>Reflexivity involves reflecting on one’s background and environment.</p> <p>Nor are economists often encouraged to reflect on the role of power in the promotion of the ideas they and others espouse, including in the media.</p> <h2>2: The media and conflicts of interest</h2> <p>Economists span academia, government, private and not-for-profit sectors.</p> <figure class="align-right zoomable"><figcaption></figcaption></figure> <p>But those appearing in the media appear to come disproportionately from banks, other financial institutions, management consultancies and think tanks. Particularly worrying is that some think tanks do not disclose the identity of their donors.</p> <p>The media seems uninterested in holding them to account for this. In contrast, all reputable academic journals (and <a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/541221/original/file-20230804-21-4t1zo2.png">The Conversation</a>) require authors to declare any potential conflicts of interest as a condition of publication.</p> <p>Also worrying is that some think tanks seem particularly ideologically driven.</p> <p>In my view, the media should be much more critical and discerning in its engagement with economists and potential conflicts of interest.</p> <p>And more space should be made for academic and public-sector economists.</p> <p>Choices as to who is quoted should be guided by informed attempts to identify genuine expertise, as well as by diversity considerations. The opposite approach, sensationalism, is irresponsible and detrimental to the public good. And it contributes to distrust in economists.</p> <p>Equally, academic economists should strive to contribute more to national economic debates. A realignment of incentives within universities would help.</p> <h2>3: Efficiency preferred to equity</h2> <p>Decisions made by governments usually affect both the “size of the pie” (loosely, what economists call efficiency) and how it is shared (equity).</p> <p>How to balance this trade-off is a question of values, about which economists have no special insight. But we are well placed to summarise the likely distributional implications of policies.</p> <p>It is true that many economists are at the forefront of research on <a href="https://wid.world/">inequality</a>, but it is also true that economists often focus too much on efficiency.</p> <p>It is rare for economists to explicitly discuss the implications of government decisions for both. Recent examples are debates about increases to the minimum wage and to JobKeeper payments in the context of containing inflation.</p> <h2>4: A heavy international focus</h2> <p>Most of our best and most prominent economists were trained overseas, which is a double-edged sword.</p> <p>We should continue to help top students to study at the world’s best institutions, and continue to recruit top economists globally. But we should accept that this can come with the price of reduced interest and engagement in Australian issues.</p> <p>In my view we should balance this by also creating a truly world-class Australian postgraduate training system, perhaps through cross-institutional collaboration, drawing on strengths and creating economies of scale.</p> <p>Such programs <a href="https://tinbergen.nl/graduate-program">run</a> <a href="https://www.parisschoolofeconomics.eu/en/teaching/phd-program-pse/">successfully</a> in Europe. This has been discussed many times by academics in Australia, but it requires government resolve to happen.</p> <h2>5: Declining economics training</h2> <p>It’s also hard to trust economics if you don’t understand it.</p> <p>Year 12 enrolments in economics have fallen by about <a href="https://www.rba.gov.au/publications/bulletin/2020/jun/pdf/why-study-or-not-study-economics-a-survey-of-high-school-students.pdf">70%</a> since the 1990s. In New South Wales at least, economics has been mostly replaced by “business studies”.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="ANlgw" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/ANlgw/1/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>The study of economics has also declined strikingly compared to other fields at universities.</p> <p>Census data shows that only 1% of university graduates under 40 specialised in economics, compared to 2.5% of those now in their 70s.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="tE4bE" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/tE4bE/2/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>Management and commerce degrees are much more popular, producing 23% of graduates across all ages.</p> <p>While these degrees do include some economics, it is usually in only one or two compulsory units.</p> <h2>6: Overconfidence</h2> <p>While it was once said that every two economists had at least <a href="https://quotefancy.com/quote/939837/Winston-Churchill-If-you-put-two-economists-xin-a-room-you-get-two-opinions-unless-one-of">three opinions</a>, reflecting the inherent uncertainties in the discipline, economists seem very sure of themselves in the media.</p> <p>A large dose of humility would help, and it would help build trust.</p> <p>The media and consumers of the media should seek out the voices that acknowledge the necessary uncertainties.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/208833/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/peter-siminski-250958">Peter Siminski</a>, Professor of Economics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-technology-sydney-936">University of Technology Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/6-reasons-australians-dont-trust-economists-and-how-we-could-do-better-208833">original article</a>.</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Is the Barbie movie a bold step to reinvent and fix past wrongs or a clever ploy to tap a new market?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lauren-gurrieri-5402">Lauren Gurrieri</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a></em></p> <p>After a months-long marketing blitz, the much-hyped Barbie movie is released this week.</p> <p>From a <a href="https://news.airbnb.com/barbies-malibu-dreamhouse-is-back-on-airbnb-but-this-time-kens-hosting/">Malibu Barbie dreamhouse</a> listed on AirBnB, an AI tool that <a href="https://www.barbieselfie.ai/au/">transforms selfies into Barbie movie posters</a> and multiple Barbie-themed brand collaborations ranging from nail polish to roller skates, Barbie is everywhere.</p> <p>She has even gone viral as a fashion trend known as <a href="https://www.elle.com.au/fashion/barbiecore-27286">Barbiecore</a>, exploding across social media with people embracing vibrant pink hues and hyper feminine aesthetics. A Barbie world is upon us.