Cricket Australia is potentially facing fines of up to $66,000 from Australian health authorities after displaying Hindi advertisements from an Indian tobacco company at international cricket matches over the summer. Although the advertisements in question were promoting mouthwash, it has been claimed that the majority of Indians who would have seen the sign on television would immediately associate the brand with chewing tobacco. The advertising of tobacco products is banned in Australia and India; however according to Anne Jones, head of Action on Smoking and Health Australia, Indian tobacco companies somewhat get around the laws by engaging in “brand stretching”, in which they market non-tobacco products to give exposure to their brand, which is widely associated with tobacco.

A letter from the federal Health Department was sent to Cricket Australia on Monday February 6, and a decision was made to cancel the advertisements for the remainder of the series, causing a budgetary gap of (according to News Ltd) hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Income Risk Assessment

This incident demonstrates the need for event organisers to consider the risks associated with major sources of income and the potential for any financial loss associated with them. Common scenarios include:

  • Sponsorship withdrawal
  • A major act, athlete or drawcard withdraws from an event
  • An event is cancelled or postponed through force majeure, or some other foreseeable or unforeseeable events
  • Poor economic conditions or ineffective marketing affecting pre-sales on tickets
  • Bad weather affects gate ticket sales

In the same way that event risk assessments should consider threats to operations of an event, those responsible for the event’s finance should undertake a similar exercise to consider and mitigate against the above scenarios.