GetUp! anti-supermarket pokies ad refused airtime by TV networks

"What you like to double or nothing?"

Australia’s major TV networks have refused to run a crowd-funded ad by activist group GetUp! that attacks supermarket big boys Woolworths and Coles for, the ad claims, owning “more dangerous poker machines than the five largest Las Vegas casinos”.

A GetUp! spokesman told Mumbrella that Seven, Nine and Ten have said no to running the ad on their networks, but had not given reasons why.

In the ad, a woman at a supermarket check out counter is duped into spending money she does not have by the man serving her, who turns from check-out assistant to croupier. The checkout till resembles the front of a pokies machine.

The ad picks on Woolworths, subverting its slogan ‘The Freshness People’ by changing it to ‘The Pokies People’. It also uses the logo for Woolworths’ Everyday Rewards loyalty scheme, which the brand has started advertising this week.

Ten and Seven declined to comment.

Peter Wiltshire, group sales and marketing director for Nine, said in an interview with SMH: ”Someone new coming along who chooses to use their own gritty tactics to foster their own business at the expense of ours, and our relationships with our existing client base does not make any sense to me.”

It is believed that although the ad had been CAD approved, it could not run on copyright grounds.

Coles head of corporate Robert Hadler said that the chain would not have intervened if the networks had aired the ad.

Woolsworth was unavailable for comment.

GetUp!, which had funded a media budget from donors who gave $50 or more to get the ad on air, has said it will run in cinemas instead.

The public issues group was behind an anti-pokies campaign last year that attacked Clubs Australia’s “It’s UnAustralian” legislation campaign.


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