</p> <p>Although some have criticised this <a href="https://twitter.com/MosheIsaacian/status/1673415496929267712">saturation</a> strategy, it is a very deliberate marketing ploy to revitalise and redefine a brand with a contested position and history.</p> <p>As well as attracting adults who grew up with Barbie and are curious to see what’s changed, the reinvention is drawing in those younger fans swept up by the tsunami of marketing and merchandise.</p> <p>Despite being one of the <a href="https://www.newsweek.com/brandspark-most-trusted-brands-america-2022">most trusted brands</a> with a value of approximately <a href="https://www.statista.com/statistics/1009126/barbie-brand-value-worldwide/">$US700 million</a>, Barbie has long attracted feminist criticism for fuelling outdated and problematic “plastic fantastic” sexist stereotypes and expectations.</p> <h2>The Barbie backlash</h2> <p>Only a few years back, Barbie was a brand in crisis. <a href="https://time.com/3667580/mattel-barbie-earnings-plus-size-body-image/">Sales plummeted</a> across 2011 to 2015 against the cultural backdrop of a rise in body positivity and backlash against a doll that represented narrow ideals and an impossible beauty standard.</p> <p>After all, at life-size Barbie represents a body shape held by <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF01544300#page-1">less than 1 in 100,000</a> real people. In fact, she is so <a href="https://rehabs.com/explore/dying-to-be-barbie/#.UWs-5aKyB8F">anatomically impossible</a> that, if she were real, she would be unable to lift her head, store a full liver or intestines, or <a href="https://www.bmj.com/content/305/6868/1575">menstruate</a>.</p> <p>The backlash has also been in response to growing concerns about how she influences child development, particularly how and what children learn about gender. Barbie has been identified as a <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1740144521000243#!">risk factor</a> for thin-ideal internalisation and body dissatisfaction for young girls, encouraging <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S174014451630208X">motivation for a thinner shape</a> that damages body image and self esteem.</p> <p>And despite the multiple careers Barbie has held over the decades, research highlights that girls who play with Barbie believe they have <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11199-014-0347-y">fewer career options than boys</a>. This speaks to the power of toys to reinforce gender stereotypes, roles and expectations, and how Barbie has imported narrow ideals of femininity, girlhood and womanhood into young girls’ lives.</p> <h2>Reinventing a long-established icon</h2> <p>In response to this backlash, Mattel launched a new range of Barbies in 2016 that were promoted as <a href="https://shop.mattel.com/collections/fashion-dolls#filter.ss_filter_tags_subtype=Fashionistas">diverse</a>, representing different body shapes, sizes, hair types and skin tones. This was not without criticism, with “curvy” Barbie still considered thin and dolls named in ways that drew attention foremost to their bodies.</p> <p>From a white, well-dressed, middle-class, girl-next-door with friends of a similar ilk, Barbie has since been marketed as a symbol of diversity and inclusion. To signify the extent of the transformation, Mattel’s executives gave this project the code name “Project Dawn”.</p> <p>Mattel - like many other brands joining the <a href="https://theconversation.com/victorias-secret-joins-the-inclusive-revolution-finally-realizing-diversity-sells-163955">“inclusivity revolution”</a> - knew that diversity sells, and they needed to make their brand relevant for contemporary consumers.</p> <p>Diversity initiatives included a line of <a href="https://shop.mattel.com/pages/barbie-role-models">female role model dolls</a>, promoted as “introducing girls to remarkable women’s stories to show them you can be anything”.</p> <p>Barbie was also given a voice in the form of <a href="https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL5BsRl9zFaeSKIL4XD-pdGHGbJRvkfe8S">Barbie Vlogs</a>, where she expressed her views on issues including depression and the <a href="https://www.bustle.com/p/barbies-vlog-about-the-sorry-reflex-is-the-feminist-pep-talk-all-90s-babies-need-to-hear-9852366">sorry reflex</a>. A gender neutral collection called “creatable world” was added in 2019 to open up gender expression possibilities when playing with Barbies.</p> <p>Such efforts were crucial to undoing missteps of the past, such as a “Teen Talk Barbie” that was programmed to say “<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSL2-rbE9AM">Math class is tough!</a>”, or the compulsory heterosexuality that Barbie has long advanced.</p> <h2>The latest step in Barbie’s transformation</h2> <p>Barbie the film is simply the next step in an evolution to make brand Barbie inclusive. And with a rumoured film budget of $100 million, the supporting marketing machine provides a critical opportunity to reset the Barbie narrative.</p> <p>With Greta Gerwig, acclaimed director of female-led stories such as Little Women and Lady Bird at the helm, and a diverse cast of Barbies of different races, body types, gender identities and sexual preferences, the film and its creators have sought to assure audiences of the film’s feminist leanings.</p> <p>Addressing the complicated history of Barbie is crucial for audiences who grew up and played with the doll and are grappling with introducing her to the next generation of doll consumers.</p> <p>Yet, Robbie Brenner, executive producer of Mattel Films, has explicitly stated that Gerwig’s Barbie is “not a feminist movie”. Indeed, the main character still represents a narrow beauty standard - tall, thin, blonde, white - with diverse characters in place to support her narrative.</p> <p>Which begs the question: are these inclusion initiatives simply emblematic of diversity washing, where the language and symbolism of social justice are hijacked for corporate profit? Or do they represent a genuine effort to redress the chequered history of a brand that promotes poor body image, unrealistic ideals and rampant materialism?</p> <p>What is clear is that in today’s climate where brands are increasingly rewarded for taking a stand on sociopolitical issues, brand Barbie’s attempts to reposition as inclusive have paid off: sales are now booming.</p> <p>Seemingly, Barbie’s famous tagline that “anything is possible” has shown itself to be true.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/209394/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lauren-gurrieri-5402">Lauren Gurrieri</a>, Associate Professor in Marketing, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/is-the-barbie-movie-a-bold-step-to-reinvent-and-fix-past-wrongs-or-a-clever-ploy-to-tap-a-new-market-209394">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Balmain Private: A decade of trust and success

