Say Yes Australia mulls what to do next, “no second thoughts” about Cate Blanchett

Cate Blanchett has not been ruled out from featuring in a follow-up campaign to back the carbon tax, despite the ad having received bad press this week.

Dae Levine, head of communications at Greenpeace, one of the organisations behind the Say Yes Australia campaign, told Mumbrella that she had “no second thoughts” about Blanchett’s role in the campaign.

However, she admitted that she hadn’t expected such negativity towards the Melbourne-born Oscar winner, who has been dubbed ‘Carbon Cate’ by the media.

“I’m pleased to have had Cate’s star power to reach a wider audience,” Levine said. “But unfortunately, partly for that reason, particular elements of the media have chosen to attack her.”

Levine would not say whether Blanchett would appear in a follow-up ad, but said the campaign had been designed to “react quickly and flexibly” to changing events in the public and media.

“In reviewing the response to the ad, particularly comments made on our Facebook page and the Say Yes Australia website, it has become clear that people are still confused about what the carbon price will mean. The next stage of the campaign is for us to respond to that confusion,” she said.

On not using of the word “tax” in the ad, and using “price” instead, Levine explained: “When you use the word ‘tax’, people have a rational expectation that this will mean money coming out of their pay cheques. But the price on pollution won’t be paid in a direct tax – that’s how opponents have tried to sell it. It’ll come from the country’s biggest polluters.”

Levine wouldn’t rule out using the ‘t word’ in future campaigns. “I’m not necessarily against it, as long as people understand what it really means.”

The next stage of the campaign will centre around a demonstration organised via Facebook called Say YES to climate action, to be held in cities across Australia from June 5.

The Say Yes Australia ad campaign was created by Republic of Everyone, a sustainability specialist which won the business after a pitch involving five agencies.

Other agencies involved are media shop Benedictus Media, and Make Believe, which is handling social media outreach activity.

“We might have opened the campaign with a little conflict. But we certainly have people’s attention. And we intend to hold it until we have a price on carbon,” Levine said.


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