Gruen Transfer returns – and announces spinoff Gruen Planet focused on PR

Gruen Wil Anderson Todd Sampson Russel HowcroftThe team behind The Gruen Transfer is to turn its attention to the world of public relations with new spinoff Gruen Planet.

The move follows last year’s politics-focused Gruen Nation which provided ABC1 with some of its best ratings of the year with the four election specials averaging around 1.6m.

According to today’s announcement: “In 2011, we’re adding another baby to the Gruen family, Gruen Planet, a new show that will look at the news of the week through the prism of spin, branding and image control. We can’t tell you much about it yet, because … well, because it’s still a secret. Mostly.”

Gruen Planet will follow the regular series of The Gruen Transfer, which returns in just over three weeks’ time on August 3.

Among the topics The Gruen Transfer will be looking at are mining ads, big tobacco ads, gambling ads, Vodafone’s disastrous few months and the NAB breakup campaign.

The weekly panellists will again consist of Y&R Brands CEO Russel Howcroft and Leo Burnett boss Todd Sampson. The show, produced by Zapruder’s Other Films, is hosted by Wil Anderson.


  1. Scott
    11 Jul 11
    10:31 am

  2. Awesome news! Cannot wait until there is more information on Gruen Planet! And The Gruen Transfer starts at the perfect time to have my dose of advertising for the 2nd half of the year sated!

  3. Jackie
    11 Jul 11
    12:16 pm

  4. I truly hope they have leading PR authorities on the panel because yesterday’s newspaper reported it would be the same panellists as Gruen Transfer and that would be just plain wrong!

  5. Steve Fontanot
    11 Jul 11
    12:19 pm

  6. Brilliant news.

  7. Jack Dalton
    11 Jul 11
    12:31 pm

  8. No doubt the producers at Zapruder’s will be knocked over in the stampede from PR spinners to get into the show!!!

  9. mediamantra
    11 Jul 11
    12:34 pm

  10. this is excellent TV- if it werent for Gruen, Rockwiz, media watch, and the good Wife, I could go without my TV altogether!!!

  11. Kimmi @ The Plastic Diaries
    11 Jul 11
    12:39 pm

  12. Best. News. Ever. However, I really hope that this show will take a hard look at the PR topics, and maybe even educate a few PRs on the dos and donts.

  13. jbb
    11 Jul 11
    12:41 pm

  14. Promising news. At last.
    PR is INARGUABLY heavily populated with women which suggests the irritating lack of them in the first couple of series might be addressed.
    I wondered often – am I alone, watching, grit teethed as one of our principle arms of popular culture, already predominantly devised and dispensed by smug, channel-visioned blokes – however charming – is also disseminated and defined – ad nauseum, pun intended – by same, with only the odd token woman squeezed in?
    Boot Todd off – no man was more dispensible – and replace with Ann Morrison, or Marie Claude Millat, or Trish Nicol or …..

  15. Simon Fitzgerald - Text 100
    11 Jul 11
    12:59 pm

  16. This is great news for the industry and will hopefully make for some compelling viewing and help dispel some myths associated with the profession.

    Bring on August!

  17. crizza
    11 Jul 11
    1:11 pm

  18. agree Jackie – should be brilliant, but they need PR experts, not ad people – as much as the ad industry would like to believe PR is just a junior cousin, they are vastly different

  19. Frances
    11 Jul 11
    1:13 pm

  20. Truly hope it gives a real insight into the role of PR in marketing communications – not just a tacked on media release or publicity stunt to support an advertising camapign.
    Must say I am a little nervous based on the use of the word ‘spin’ in the article, and the fact that the panel of authority includes advertising execs, rather than their equivalents in the PR industry.
    Fingers crossed!

  21. Suse
    11 Jul 11
    1:15 pm

  22. Be interesting to see where they will sit in terms of the sort of PR they examine.
    I mean, there’s the corporate spin doctors at one end – and then there’s the well-connected women putting on parties for the social pages. The former don’t usually want their activities examined. The latter would love it.

  23. Sarah
    11 Jul 11
    1:17 pm

  24. Would love to see One Green Bean’s Kat Thomas on the panel

  25. Sarah
    11 Jul 11
    1:36 pm

  26. Thank God!
    I couldn’t handle another renovation, cooking or dancing show!

  27. sven
    11 Jul 11
    2:28 pm

  28. As Suse says, the meaty end of PR (corporate PR) won’t be examined because it doesn’t want to be.

    My other bet is that the new show won’t bother involving any other real PR folk because this is an ad industry-derived program.

    By simply giving itself awards for PR gimmicks and stunts, and with the help of the marketing trade media, the ad industry is doing a very good job of creating the perception that it can seamlessly move into consumer PR.

    Unfortunately, with few exceptions, PR firms don’t like bragging about their outcomes, because they believe it would threaten the media relationships on which they rely.

    Ad agencies dabbling in consumer PR on the other hand, generally display a quite open contempt for the media, and rejoice in deceiving journalists (ala Witchery) or choose the easy creative route of doing something gimmicky that they know will get published by today’s increasingly tabloid press.

  29. Anonymous
    11 Jul 11
    3:48 pm

  30. Is it just me or is Russel Howcroft the sexiest man on TV?

  31. Betty Boo
    11 Jul 11
    3:56 pm

  32. Brilliant news. Very happy for a Monday.

  33. PR of BS
    11 Jul 11
    4:47 pm

  34. @Anonymous – Is that you Richard? (maybe the comment is a PR stunt) lol

  35. Hmmm...
    11 Jul 11
    5:07 pm

  36. It’s just you, Russ.

  37. Jon Casimir, Gruen producer
    11 Jul 11
    5:19 pm

  38. Actually, anonymous may have a point … In other news, to be clear, we WILL be remaking the Gruen panel for Gruen Planet, as we did for Gruen Nation.

  39. Stephen
    11 Jul 11
    5:31 pm

  40. Viewers will soon realise that two thirds of media stories are PR-generated (or are my figures off?).

  41. Jackie
    11 Jul 11
    5:36 pm

  42. Thanks Jon for confirming. That is indeed heartening news. Now we just have to see what PR experts you line up…

  43. Patrick
    11 Jul 11
    5:57 pm

  44. I hope there aren’t PR people on the panel. Every time Wil asks them a question, they’ll have to get back to him after checking with the client.

  45. Candice Wyman
    11 Jul 11
    10:20 pm

  46. @Sarah – i agree – would also like to see Kat Thomas from One Green Bean on this show!

  47. Trene
    12 Jul 11
    10:11 am

  48. Hope they are looking for media types and journalists to complement the panel. The dark art of PR is very different to the glossy ad game.

  49. Kelly Stevens
    13 Jul 11
    4:55 pm

  50. Can’t wait! Such a great show!