<p>Having celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2022, Balmain Private has firmly established itself as one of Australia's most reliable investment options. Since its inception in 2012, the company has consistently delivered impressive results, making it a trusted choice for individuals and advisers alike.</p> <p>With a track record of $244 million in interest paid to investors – and with an even more impressive capital loss of zero dollars – Balmain Private has demonstrated its commitment to delivering solid returns. Over the past decade, investors have enjoyed an average annual return of 7.56%*, with the highest reaching an outstanding 11.25% net return*.</p> <p>What sets Balmain Private apart is its unique approach to investment. The company empowers investors by allowing them to build, select, and manage their own portfolio of first mortgage loans. This flexibility appeals to a wide range of investors, including Retail, High Net Worth and Self-Managed Superannuation Fund investors, who seek alternative income sources beyond traditional options.</p> <p>At Balmain Private, the approval process for investment offerings is highly meticulous. Only the best loans make it to the investors, ensuring a carefully curated selection that prioritises quality and performance. Remarkably, more than 20% of loans repaid have exceeded the target return rate, while the rest have consistently met their target rate of return.</p> <p>Investing with Balmain Private is not only rewarding but also convenient. The entire process can be completed online, allowing investors to transact at their leisure. Whether on a PC, tablet or smartphone, investors have easy access to their portfolio. Additionally, Balmain Private offers a Mobile App that enables investors and advisers to manage, invest and review their portfolio on the go. The app allows for seamless depositing or redeeming of funds and provides downloadable reports right on your mobile device.</p> <p>To further enhance transparency and control, investors or their advisers can manage their portfolio through an intuitive online investor portal. This portal provides comprehensive details on current investments, capital movements, income distributions and transactions, ensuring that investors stay well-informed every step of the way.</p> <p>If you're ready to explore the opportunities offered by Balmain Private, you can download their complimentary <a href="https://info.balmain.com.au/rs/929-AKB-976/images/BPD%205727%20Target%20Market%20Determination.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Target Market Determination</a> (TMD), their <a href="https://info.balmain.com.au/FactSheetOrder-Over60_01LandingHomepage.html?utm_source=Over60&amp;utm_medium=Editorial&amp;utm_campaign=June&amp;utm_content=Editorial_TextLink" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Investor Fact Sheet</a>, or get in touch with their Investments Team at 02 9232 8888. For more detailed information, you can also visit their library of materials at <a href="https://linktr.ee/balmainprivate" target="_blank" rel="noopener">https://linktr.ee/balmainprivate</a>.</p> <p>Balmain Fund Administration Limited, with ABN 98 134 526 604 and AFSL No: 333213, serves as the issuer of units in the Balmain Discrete Mortgage Income Trusts ARSN 155 909 176. Before making any investment decision, it is crucial to read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and the Target Market Determination (TMD) available on the company's website or by calling 02 9232 8888. It's important to carefully consider whether investing in the Trust aligns with your financial goals, as rates of return are not guaranteed and are subject to future revenue, which may be lower than expected. </p> <p>As with any investment, there is a risk of losing some or all of the principal investment. However, Balmain Private's exceptional track record and commitment to investor satisfaction provide a solid foundation for a successful investment journey. </p> <p>Choose Balmain Private for your chance to embark on another decade of trust and prosperity.</p> <p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This is a sponsored article produced in partnership with Balmain Private.</em></p> <p><em>*Since inception. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. Investors should consider the risk associated with any Loan as set out in the PDS and any relevant Supplementary PDS (SPDS) pertaining to that Loan.</em></p> <p> </p>

