Olympic offer just not cricket

Woodside, naturally, says it will fight the Shell raid in true David and Goliath fashion. It is telling the investment world that it will perform better if left as an independent company and it is just as busy buttering up the news media.

Over the last few weeks, Woodside has been generous in its offers of Olympics package to select journalists around Australia. Some have accepted. Some have refused.

In theory, Woodside can do what it likes with a few spare airline tickets, a seat at the odd Olympic event, and a few surplus hotel rooms.

The problem is that many people in the media are still smarting over the way John Laws dealt with corporate generosity, an affair sometimes dubbed “cash for comment”.

Briefcase, which is always packed to travel to foreign parts in pursuit of a story, was not the recipient of a Woodside Olympics package. Perhaps a well-earned reputation of being rude to Woodside (including friends and relations) kept the Briefcase name off the select list.

Whatever the reason, Briefcase thinks the Woodside Olympics program is destined to backfire.

Attending an event as a corporate guest when there is a genuine story at hand is one thing. Attending a sporting event as the guest of an oil company locked in a hot takeover bid is entirely different.

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