This week has seen two cases of major Australian brands launching direct communications offences against their rivals.
Yesterday’s Australian Financial Review carried a front page ad from airline Virgin Blue making a direct attack on Qantas. And the News Ltd-owned online directories service truelocal.com.au has created a website dedicated to attacking Yellow Pages.
Virgin Blue’s ad – created by Cummins Nitro – was tactical, with the headline: “Qantas says they have ‘more flights more often’. We think they’ve left out a word. ‘Cancelled’.”
The ad was used to highlight data showing that that during May, Qantas had an 80% higher cancellation rate than Virgin Blue.
In the other case, News Ltd created the yellowturningblue site to highlight Roy Morgan research which it says shows a growing number of Australians would not use the Yellow Pages print directory. The company also commissioned its own research which it said suggested that 58% of people would not have the Yellow Pages print directory delivered to them if they were asked.
Sensis – owner of Yellow Pages – was equally blunt in its repsonse. A spokesman claimed: “It’s not surprising they have chosen to play the man rather than the ball in this campaign as having been in the market for a number of years now, their business is having limited success attracting users of their products. As a result, less businesses are advertising with them, leaving them to resort to these types of underhand tactics.”