Boss of Nine contributes to spread of Roxy Jacenko email

Roxy Jacenko joins Celebrity ApprenticeSenior staff at the Nine Network including director of television Michael Healy have contributed to the viral spread of a vicious email about PR agency boss Roxy Jacenko, who is currently starring in the network’s reality show The Celebrity Apprentice.

The anonymous email, which went viral within the PR industry late yesterday afternoon, purports to come from a former member of staff at Jacenko’s PR agency Sweaty Betty.

Headed “What it’s really like to work for Roxy Jacenko”, the lengthy email, from “Ms Karma” draws an unflattering picture of working conditions at the agency and makes claims regarding clients.

During the late afternoon and early evening, several versions of the email were forwarded to members of the Mumbrella team from various sources within and beyond the PR industry.

One of the first chains to reach Mumbrella included several senior staff at Nine forwarding it internally, before director of television Michael Healy forwarded it externally to a person working at another media organisation. Further names on the email trail after that included people in marketing roles at a major bank and a major management consultancy before it eventually reached Mumbrella.

hot hitsThe email was reported on MCM Media’s website The Hot Hits but this morning the story was deleted. It was also covered by today’s Sydney Morning Herald.

There is no suggestion that the Nine staff were doing anything other than acting professionally to keep relevant staff informed when they forwarded the email internally. There is also no suggestion that anyone at Nine had any part in creating the email.

A spokesman for Nine told Mumbrella: “The email went to a personal friend of Michael’s with no commentary who is not an editorial employee of any media company and the internal circulation was for professional purposes.”

One part of the chain began at 3.03pm  yesterday with the Today Show’s Eleni Paneras forwarding the email to a mailing group labelled “Today Show Producers” with the message “This is going viral”.

At 4.11pm Nine publicist David Brown emailed Nine’s head of publicity Victoria Buchan and head of reality and factual Karen Dewey with the message “This is going viral as we speak”.

This was in turn followed by Dewey forwarding it four minutes later to director of television Healy with the message “FYI. Roxy won’t be happy.”

Nine minutes later, Healy emailed it out of the building.

For legal reasons, Mumbrella is not disclosing where the email went after that but the trail included a variety of staff at another media company, people working in marketing and comms roles at a large bank brand and somebody at a consultancy.

There is no suggestion that the email would not have anyway gone viral without Healy forwarding it. Another version of the chain forwarded to Mumbrella passed through gossip journalists, media companies, telcos, rival PR agencies, another bank brand, and a beauty brand.

Two other versions forwarded to Mumbrella came via the PR industry.

Jacenko’s successful agency Sweaty Betty has been a polarising force in the PR industry. Mumbrella has no evidence that any of the claims in the email are true so has not published them.

Ratings in the last couple of weeks have fallen away for The Celebrity Apprentice . This week, it averaged less than 700,000 metro viewers.

Jacenko, who appeared in a video interview with Mumbrella’s Tim Burrowes in 2012, did not respond to an invitation to comment.

Please note, for legal reasons, any comments on this topic will be heavily moderated.


  1. like
    14 Jun 13
    2:12 pm

  2. I’m starting to like her (don’t edit that)

  3. Matthew Freeman
    14 Jun 13
    2:38 pm

  4. erm….that is a really fascinating piece of news guys?? It’s been a really slow day hasn’t it!

  5. Social Media Wanker
    14 Jun 13
    4:05 pm

  6. I am not making any suggestion that I read this article, nor is there any suggestion Mumbrella should compensate readers for the small part of life they wasted whilst reading the description of an email being forwarded to the exact minute.

  7. Hi
    15 Jun 13
    6:00 am

  8. I must say I tracked down the original email and it makes for a compelling read.

  9. Alby
    15 Jun 13
    8:22 am

  10. This series of Apprentice has been very poorly produced. The challenges .. If you can call them that are dull and look cheap.. Where has all the budget gone? The shows looks cobbled together and like it has been heavily re-edited. Shame another good brand has been ruined.

  11. PatC
    15 Jun 13
    11:12 pm

  12. I didn’t get it. Why not?

  13. Liza
    15 Jun 13
    11:16 pm

  14. Was certainly predisposed to not like her.

    But I must say, when analysing the episodes, she is the one behaving most professionally – she just puts her head down and gets on with it –

    whereas the whining and complaining and tantrum throwing are all contributed by the other participants (who are all starting to seriously get on my nerves).

  15. Helen
    17 Jun 13
    3:52 pm

  16. It’s no suprise that Roxy is being targeted, she is young, smart, articulate, successful and most of all driven. I watch CA and it goes without saying that Roxy should be the winner, the majority of the contestants are a laughing joke. As for the email going around, whatever it says I am sure will not tarnish Roxy’s reputation nor that of her career.

  17. Jobe K
    21 Jun 13
    2:19 pm

  18. Roxy is the most professional player in this competition,people should leave her alone.Let her be herself she’s not doing anything wrong .We love her.

  19. bill paul
    22 Jun 13
    8:55 am

  20. I agree with Jobe K and I quote: “Roxy is the most professional in this competition, people should leave her alone. Let her be herself she’s not doing anything wrong. We love her.”
    Bill.22 June.

  21. bill paul
    22 Jun 13
    8:57 am

  22. Roxy is great and is the most professional of the Celeb. Apprentice.
    May she win.

  23. jess
    27 Jun 13
    11:41 pm

  24. Roxy has a terrible attitude, I don’t care how much work she’s done, with a bad attitude like that, no-one will respect her. I would hate to work with her, she would make anyone feel so small and probably make you lose your confidence at work because of the way she talks down at people. She would be a terrible role model for anyone!! Can’t stand her and I knew she wouldn’t win because she she isn’t kind at all!!! She needs to learn from Stephanie how to speak and treat people. Roxy thinks people ate below her, Stephenie doesn’t. Can’t stand rosy, thankgod she didnt win, and if she did then something is very wrong with Australia, allowing her to be a role model, noway, not with that fowl attitude!!! She lacks compassion.

  25. Lisa
    29 Jun 13
    1:21 pm

  26. Focused, determined, hard worker, straighter forward, calls it how it’s seen. On the job training in the PR world without Uni qualifications. How many companies give you that opportunity? She made be hard to work with, an opportunist and have high expectations, but she didn’t get where she is with her thumb up her rear. She obviously bends the rules to get things done for her clients demands, and that is the PR company I would want.

  27. Anthony Buxton
    30 Jun 13
    10:33 am

  28. …..I worked in the health indusry for 30 years before retiring. I would like to think I made a real difference to peoples lives & contributed to societal benefit.
    ….after reading the article on Roxy Jacenko (Good Weekend – Saturday Age) & seeing her on Celebrity Apprentice, I’ve come to this conclusion – what does she actually do ?- what does she contribute to society ?

    Thankyou – Anthony Buxton.