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Comms Council chairman: Tourism Australia should give their marketing budget to the Sydney Opera House

Communications Council chairman Anthony Freedman has lashed out at DDB’s There’s Nothing Like Australia ad arguing that The Sydney Opera House’s Ship Song film does a better job at promoting the country.

In a column in the SMH today, Freedman – who is also the CEO and founder of recently sold ad agency Host – said Tourism Australia should give its marketing budget to the Opera House. Freedman wrote the column as his personal views rather than the position of the Comms Council.

Comparing the two ads Freedman said:

“One film yet again plays out a hackneyed, dated and dumbed down vision of Australia, a cultural cringe that is neither appealing nor informative. Yes, I mean the current Tourism Australia campaign with the abysmal There’s Nothing Like Australia jingle,”

“The other takes a landmark so familiar one would think it hard to present it in a way that might actually force reappraisal. But it manages to deliver a beautiful film. It showcases the building, the diversity of its content and even the spirit of Sydney, maybe even Australia in a way that moves you,” he said.

Freedman is not the first to launch an attack on Tourism Australia’s marketing strategy in the SMH.

In May James Packer said people who visit Australia most want to spend time in the cities and that continued use of natural attractions and fauna in marketing material was outdated and targeted the backpacker market.

Andrew McEvoy, MD of the national tourism board, defended the strategy at the time, saying: “Images of kangaroos, koalas, the Opera House, Harbour Bridge, reef, Outback and Great Ocean Road might seem like a cliché for Australians, but we also show nightlife, contemporary Australian cities, and our enviable lifestyle.

“So why would we want to promote ourselves in a generic way in this increasingly homogenised world?”

The Ship Song project for the Opera House was created by ad agency The Monkeys – formerly Three Drunk Monkeys – and was voted by Mumbrella readers as July ad of the month.

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