ACCC launches short film on cartels

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission has created a short film to raise awareness of cartels and collusion within trade.

The Marker, a 16-minute film on ACCC’s YouTube channel, dramatises a scenario in which an executive is caught up in a cartel.

The concept was created and produced by Melbourne hot house Burning House with a filming budget of $50,000.

The film is the backbone of the government organisation’s campaign ‘Businesses compete, cartels just cheat’. The ACCC has also released website banners and buttons for companies to include on their websites to lead back to the the ACCC’s Cartel portal for users to find more information on how the user can report suspicious activities and request a ‘marker’ – immunity when reporting their involvement in a cartel.

ACCC chairman, Rod Sims told Mumbrella: “We’re trying to get out a lot of messages and we thought a film that engages people would be better than all the stuff we put out in the press or on radio. We’re trying to give people an understanding of what a cartel is. We see people taking turns to win bids. We see it’s quite easy to get stuck in, and become an actual player in the cartel.”

“We’ve sent the film to the top 300 companies. They almost all have compliance programs. And we’re hoping it will go out more widely.”

“If you go on a morning talk show to say ‘let me talk about cartels’, I don’t think you’d capture the audience, and you may not even get on the talk show.”

The film is accompanied by two video messages:

ACCC chairman Rod Sims


On the subject of cartels in the media industry Sims told Mumbrella: “Your industry would not be one that comes to mind. You can get cartels in any area but we haven’t had an queries in your area. It’s not just tendering, it’s about how many tenderers there are. It’s where there are two big players that get together, that’s when you’ve got a problem.”



Production house: Burning House
Director: Jonathan Gilbert
Producer: Timothy Anderson, Charlie Porter
Writers: Jonathan Gilbert, Timothy Anderson
DOP: Adam Howden
Art Director: Marco Damiano
Editor: Daniel Kerr

Martin: Ben Prendergast
Gordon: Anthony West
Fiona: Kim Denman
Lucy: Tory West
Jeff: Geordie Taylor
Kate: Cate Commisso

‘One More Dance’ (Rooke/Perfect Pitch)
Lyrics, music & vocals by Jason Rooke


  1. Good moron
    31 Aug 12
    12:38 pm

  2. Duopolies and cartels in Australia? Surely not.

    31 Aug 12
    1:53 pm

  4. 50 000 is so tiny for 16 minute film. It should be at least a 250K budget. Its good to see the ACCC undercutting everyone in the film industry. It makes sense why places like Fuel FX are going into administration.

  5. Golum
    31 Aug 12
    2:33 pm

  6. you’re a troll or just having a larf aren’t you John Cavallaro?

    if you aren’t , YOU are the reason why places like Fuel FX went into administration

    greedy grubby creative types with hugely inflated egos picking huge numbers out of the air in order to pay for their new Porsche and beach holiday homes

    it may surprise you but advertisers know this stuff isn’t rocket science

  7. Jimi Bostock
    31 Aug 12
    2:52 pm

  8. Brilliant – a very innovative use of digital by ACCC – should be an inspiration for other departments on how to convey a message

  9. Flared Pants
    1 Sep 12
    5:58 pm

  10. Alan Joyce sounds like he has a constant head cold. Maybe it’s just his 24/7 whining. And does he really say it is critical to set up a “turd training programme”. Well that’s leadership from the top as no matter how hard he tries to polish the turd that is now Qantas, the monkey at the top of the tree is responsible.

  11. Dear Golum
    2 Sep 12
    12:56 pm

  12. If you had much of an idea it’s not the creative types picking numbers out of thin air, it’s the producers picking numbers out of spreadsheets that typically break down every single cost on a shoot. And they analyse everything, from ‘do we really need to spend $5000 per day on each grip?’ to whether it’s actually more cost effective to shoot interstate or overseas.

    And creative types don’t actually earn commission or bonuses based on the budget given. What they will do, is try to aim for the best job possible, because that not only helps the client, it helps their career – call it a win win situation.

    And if you really want to break it down, you’re much better off running a few media placements and putting that money into production – a few less placements can make the difference between spreading all over the net or just piddling punters off because for some reason, even tho the script works on paper, it’s just annoying / forgettable.

  13. Someone call woollies and Coles
    2 Sep 12
    1:05 pm

  14. Cartel? What cartel? You can shop at woollies or Coles, and the prices are markedly similar, but triple the price of anywhere in the uk.

  15. Flared Pants
    2 Sep 12
    5:23 pm

  16. Pray tell what do UK prices have to do with this?

    Anyway just a few examples from Tecso’s website. Own brand of milk is 1 pound 36 pence for 2 litres. At an exchange rate of .651 that is $2.09 AUD. This morning I paid $2 for 2 litres. Own brand bread is 1 pound for an 800g loaf ($1.54). I paid $1.39 for 650g. So two random staples – pretty much on par.

    So apart from logic and facts I can’t fault your post.

  17. Emma logan
    3 Sep 12
    3:06 pm

  18. great short film.

  19. Impressed
    11 Sep 12
    10:07 am

  20. Reality check folks: if $50,000 is the budget you do what you can within that.

    Professionalism is doing it this well.

    Congrats to client and production company.