The Minerals Council of Australia is running a scare-campaign in opposition to the Federal Government’s proposed resources super-profits tax. The Federal Government is quite rightly proposing to introduce a profits tax on exceptionally high profits to ensure that Australians get a greater share of the profits made by mining companies made from Australia’s non-renewable resources.
The Minerals Council’s well-resourced (and misleading) scare-campaign is being run with television and newspaper ads, both from the Council itself and from individual members (such as BHP and Rio Tinto, and others), as well as a scare-website: Keep Mining Strong.
This website (and the campaign more broadly) is a good case study for campaigners to look at. This is for several reasons: strong key messages, clear calls to action, consistent branding, good mix of media (including social media), and personalisation.
It has now been revealed that their scare-campaign cost over $22 million.
This astonishing fact shows the corrosive nature of the Minerals Council’s anti-democratic campaign. The intervention into Australia’s civil society by a cashed-up lobby group is straight from the US Washington DC “hardball” playbook.
The figures show the industry spent $22.2 million on the campaign, which ran from the start of May until late June when Ms Gillard took over and negotiated a compromise on the tax.
The industry’s national body, the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA), spent $17.2 million, mainly on television advertisements; BHP Billiton spent $4.2 million; Rio Tinto spent just over $537,000; and a smaller lobby group, the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC), spent just over $273,000. […]
On top of the direct spending by the mining industry, several mining companies donated another $1.9 million to the federal election war chests of the Liberal Party and the Nationals.
While I lauded the website as an example of a successful, effective campaign, and noted that you don’t need millions of dollars to re-create that kind of effectiveness, it is shocking to see just how much they did spend on the campaign overall.