Canberra Airport turns down Campaign for Australian Aid ads as overly political

Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 4.22.33 PMCanberra Airport has refused to run ads from the Campaign for Australian Aid highlighting funding cuts expected in the federal budget.

The organisation has already placed full page adverts in the Mosman Daily, the local paper of treasurer Joe Hockey, as part of its Interrupt Joe campaign and wanted to buy space at the airport ahead of Tuesday’s budget.

The Campaign claimed Hockey has refused to respond to 11,000 emails asking him to reconsider the cuts. The airport ads were to have carried the wording: “Hi again Joe. Checked your emails yet?”

Canberra Airport said it has a ban on any form of political advertising.

The Campaign for Australian Aid described the stance as “incredibly disappointing”.

“This isn’t a personal attack, or even a political statement, it simply asks Mr Hockey to hear the voices of thousands of concerned Australians who don’t want to see further cuts to the Australian aid budget,” campaign manger Adam Valvasori said.

“What’s more concerning is that as of today 13,000 Australians have directly asked the treasurer for a response and we still haven’t heard from him on this issue.”

He said the airport adverts were designed to greet MPs as they arrived in the capital for next week’s budget.

A spokeswoman said the airport has a policy of banning any form of political advertising.

“Because we are in Canberra we are regularly targeted by people wanting to get messages across,” she said. “Rather than be the arbitrar of what is political it is simpler to have a policy of refusing any form of messages to politicians.”

Along with the adverts in The Mosman Daily, the Campaign for Australian Aid has tried to force a response from Hockey by hiring scooters carrying its message and following him to work.

Steve Jones 


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