Money & Banking

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Brand new mitey $2 coin revealed

<p> A brand new $2 coin has been revealed to celebrate 100 years of Australia’s beloved Vegemite.</p> <p>Woolworths and the Royal Australian Mint have partnered up for the release of the limited edition $2 coins marking 100 years of the infamous Aussie spread.</p> <p>Woolworths shoppers across the country will be able to collect three exclusive versions of the gold coin so long as they pay with cash.</p> <p>Three million limited edition coins will be available for customers, with a new design released to cash tills each week over a three-week period.</p> <p>The coins have been designed by Royal Australian Mint designer Aaron Baggio, with each featuring a unique illustration honouring Vegemite.</p> <p>Each of the three designs has a different coloured circle - yellow, red and black.</p> <p>The first coin shows a jar of Vegemite with the words “100 Mitey Years” at the bottom.</p> <p>Another features a slice of Vegemite toast with the words “Tastes Like Australia”, while the third features a child eating a slice of Vegemite toast with the words “Happy Little Vegemites”.</p> <p>Woolworths brand and marketing director Jane Sales said the supermarket has supported Vegemite for decades and is excited to be part of the centenary celebrations.</p> <p>“It’s been a staple in the shopping baskets of Australians for years; we’re delighted to be a part of the celebrations for this iconic brand’s centenary,” she said.</p> <p>As part of the celebrations, there will also be a $1 coin featuring the Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Obverse.</p> <p>The portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by British engraver Jody Clark, the Memorial Obverse also added the Queen’s years of reign – reading “Elizabeth II 1952-2022”.</p> <p>Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury, Andrew Leigh, said Vegemite is one of the most loved brands across the country.</p> <p>“It is fitting the Royal Australian Mint has partnered with Vegemite and Woolworths to celebrate 100 Mitey years of an Australian icon,” he said.</p> <p>The Vegemite brand will be celebrating its 100th birthday on October 25, 2023, with Bega’s marketing manager for spreads, Jess Hoare, thanking all Aussies for loving the mitey product.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Getty/Royal Australian Mint</em></p>

Money & Banking

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12 trusted home remedies that will only make you worse

