Could racehorse records signal deeper relationship between execs at Kia Australia and Advertising Associates?

Official records from Australia’s national horse racing body, Racing Australia, could reveal a shared interest in horse racing between the leaders of Kia Australia and its media agency Advertising Associates.

Neither company responded to Mumbrella’s questions about this.

Mumbrella has previously published allegations that question whether Kia Australia’s 2023 media pitch had been improperly influenced by a personal relationship between executives at the two companies. 

Now, allegations made by numerous sources about a longstanding personal friendship between Kia Australia CEO Damien Meredith and Advertising Associates managing director Brett Carty appear to be supported by a number of records available on the Racing Australia website.

The records list Brett Carty’s horse racing business, Carty Racing, and an individual with the initials D J Meredith, as members of the ownership group for at least three horses, including Gringotts, Broadcaster and Nondisclosure. Ciaron Maher is listed as the trainer for all three horses, which have collectively accrued upwards of $375,000 in prize money to date.

Neither Meredith nor Carty responded to Mumbrella’s questions regarding their alleged shared ownership of multiple racehorses.

The shared ownership of a horse between the two leaders is not unlawful, and neither does it question an ethical challenge to the relationship, however it may pose a conflict of interest, according to Kia’s own global compliance code.

The policy outlines those conflicts of interest “exist where interests of one of our employees conflict or have the ability to conflict with the interests of Kia, or where an employee’s judgement could be influenced or appear to be influenced by a personal interest or benefit”.

Regarding “contracting with related companies, family or friends”, the policy asserts “employees must not be involved in procurement decisions relating to companies in which they or their family or friends hold an interest, as it may give an appearance that the employee has improperly influenced the procurement decision”.

It continues: “If an employee is aware that Kia is considering contracting with any such person or company (whether the employee is involved in the procurement decision making process or not), the employee must disclose the relevant information to their line manager and the Legal / Compliance Team so that any necessary steps can be taken to avoid any appearance of impropriety.”

Kia Australia did not respond to Mumbrella’s questions about whether the alleged relationship between Meredith and Carty has been formally disclosed to Kia’s Compliance Team.


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