The always-brilliant website Sociological Images found this appalling ad for an Australian “luxury” real estate development. My first response after “This has got to be a hoax,” was how unsafe these places are when you have a resident scared out of her wits tied to a chair and calling the cops. This doesn’t make me want to live there, it makes me want to live anywhere BUT there.
Down in Aussie land the Advertising Standards Authority has banned a Calvin Klein ad campaign because it was “suggestive of violence and rape.” And by “suggestive” they mean “depicts in a faux artsy way.” I’m not going to post the picture because the ASA is spot on about this. The not-usually shy Daily Mail describes it as featuring a model “posing with three male models in the controversial image. Her head is rested on the lap of one, while she is straddled by another.” Perhaps they were feeling demure because they did run the picture. Who knows?
An ASA spokesman said, “The Board considered that whilst the act depicted could be consensual, the overall impact and most likely impression is that the scene is suggestive of violence and rape.The Board considered that the image was demeaning to women by suggesting that she is a plaything of these men.”
I, for one, would like to see the ASA banning ALL ads that suggest women are a plaything for men. Of course, that would destroy the advertising business – so it’s a win/win!
The Aussies are not, by and large, nervous nellies. They can’t really afford to be. That’s what living with the all those wild fires, droughts, rampant New Zealanders and 10 of the most lethal animals on the planet will do for you. However, if you really need to make an Ozlander squirm sell a potato chip flavored like a kangaroo or emu.
Complaints to Australia’s Advertising Standards Bureau said the “BBQ Coat of Arms” chips were degrading for native wildlife and sent the wrong message to Australian children, reported the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper. “It implies that it is perfectly OK to kill kangaroos and emus just for fun!” said one complaint.
Apparently the writer has never read the history of Australia. Pointlessly killing kangaroos is to the land Down Under what pointlessly killing buffalo is to the US.
BTW, I have eaten oddly flavored potato chips in France, the UK and Japan and no matter what they claim to be seasoned with they taste like either BBQ or salt & vinegar. That’s it. Worcestershire sauce flavored? BBQ. And not a very good one. Curry? Salt and vinegar.
Last week, the kreme hit the fan when
An Australian biscuit company has threatened legal action against US chain Krispy Kreme if does not stop selling its Iced Dough-Vo doughnut. Arnott believes the product is almost identical to its own Iced Vo-Vo biscuit, and breaches trademarks registered in 1906.
Krispy claimed the confection was meant as a tribute to the beloved Vo Vo.
This resulted in some of the best headlines I have ever read:
- Oh no, not the VoVo! Holy row breaks out over biscuit ambush
- Arnott’s warns Krispy Kreme Iced Dough-Vo is an Iced No-No
- Arnotts’ anger at Iced Vo Vo vandalism
- No-go woe for doughnut co after Vo-Vo blow
- Arnott’s icy ultimatum in Vo-Vo wars
- Krispy Kreme concedes Dough-Vo no-go
- Dough-Vo bows to Vo-Vo: Krispy Kreme backs down
- Dough-Vo to go-go
- Dough-Vo a no-no: Krispy Kreme concedes
What about: Krisp Kreme donut turns to humble pie
As you can tell the Aussies take their Iced Vo Vo’s very seriously: In his November 2007 victory speech, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd jokingly urging his campaign team to have a strong cup of tea with an Iced Vo Vo before getting to work.This reportedly led to skyrocketing Iced VoVo sales, prompting Arnott’s to send a shipping pallet of the biscuits to the Prime Minister’s office in Canberra’s New Parliament House.
Viagra truly is a wonder drug — and not just for humans. First it rescued us from the horror of jet-lagged hamsters. Now comes word that it does wonders for bivalves … or at least their marketing. Some Aussie is feeding the stuff to oysters and claims that the result is a super-aphrodisiac.
“First of all, oysters are the greatest natural aphrodisiac, second, you lace it with Viagra, and third, it’s a laugh,” said George May.
Until he came down with prostrate cancer Mr. May was — no surprise — a marketing exec. You can tell he’s an Aussie marketing exec because he was honest enough to say, “it’s a laugh.” He faces only two problems with his new product: 1) He can’t sell his oysters in Australia because they contravene strict regulations; and 2) Pfizer won’t let him use the V word in his marketing.
May now has some 10 million oysters in cultivation and says he eats one to two dozen each day without any ill effects of consuming a foodstuff containing some medication.
But what kind of pearls do you get from them?
The government has finally done something to protect us all from all from a weapon of mass yuckification and banned imports of the inedible Australian “food stuff.” If this is a Bush Administration’s ploy to increase its popularity right before the election then all I can say is, “mission accomplished.”
