Commonwealth Bank announces ‘on the road’ - A 12 month national road train sponsorship with the Australian Women’s Weekly and the Today Show

31 August 2006

The Commonwealth Bank has announced a sponsorship with The Australian Women’s Weekly, in conjunction with the Nine Network’s Today show, for the inaugural ‘On the Road’ road train – a national initiative that will take in some 100 plus regional Australian towns and cover more than 12,000 kilometres during 2007.

The 40 foot, 470 horse power ‘The Australian Women’s Weekly Commonwealth Bank On The Road with Today’ tour will visit regional Australia for a year, starting its journey at the Tamworth Country Music Festival in January 2007 and bringing to life Australia’s most popular magazine, across Australia.

The Today show will kick off its coverage of the event with a special viewer competition to search for a couple to drive On The Road around Australia. On The Road’s travel highlights and events will be featured in The Australian Women’s Weekly, on the Today show, through content on ninemsn and a dedicated microsite and throughout Commonwealth Bank branches and other Bank channels.

On The Road brings together several Publishing and Broadcasting Limited entities, including ACP Magazines, the Nine Network and ninemsn.

ACP Magazines Chief Executive Officer Ian Law said the On The Road concept involving The Australian Women’s Weekly and the Nine Network in partnership with the Commonwealth Bank is an exciting venture. "It is a unique initiative and demonstrates the commitment of our magazines, the Nine Network and the Commonwealth Bank to rural and regional Australia".

"On The Road will embody a grassroots extension of The Australian Women’s Weekly’s key editorial pillars of food, home, family, health, news, beauty and fashion. The Australian Women’s Weekly readers and local communities will be invited to visit On The Road for advice, pampering, demonstrations and product samples as well as dedicated Commonwealth Bank seminars and events to help regional Australians achieve their financial goals," Mr Law said.

"Almost one million of The Australian Women’s Weekly’s 2.7 million readers are from regional and rural areas and are an integral part of The Australian Women’s Weekly brand. It is our way of giving back to our readers and will allow us to bring regional Australia to a broader audience through the pages of The Australian Women’s Weekly."

The entire cast of the Today show will also hit the road with the first broadcast live from the streets of the Tamworth Country Music Festival on Wednesday, 24th January 2007.  Today show weatherman Steve Jacobs will also join the convoy several times as it makes its way around Australia. 

Nine Network Chief Executive Officer Eddie McGuire said: "This is a really exciting and innovative project that is a natural fit with the Today show, which enjoys a strong audience in regional and rural areas. It’s a great way for the Today show team to showcase what regional Australia has to offer."

As part of the partnership, the Commonwealth Bank will present a series of seminars and information sessions covering Agri-business to home loans, financial planning to financial literacy.

Commonwealth Bank Chief Executive Officer Ralph Norris said: "The Commonwealth Bank has an extraordinary reach into regional and rural Australia and On The Road helps us to bring the Bank’s brand values to life in an exciting and innovative way. The tour allows us to involve our local branch managers and engage local staff and their families with their local community.

"The partnership demonstrates the Commonwealth Bank’s commitment to rural Australians and our desire to consolidate our position as the number one bank in the country. As we strive to become Australia’s finest financial services organisation through excelling in customer service, participation in On The Road provides a strong platform to reinforce the Bank’s commitment to its customers in rural and regional Australia. Through the Bank’s involvement, we will seek to provide our customers with the financial advice and information that they require at all stages of their life."

The Australian Women’s Weekly Editor-in-Chief Deborah Thomas said: "All of us at The Australian Women’s Weekly are excited about meeting our country readers face-to-face. I know from past experiences that when The Weekly comes to town the turn out is extraordinary.

"The magazine holds a unique position in the hearts and minds of rural Australians and we look forward to bringing it to life on their home turf and strengthening relationships with our readers. We’re also thrilled that another iconic brand, the Commonwealth Bank, is joining us to make this innovative initiative a reality."

Today Show Executive Producer Tom Malone said: "We are very proud to be involved in such an ambitious project.  Today is the most watched breakfast program in regional Australia and we look forward to taking the program out of the cities and into the bush to meet our viewers."

The tour will take in all states and territories across Australia, from Tamworth to Toowoomba, Mandurah to Mt Gambier and Dubbo to Darwin. It will feature at events including the Floriade Flower Festival in Canberra, the Elvis Festival in Parkes, Beef Week in Rockhampton, Carnivale Week in Port Douglas and the Margaret River Wine Region Festival.

On The Road has an especially designed exterior and interior and the body of the truck opens up completely to become an interactive stage. It will feature a portable outdoor cinema screen, special test kitchen for recipe demonstrations and ideas, a beauty counter, breast cancer health services information, a travel advice area in conjunction with the state tourism bodies, a Commonwealth Bank ‘money’ centre, plus information on gardening, fashion, shopping and home makeover tips.


About The Australian Women’s Weekly
The Australian Women’s Weekly is celebrating its 73rd year and is the icon of Australian women’s magazines. As ACP Magazines’ flagship women’s title, The Australian Women’s Weekly recorded the highest increase in readership of any magazine in the March quarter of 2006 to reach 2,706,000 readers. This figure cements its position as the most widely read monthly magazine in Australia and the most read magazine per capita in the world. The Weekly is also Australia’s No. 1 selling magazine with a circulation of 610,408.

About The Today Show
The Today show is Australia's longest running and most respected television breakfast program. Viewers have been waking up to Today for 24 years.  From Beaconsfield to Bali we've been there...  bringing our viewers the biggest stories this country has ever seen.  The Today show is viewed by millions each year across Australia and by our neighbours in New Zealand and throughout the Pacific.  

About The Commonwealth Bank
The Commonwealth Bank is one of Australia's leading financial institutions with businesses in New Zealand, Asia and Europe The Bank is positioned for future growth, and aims to provide accessible banking and financial services for all Australians; fair, safe, challenging and rewarding employment for staff and to reward all shareholders through dividends and capital growth.

With over 130,000 distribution points across the country and businesses overseas, the Commonwealth Bank is a diverse organisation with a long history in the Australian banking industry. The Commonwealth Bank was founded under the Commonwealth Bank Act in 1911 and commenced operations in 1912. The Bank was empowered to conduct both savings and general banking business. Today, The Commonwealth Bank has grown to a business with over 700,000 shareholders, offering a full range of financial services to help every Australian build and manage wealth.

For more information, please contact:

Arabella Gibson
Group Public Relations & Media Manager - ACP Magazines
T: (02) 9282 8884 / M: 0412 906 157 / E:

Rochelle Burbury, Managing Partner – Open Dialogue
Ph: (02) 9270 2712 / M: 0408 774 577 E:

Steve Batten
Media Adviser – The Commonwealth Bank
Ph: (02) 9378 2504 / M: 0411 080 268 E: