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‘‘Everyone makes out the Logies are a joke but they’re not,’’ says a former television publicist. ‘‘The networks want to win. The producers want to win. The on-air talent wants to win. They’re the only major prize we have in Australia and everyone desperately wants one.’’

This mindset is best typified by the well-known personality – overlooked yet again by the public and his peers – who, one year, described the Logies as ‘‘bullshit’’ to every guest in earshot. Indeed, he vowed he’d hand his trophy back if he ever got one.

The producers practically had to drag him off the stage after his win the following year. ‘‘It’s great to know the fans appreciate what we do,’’ he gushed.

But what is the true value of a TV Week Logie Award? Can a win really raise a performer’s stocks or bring viewers to a show? Do casting agents pay more attention to Logie winners? Does a swag of shiny statues give a star, a producer or a network more heft at the bargaining table?

The common view is: probably not. Winners of the public-voted ‘‘most popular’’ categories (think Home and Away and Packed to the Rafters) are, well, already popular, so the awards are merely icing on the cake. Winners of the peer-voted ‘‘most outstanding’’ categories, meanwhile (last year’s list includes ABC’s Redfern Now, SBS’s Go Back To Where You Came From, and a Lateline report about Catholic child sex abuse), rely more on word-of-mouth and critics’ support than a gong from TV Week magazine. 

But both views are off the mark, say those in the industry. 

‘‘Advertisers, for one, like being associated with popular winners,’’ says the publicist. ‘‘It cements the winner as part of the Australian psyche. When their show or their character inevitably gets killed off, advertisers will still pay a lot of money for their image.’’

Snaring a minor award may not endow a victor with much power but a Gold Logie has tangible benefits. ‘‘It tells a network, ‘viewers love this person’,’’ the publicist says. ‘‘It puts the star in a stronger position when they’re negotiating their next contract.’’

Karl Stefanovic, co-host of Channel Nine’s Today show, saw his ratings lift after he won the 2011 Gold Logie.

‘‘You’re on the cover of the papers and there’s great momentum and publicity,’’ says Stefanovic, who also won a Silver Logie that year. ‘‘But you can’t rely on a Logie to sustain you. In this industry, you’re only as good as what you’re doing at the moment.

‘‘The year I won, I covered a lot of big news events. I think the win solidified Nine’s reputation in news but perhaps it made the network more comfortable with me fronting big news events. I think the two go hand-in-hand.’’

Renowned producer John Edwards, whose Logie-winning programs include The Secret Life of Us, Offspring, Love My Way and Police Rescue, cherishes his awards but says they’ve never given him much leverage with the networks. Nor does he cast an actor because they’ve won – ‘‘they have to be the right person for the right role, obviously’’ – but a Logie does give them an edge.

‘‘It certainly helps because you know that person is in the public consciousness,’’ he says. ‘‘That’s always important to us; that an actor has recognition within the culture.’’

Casting director Ann Fay (Packed to the Rafters, All Saints) agrees. ‘‘It tells you who’s hot, who’s exciting, who’s more likely to get the cover of a magazine. 

‘‘And if a show wins a whole lot of awards, I actually think some viewers do pay a bit more attention.’’

While the Logies don’t have the international profile of bigger events such as the Emmys, the industry insists the awards hold sway overseas. 

‘‘They really do help you sell a program internationally,’’ says another former network publicist. ‘‘It’s like a bottle of wine with all the gold label awards down the side. You don’t actually know what the gold labels are for but you’re more likely to buy that bottle anyway.’’

While some argue the combination of public and peer-voted awards dilutes the power of each – and indeed, that the industry deserves a separate peer-voted awards event – the publicist disagrees. 

‘‘It doesn’t mean the Logies don’t need a few tweaks. We could always make it better. But it’s the only awards system we have and we should celebrate it.’’

mlallo@fairfaxmedia.com.au