Tourism Australia and Bega Cheese are among the brands to feel the effects of the bushfires that continue to sweep across southeast Australia devastating communities and claiming lives.

Tourism Australia has put its latest UK campaign featuring Kylie Minogue on temporary hold, Marketing reported. The Matesong ad, which features the actor and singer extolling the attractions of the country’s clear skies and outdoor environment, was felt to be inappropriate at the current time.

Elsewhere, dairy group Bega Cheese expressed concern about milk supplies – already affected by the drought – as processors are unable to access roads in some areas to make collections; farmers are also reporting lost livestock and an inability to milk their animals because there’s no power supply.

Wine brands are counting the cost of the fires which have come just before harvest time; a third of of vineyards in the Adelaide Hills region were in the fire area, according to Wine Spectator, and some reported losing their entire crop to fires. Further north, Hunter Valley viniculturists fear losing crops affected by smoke taint from backburning operations to control.

The fires have also sparked a media clash, Mumbrella reported, with the News Corp-owned The Australian accused of playing them down by running fire stories on the inside pages and giving space to climate change deniers. The title itself has taken at pop at the ABC, the national broadcaster, running opinion pieces charging it with bias and bad reporting.

The broadcaster, meanwhile, was reported last week to be facing budget problems as its spending on fires coverage has soared, with 670 “emergency broadcasting events” so far in the 2019-20 financial year, compared to 371 for the 2018-19 financial year.

On the ground, the Insurance Council of Australia reported that insurance companies and their staff are working around the clock to help communities affected by the fires.

“Since September 5, insurers have handled more than 6,000 insurance claims from bushfire regions of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria,” the council said yesterday. “Insurance losses are estimated at $431 million this bushfire season.”

Sourced from Marketing, Sydney Morning Herald, Wine Spectator, ABC, Mumbrella, Insurance Council of Australia