<p><strong>Proceed with caution</strong></p> <p>Any herbal supplement or remedy could potentially cause liver or kidney failure or have dangerous interactions with other medications you may be taking. That’s why physician Dr Ehsan Ali, recommends you ask your doctor before popping any herbal pill or natural cure.</p> <p>“All patients of all ages should check with their doctor first about what home remedy they want to try,” says Dr Ali. “Better to be safe than sorry!”</p> <p><strong>St. John's Wort</strong></p> <p>This herb is touted as a treatment for depression, but comprehensive studies are lacking. Dangers can arise when patients are already taking other medications. There have been incidents of St. John’s Wort interfering with birth control pills, leading to unintended pregnancies.</p> <p>The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health warns that St. John’s Wort can disrupt the action of many medications, including warfarin, antidepressants, and anti-rejection drugs following organ transplants.</p> <p><strong>Kava</strong></p> <p>This herb, grown on South Pacific islands is often suggested for anxiety. It has been found to have a calming effect similar to Valium. Research, including a study published in 2015 in the journal Trialssuggests that kava may be an effective treatment for generalised anxiety disorder.</p> <p>However, heavy consumption of the herb is linked with heart problems and eye irritation.</p> <p><strong>Kitchen cures for burns</strong></p> <p>Kitchen cures can seem harmless and certainly, food products can make gentle and effective beauty treatments (think: avocado or honey masks for skin and hair). But when someone has an injury or disease, natural products can do more harm than good.</p> <p>Dr Svetlana Kogan, a holistic physician, has heard many potentially dangerous cures for injuries, including applying egg whites to burns. Egg whites, especially organic ones, can be full of bacteria – including salmonella – which could lead to serious infections. Instead, minor burns can be treated at home with cool water and acetaminophen for pain.</p> <p><strong>Gargling with mouthwash</strong></p> <p>The common cold continues to confound doctors and there isn’t much sufferers can do except stay hydrated. But when the symptoms progress to an inflamed throat, indulging in the common practice of gargling with mouthwash can do more harm than good.</p> <p>“Gargling inflamed tonsils with mouthwash is actually very irritating to the area and does not have any effect on potential strep throat,” says Dr Kogan. Her recommendation for a sore throat? Warm liquids to soothe the inflamed area and get plenty of rest.</p> <p><strong>Money</strong></p> <p>The best use for money when it comes to your health is paying your medical bills. But some people use currency to try and cure ailments. For years, placing a coin or other hard, flat object on a baby’s belly to help heal an umbilical hernia has been a common practice in many cultures – a very unsafe practice: “An umbilical hernia is a gap in the layer of muscle in the abdominal wall (called the rectus abdominis muscle),” explains Dr Danelle Fisher, a paediatrician.</p> <p>“The muscle usually grows together and the hernia goes away on its own in more than 90 per cent of babies who are born with it. Having an object strapped to the baby’s belly is not advisable because it can cause a skin infection and it doesn’t change the hernia or hasten its healing.” (Not to mention that coins can be pretty dirty and are a choking hazard for your baby.) So what should you do if your baby has an umbilical hernia? Nothing, aside from watchful waiting and consulting with your child’s paediatrician.</p> <p><strong>Breast milk</strong></p> <p>Mother’s milk is the best possible natural food for babies. Although many mothers claim their milk clears up skin conditions, there’s no scientific proof of this, warns Dr Sarah Yamaguchi, an obstetrician and gynecologist. “Breast milk can transmit infectious diseases such as HIV and pumped breast milk if not stored properly can be contaminated and can actually introduce bacteria into an already infected area,” says Dr Yamaguchi.</p> <p>Instead, she advises, patients suffering from infections or inflamed skin should try to keep the area clean and dry and seek medical attention.</p> <p><strong>Castor oil</strong></p> <p>In her work as an obstetrician, Dr Yamaguchi has seen her fair share of women in the final stages of pregnancy who just cannot wait to have their baby. She has seen many women take castor oil believing it will jump-start labour.</p> <p>“Castor oil may help if you are constipated and need to pass a bowel movement, but it’s not going to help you go into labour and it tastes awful,” she says.</p> <p><strong>Syrup of Ipecac</strong></p> <p>This syrup, made from the roots of a South American plant, is often kept in the home by parents to act as a counter treatment for accidental poisoning, as it induces vomiting. However, this form of treatment is incredibly dangerous, warns Dr Fisher.</p> <p>Many poisons do further damage when they make their way out of the body, damaging the oesophagus and potentially causing breathing problems. Dr Fisher advises parents not to use syrup of ipecac at all. The only appropriate reaction to a child swallowing something poisonous, she says, is to call your local Poison Control immediately and seek medical treatment.</p> <p><strong>Charcoal</strong></p> <p>Some people believe that activated charcoal, often derived from coconut shells, is thought to trap and remove dangerous toxins from the body. It is often recommended for treating bloat and constipation. However, it is a controversial treatment.</p> <p>Dr Kogan has heard of patients swallowing activated charcoal for detoxification purposes, which she strongly discourages. “It is dangerous because it can cause life-threatening intestinal obstructions and severe dehydration,” she says. Eating well and drinking plenty of water can have similar, but safer, detoxification effects on the body.</p> <p><strong>Blowing on or licking a wound</strong></p> <p>Parents everywhere are known for spitting on a tissue and using it to clean their children’s faces and sometimes even to clean a wound. Blowing on or introducing saliva to a cut is very dangerous.</p> <p>“Our breath and saliva have tons of bacteria which can contaminate the wound and lead to an infection,” says Dr Kogan. Instead, use fresh water and consult a doctor if needed.</p> <p><strong>Vitamins</strong></p> <p>As long as you follow a healthy diet, you’ll get all the vitamins and minerals you need. That’s good because sliding into the habit of trying to make up supposed deficiencies with supplements can quickly lead to trouble, warns Dr Kogan.</p> <p>The danger comes when people ignore the recommended doses and take too much of a particular vitamin. Too much vitamin D, for instance, can cause liver and heart problems, while an overabundance of B6 can lead to nerve toxicity; a vitamin A overdose can even cause death in extreme cases.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/12-trusted-home-remedies-that-will-only-make-you-worse?pages=1" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>. </em></p>

