Dr Mumbo

The mystery of Liberal Party’s ‘fake tradie’

It’s the dream of many marketing executives to go viral but Liberal Party HQ is wondering if its new attack ad accusing Labor of launching a “war” on the economy might be going viral for all the wrong reasons.


Screened yesterday, the Liberal Party ad features what appears to be an ordinary tradie sitting on a building site talking to the camera.

Internet users quickly began to dissect some of the incongruities in the ad and soon the hashtag #faketradie was born.

It appears to be the little things that brought them undone:

Like really little:

And then of course you have the (rather unkind) memes:

Even the Australian Manufacturers and Workers Union was having a go:

Dr Mumbo was also particularly amused that the folks at Buzzfeed also spotted that “fake tradie” also appears to be wearing a $7000 Tiffany man’s watch.

Which led to tweets like this:

But of course the real mystery is the identity of the ‘fake tradie’. Labor creative strategist Dee Madigan tweeted that surely the Liberals wouldn’t be silly enough to hire an actor:

But soon websites Buzzfeed were questioning whether the Libs had hired actor Andrew MacRae to front the ad:

Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 11.54.53 am

Such was the furore that Macrae was forced to come out and tweet that it wasn’t him: 

The latest update has the Government insisting that “fake tradie” is real. 

“We are very pleased that people are talking about this ad which highlights the risks of Bill Shorten’s war on business,” said a Liberal spokesman.“The tradie is real, unlike Mr Shorten’s claims about Medicare.”

Meanwhile the CFMEU has come out to insist he is not a member of their union.

So for the moment it appears that fake tradie may be real – or at least not a union member – but what about the posh watch?

Update June 21 9am – A caller to Triple J’s Mat and Alex breakfast show this morning claimed to have been on the site when the ad was filmed.

Apparently the tradie in question was a boiler maker who was brought in by the Liberal Party to the building site a couple of weeks ago, complete with props including the saw horse, but was not working on the site himself.

Update 10am – Fake tradie has been reveal. Daily Mail Australia journalist Daniel Piotrowski found the “fake tradie”, who is in fact 50-year-old Andrew MacRae who lives in a modest home in Lane Cove.

MacRae is in fact a tradie who even provided his NSW government contractor’s licence to prove the point.Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 9.57.49 am

Click here to read the Daily Mail story.


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