Yes, there is something un-Australian about these ads

I always get slightly depressed by ads that attempts to influence public policy purely by having a big budget. Partly that’s because it feels like an attempt to derail the democratic process by putting pressure on the government just because you’ve got deep pockets. And partly because it’s rarely high quality work.

The problem is that, Labor lost its nerve – and Kevin Rudd – because of the mining tax ads.  

So now every special interest group thinks its can buy a new policy just by chucking some ads on air. Even if they are godawful.

But it doesn’t always work. Is anyone really surpised that the Alliance of Australian Retailers – which rapidly proved to be something of a patsy for big tobacco – saw its campaign against plain cigarette packaging fall flat on its arse?

Not only is it obvious to even the casual viewer that it’s hugely self serving, but it also fails to make a strong case.

And then comes this week’s efforts on behalf of the hotels industry.

Once you bring patriotism into it, you’ve already lost. Particularly when it’s as ham-fisted as this.

There’s also an It’s un-Australian website. Dr Mumbo’s informants who’ve tried to join the conversation tell him that only positive comments about the campaign are being accepted by the moderators.

Which all seems a bit, what’s the word? Ah, yes. Un-Australian.

(Update: Some of the comments below refer to the Un-Australian TVC having been created by Banjo advertising. This appears to have been based on information published in AdNews and since corrected. Although Banjo is working on elements of the campaign, including print, the TVC was created by Page 2 Communications.)

Tim Burrowes


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