Body

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6 trusted tips for finding love

<p>Whether you are newly single or have been playing the dating game for a while, it can be tough to find someone that you have a real connection with.</p> <p>There are some guidelines that you can follow that can help you, by simply asking yourself a few questions.</p> <p><strong>1. What are you looking for?</strong></p> <p>Do you want someone to grow old with, someone to take to a movie now and then, or something more casual? Knowing what you want and being fairly upfront about it can help you filter out the options.</p> <p><strong>2. Are you ready to show your hand?</strong></p> <p>Finding someone special means you will need to be open about who you are and be ready to invest time and effort into someone else. Are you ready for this step? If you’ve recently been hurt or are grieving it may not be the right time to search for a long term partner. </p> <p><strong>3. Do you know your assets? </strong></p> <p>Work out what you have to bring to the table as a partner, as this will help you know what to say if you have to describe yourself quickly (think online dating or speed dating).</p> <p><strong>4. Would you consider yourself interesting?</strong></p> <p>It can be helpful to try something new – take an art class, take a camping trip, do some volunteer work. Not only can you meet new people, it’s also nice to have something to talk about when you meet them.</p> <p><strong>5. Can you show your funny side?</strong></p> <p>Funny people tend to be liked, so it can pay to ensure you are using the right sort of humour. Too much sarcasm or negativity can turn people off, so ensure you are keeping things light and witty.</p> <p><strong>6. Would your friends be able to help?</strong></p> <p>When you’re looking for love, it can be helpful to ask your friends if they have anyone that might be suitable. They can offer a casual introduction at a social event, or set up a dinner to introduce you to some new people without too much pressure.</p> <p><em>Images: Shutterstock</em></p>

Relationships

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Meet the revolutionary beauty brand who are keeping kindness in mind

<p dir="ltr">As the beauty market continues to be flooded with new products, new trends and new ingredients that claim to change your life, it's easy to get lost in the overwhelming choices. </p> <p dir="ltr">Due to all this noise, many beauty consumers are trying to unveil the honest truth about what is going into their makeup and skincare, as priorities are shifting to include multi-use products to simplify daily beauty routines. </p> <p dir="ltr">On top of this, the majority of consumers are looking to support businesses that have a key focus on sustainability. </p> <p dir="ltr">Enter: The KIND Collective. </p> <p dir="ltr">This proudly Australian owned and female-operated business is on a mission to add conscious driven, multi-purpose cosmetic products to everyone’s beauty repertoire without breaking the bank. </p> <p dir="ltr">This is why The KIND Collective makes products that are more than just pretty to wear, but contain nourishing, native ingredients that have been mindfully selected.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CnjI1cZMCDm/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CnjI1cZMCDm/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by The KIND Collective (@thekindcollectiveaustralia)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">The KIND Collective are also cruelty-free, 100% vegan and are PETA accredited, helping customers indulge in guilt-free beauty. </p> <p dir="ltr">This revolutionary brand has also joined more than 500 B Corp Certified Australian and New Zealand businesses, with only 20 companies being certified in the skin, nail and hair space. </p> <p dir="ltr">This certification assessment measures a business’s ongoing impact on its workers, community and suppliers, while ensuring it is delivering its best for both customers and the environment. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CrcJ1euShUa/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CrcJ1euShUa/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by The KIND Collective (@thekindcollectiveaustralia)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">Brand co-founder Lynda Chapman believes it is important for businesses to do their part both locally and internationally but looking at their social and environmental impact.</p> <p dir="ltr">She said, “Today consumers are demanding more from businesses and I think that is an amazing thing! We have always believed that a business has the power to create positive change… and we are so excited to be part of this global movement of businesses that are using their power to be a force of good.” </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/Ci6s1HaMGc6/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Ci6s1HaMGc6/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by The KIND Collective (@thekindcollectiveaustralia)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">You can pick up all your makeup and skincare needs from The KIND Collective on their <a href="https://www.thekindcollectiveaustralia.com/collections/bundles">official website</a>, or in-store at <a href="https://www.priceline.com.au/brand/kind-cosmetics">Priceline</a>, <a href="https://www.bigw.com.au/health-beauty/makeup-cosmetics/c/6220?filter%5BbrandName%5D=Kind+Collective">Big W</a>, and select <a href="https://terrywhitechemmart.com.au/">Terry White</a> chemists. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Instagram</em></p>

