‘If the music stops, then everything stops’: American Express implores Australians to continue backing the music industry

American Express is encouraging Australians to continue creating and enjoying music in a campaign to launch its $1m Music Backers Fund.

The campaign, created by Universal Music’s own creative consultancy Bring, sends the message that ‘If the music stops, then everything stops; so don’t stop’.

PR for the campaign is being led by OPR, while media is being managed by The M Agency and Reprise Digital.

The Music Backers Fund is supporting the music industry as the country recovers from the coronavirus lockdown at different rates. Grants valued between $2,000 and $50,000 are open for applications for artists and music businesses. People can also ‘nominate a mate’ who is doing something to support the Australian music industry. Recipients will receive $1,500.

Naysla Edwards, American Express vice president of brand, charge cards and experiences, said she’s proud to help keep the music playing.

“American Express has always been a backer of the Australian music industry, and as we all know, the industry has fallen on hard times in 2020. While the road to recovery looks different for everyone, it was incredibly important for Amex to back music businesses and artists when they need it most. We’re really proud to launch the $1 million American Express Music Backers Fund to support the future of Australian music – and to keep the music playing.”

It is the third year the Music Backers Fund program has run.

Adam Ireland, general manager of Bring, said the initiative could not have come at a more important time.

“While crafting music strategy for brands is the day-to-day for Bring, partnering with American Express once again to bring the Music Backers 2020 program to life has been a true highlight and a privilege,” Ireland said.

“This program couldn’t have come at a more important time for the local industry, and it’s been a joy working with Amex and our various partners to build a program that genuinely gives back to Australian music. Amex joins Universal Music Group and the global network of companies who have made substantial contributions to support the music community throughout 2020.”

Further initiatives from American Express for artists, music business and fans will roll out throughout the rest of 2020.

The panel judging over the applications includes:

  • George Ash – president, Universal Music ANZ
  • Roger Field – CEO, Live Nation Australasia
  • Nick Yates – general manager, Unified Music Group
  • Tim Worton – group director, ASM Global
  • Naysla Edwards – VP, brand, charge card and experiences, American Express
  • Kathy McCabe – national music writer, News Corp
  • Emily Nichol – content producer, music journalist & Spotify curator
  • Nina Las Vegas – artist, manager, producer, label co-founder/director


Campaign Management
Martine Caddies, American Express
Nicola Tan, American Express
Laura Prieto Losada, American Express
Matt Kennewell, American Express
Lisa Nicholls, American Express
Daniel Jenkins, American Express
Kate Allan, Bring
Dave Bostleman, M Agency

Creative Platform
James Griffiths, Bring
William Blackburn, Bring
Verity Muscat, Pixel Eight
Chris Muscat, Pixel Eight

Megan Whiteside, American Express
Ellie Thomas, OPR Agency
Hayley Coope, OPR Agency

Casey Cameron, M Agency
Nicollette Newport, Reprise Digital
Jessica Juler, Reprise Digital


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