News Corp Australia buys stake in One Big Switch as company plots global expansion

One Big Switch News Corp Australia has bought a minority shareholding in marketing company One Big Switch, founded by former Kevin Rudd press secretary Lachlan Harris.

When contacted today both sides declined to comment on the amount of the investment or the size of News’s stake in the company, however global managing director and co-founder Harris told Mumbrella it would be used to help plot a global expansion.

“This investment will expand our horizons and give us a chance to show our campaigning model can work for consumers all around the world,” he said.

“It’s an exciting development for One Big Switch and our members.”

The business, founded in 2011, defines itself as “a consumer network” that bundles consumers together to help them achieve collective discounts on their household bills. It is paid by the utilities companies in return for bringing large groups of consumers across to their business.

It claims to have 600,000 members globally and will use the capital injection to grow beyond its existing operations in Australia, Ireland and the United Kingdom.

While News Corp declined to comment on the investment in an email to staff on Friday Julian Clarke CEO of News Corp Australia singled out the investment, along with a 2014 investment in personal loan company SocietyOne, as important to the publisher’s “expansion policies”.

“In line with our expansion policies, we have also made significant investments in exciting new businesses such as One Big Switch and SocietyOne,” wrote Clarke.

Since its launch One Big Switch has had a close association with News Corp, drawing criticism from Media Watch over the relationship in 2012.

One Big Switch’s previous involvement with News has included being a partner in the launch of a new finance vertical called Moneysaver HQ in partnership with David Koch’s production company Pinstripe Media.

The site includes a Cost of Living campaign which drives people to the One Big Switch website and its offers across things like electricity, car insurance, and petrol.

Nic Christensen 


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