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From Corona beer to the coronation, the crown is branding fit for a king

<p>As a fashion statement or piece of art, crowns are distinguished by their beauty, containing rare jewels, precious metals and velvet in deep, rich colours. As a symbol, crowns are associated with majesty, authority and sovereignty. And as the coronation of King Charles III reminds us, the crown is also a superlative brand. </p> <p>Though images of crowns are often used in royal branding, it is rare for monarchs these days to actually wear crowns. In the western monarchical tradition, the British monarchy is an exception, with kings and queens undergoing a crowning ceremony. </p> <p>In the UK the crown encompasses both the monarch and the government, namely King Charles III and His Majesty’s government. The title of the Netflix drama “The Crown” has made this association clear even to international audiences unfamiliar with British constitutional principles. </p> <p>The reign of late Queen Elizabeth II was represented by a stylised image of <a href="https://www.rct.uk/collection/themes/trails/the-crown-jewels/in-detail-st-edwards-crown">St Edward’s Crown</a>. King Charles III’s reign is represented by an image of the <a href="https://www.college-of-arms.gov.uk/news-grants/news/item/205-royal-cypher%E2%80%99">Tudor Crown</a>, which appears in the king’s royal cypher, coat of arms and the <a href="https://www.royal.uk/news-and-activity/2023-04-04/the-coronation-invitation">invitations for the coronation</a>. In time, it will be seen on state documents, military uniforms, passports and post boxes throughout the UK and the 14 realms where he is head of state.</p> <p>For monarchies, the crown is the quintessential monarchical symbol – something my colleagues and I in the field of corporate marketing research have described as <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1057/palgrave.bm.2550031">“the crown as a brand”</a>.</p> <p>Although the European monarchies of Belgium, Denmark, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the Vatican, are known as “crowned heads of state”, they forswear coronations and eschew the wearing of crowns. Still, they all use a crown as the marque (or emblem) to represent themselves – see <a href="https://monarchie.lu/en/monarchy/orders-and-coats-arms">Luxembourg</a> and <a href="https://www.kongehuset.dk/en/the-monarchy-in-denmark/the-royal-symbols">Denmark’s</a> coats of arms.</p> <h2>Crowns of the coronation</h2> <p>The coronation of King Charles III will be a veritable festival of crowns, featuring seven crowns in total. The king will be crowned with St Edward’s crown by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and he wears this crown once. But during his exit from Westminster Abbey, he will wear the lighter <a href="https://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/CBP-9412/CBP-9412.pdf">Imperial State Crown</a>. Queen Camilla will also be crowned with Queen Mary’s crown. The last queen consort to undergo a coronation was in 1937. </p> <p>Four other crowns will be present during the coronation, worn by the <a href="https://www.college-of-arms.gov.uk/about-us/heralds-officers">kings of arms</a> – senior officers who regulate heraldry (coats of arms) in the UK and participate in major ceremonial occasions. </p> <p>The three kings of arms from England’s College of Arms will wear crowns decorated with acanthus leaves and engraved with the words of Psalm 50, <a href="http://www.medievalist.net/psalmstxt/ps50.htm">Miserere mei Deus secundum magnam misericordiam tuam</a> – “Have mercy on me, O God.” Scotland’s king of arms from the Court of the Lord Lyon will wear a crown which is a facsimile of the <a href="https://exarandorum.com/2023/04/25/crown-of-lord-lyon/">Scottish royal crown</a>. Heraldry can be viewed as an early form of branding. Many UK universities, for example, have a coat of arms as their <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1057/s41262-023-00316-x">visual identity</a>.</p> <p>An eighth crown – the actual Scottish crown and one of the oldest in Europe – will not be at the coronation, but will be presented to the king at a <a href="https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/23473755.king-charles-coronation-special-scottish-service-planned/">special service</a> later in the year.</p> <h2>Crown brands in business</h2> <p>The exclusiveness and majesty associated with royal crowns has meant that many organisations use a crown as their brand name or logo. The phrase “crowning achievement” refers to an excellent accomplishment. Likewise, a crown in branding communicates quality, status, class and reliability. </p> <p>Some iconic brands, such as Twinings Tea, Heinz and Waitrose, benefit from an official royal endorsement, having been awarded a <a href="https://theconversation.com/royal-warrants-are-good-for-business-and-benefit-the-british-monarchy-too-192115">royal warrant</a> by a king or queen, or other senior royal family members. They may use the royal coat of arms as a type of royal brand endorsement. </p> <p>The <a href="https://www.kongehuset.dk/en/organisation-and-contact/the-royal-warrant-and-copyright/">Danish royal warrant</a> entitles an organisation to display “an image of the crown along with the company’s name on signs”. Carlsberg beer is a prominent example of this. </p> <p>Sometimes permission is granted to use the royal crown as a distinct brand marque as per <a href="https://www.logo-designer.co/the-clearing-creates-new-visual-identity-design-for-ascot-horseracing/">Royal Ascot horseracing</a>, or in a coat of arms such as in the former <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1057/s41262-023-00316-x">Royal College of Science and Technology in Glasgow</a>.</p> <p>Of course, while some brands have an official royal endorsement, most organisations with a crown name or logo do not have a direct association with monarchy. Sometimes the crown brand name is used for its cultural associations – see the many British pubs called “The Crown”.</p> <p>Regal branding has taken hold internationally. Among the companies using a crown name are Couronne (Korean handbags), Crown Bank (USA), Crown Class (Royal Jordanian Airways), Royal Crown Derby (English porcelain), Crowne Plaza Hotels (UK), Crown Royal (Canadian Whiskey), Crown Worldwide Distribution Group (Hong Kong) and Krone (South African sparkling wine). </p> <p>Those with a crown logo include Columbia University (USA), Cunard (UK), Dolce &amp; Gabbana (Italy), Hallmark Cards (USA), Moët and Chandon (France), Ritz Carlton Hotels (USA) and Rolex (Switzerland). </p> <p>The Mexican beer brand Corona, which uses both a crown name and logo, is the most valuable beer brand in the world, <a href="https://brandfinance.com/press-releases/18003">worth US$7 billion</a>.</p> <p>Even in a world of republics, it is clear that the crown as a brand not only endures, but flourishes. The crowning of the king and queen will be the zenith of the coronation service. For producers of Corona beer and other brands featuring crowns around the world, the visual and verbal link of crown and monarchy will be, in a way, a reminder to consumers that their products are fit for a king.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/from-corona-beer-to-the-coronation-the-crown-is-branding-fit-for-a-king-204409" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>. </em></p>

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Australia's most trusted brands revealed for 2023

<p>When it comes to big brands, there are certain names that Aussies go back to time and time again for their reliability and trustworthy reputations. </p> <p>This year, according to recent data collated by <a href="https://www.trustedbrands.com.au" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>, consumers are interacting differently with big name brands after recovering from the pandemic, but now being faced with the cost of living crisis. </p> <p>The survey, now in its 24th year, was carried out by independent market research company Catalyst Consultancy & Research and asked thousands of consumers of a mixed demographic to name the brands they trusted across more than 70 categories. </p> <p>The data suggests that our most trusted brands have "not only changed the way they interact with us during the past three years of the pandemic", but current "cost-of-living pressures mean the most successful organisations are making even further refinements".</p> <p>"With inflation putting price pressure on everyone at the moment, trust remains a hard-earned and vitally important commodity," Reader's Digest Australia Editor-in-Chief Louise Waterson said. </p> <p>"Many leading companies are rebranding their image, or reshaping their services, to hold on to existing customers and seek out new ones."</p> <p><em><strong>Check out the list below of Australia's top 20 most trusted brands, and <a href="https://www.trustedbrands.com.au/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">head here for the full 2023 results</a>.</strong></em></p> <p>20. Woolworths</p> <p>19. Sanitarium</p> <p>18. Bridgestone</p> <p>17. Ryobi</p> <p>16. Dairy Farmers</p> <p>15. Cancer Council Australia</p> <p>14. Dyson</p> <p>13. Bega </p> <p>12. Selleys</p> <p>11. Specsavers</p> <p>10. Glen20</p> <p>9. Dulux</p> <p>8. Royal Flying Doctor Service</p> <p>7. Band-Aid</p> <p>6. Victa</p> <p>5. Panadol</p> <p>4. Bunnings Warehouse</p> <p>3. Cadbury</p> <p>2. Weber</p> <p>1. Dettol</p> <p><em>Image credits: Trusted Brands</em></p>

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