Quote of the day: “Very big birds … more like ducks, earned the name ‘demon duck of doom’, some at least may have been carnivorous as well.” — Vertebrate paleontologist Sue Hand describing one of 20 fossils of previously unknown species uncovered at a site in northwest Queensland in Australia.
And yes, I do want to copywrite that.
- Fun story over at PingMagazine about an artist who is mixing Chinese socialist realist style with Western brands.
- The company I keep. Echelon Marketing Group’s blog has links to six other business sites: McKinsey & Co., Booz Allen Hamilton, the WSJ, Ad Age, Harvard Business Review and … CollateralDamage? Talk about one of these things is not like the others. I sense a medical exam for someone on the webside at Echelon.
- Toothless Invective and Rhapsodic Blather. Great name, fun blog & I have no idea who is behind it but hey they linked to me.
- The US National Hurricane Center continues to scare me by predicting there will be no tropical storm activity through tomorrow. I have a bad case of the lady doth protest too much about this. Why no word on asteroids colliding with the earth, tsunami knocking over cruise ships, towering inferni or giant radioactive bugs? Be afraid, be very afraid.
- Bet they stiffed him on the tip. Australian movie director Paul Fenech has set a world record by travelling 12,500 miles to deliver a pizza. He claimes that his three-day journey from Australia to New Zealand via Spain was aimed to raise awareness of the youth cancer charity CanTeen but I think he just got lost and this was the only excuse he could come up with.
- Meryl Streep, babe. I am a long time Meryl fan, OK. She’s a great actress, we all know that. But then I started to see the pix from The Devil Wears Prada and WOW. She’s my new pinup girl, er, woman.
*Salutes was what we in RI called the basic small firecracker that you would light up and it would go bang without damaging your hand if you were dumb enough to have it explode on you (refuses to disclose how he knows this but OWWW). What are these called elsewhere in the US?
You wouldn't want it in your eyes but it's good for your nose? Capsaicin, the incredibly active ingredient that makes both pepper spray and great chili disabling, is being touted as the next great thing for … allergies. Yup, one spritz of Sinus Buster Pepper Nasal Spray "Equalizes Springtime Allergies." In an incredibly artfully worded press release, SiCap industries almost alleges their product …
… is spelling true relief for millions of allergy sufferers.
… may prove to be the answer to every allergy sufferer’s prayers.
… has built an impeccable reputation with thousands of physicians around the world.
… [has] an excellent reputation for relieving chronic sinus conditions and headaches.
… grabbed the attention of some major medical researchers due to the
overwhelming body of anecdotal evidence both from patients and
… is presently involved in several new
clinical trials concerning various sinus and headache treatments.
… wakes you up faster than a strong cup of morning java.
It's probably an excellent floor wax and dessert topping, too.
Next must see movie of the year: "Farce of the Penguins" — the story of "one penguin's search for love while on a 70-mile (112-km) trek with his libidinous buddies on their way to a hedonistic mating ritual." Written by the incredibly filthy mouthed/minded Bob Saget — if that strikes you as a strange description of him then you haven't seen The Aristocats.
The juggernaut of free PR for Aussie tourism continues: "And here I am, in the Australian parliament building at what I think is something like four o'clock in the morning in the UK. And so I'm thinking, so where the bloody hell am I?" — Brit PM Tony Blair (motto: What am I Still In Office?).
But apparently there is too much of a good thing for the Aussies. Ad-rag has an entry quoting from a story in the Sydney Morning Herald about what it takes for the Aussies to give someone else free press: A comedy writer has been forced to take down an online spoof of the controversial "where the bloody hell are you" TV ad after legal threats. Dan
Ilic, 24, produced a parody of the ad, changing the jingle to "Where
the f—ing hell are you?" and inserting negative images of Australian life.
FWIW: I got one of their songs, Young Lions, from iTunes. It's pretty damn good. Not enough steel guitar for my taste — but you can never have enough steel guitar for my taste.
The Aussies continue to have good luck getting free PR. Turns out the Canuck ad authorities not only wouldn’t let them use the word hell in the ad, they had “to remove a shot showing a half-full glass of beer.” Oh, Canada…
Aussie tourism boss Fran Bailey continues laughing all the way to the bank on this one. “I still find the decision astonishing. What this decision shows is that Canada lags behind Americans, Brits and even Germans in the sense of humour stakes.” OOOOH, that hurts — less funny than the GERMANS? Canada has taken this insult seriously and announced they are sending all of their armed forces not currently serving at the Tim Horton’s in Afghanistan to invade Australia. Adding economic clout to this military threat, the Canadians say both of those people will fly on an airline that is not Qantas.
Man, those folks from Down Under sure know how to get the most for their ad dollar. Having previous reaped a whirlwind of free press from getting the “So where the bloody hell are you?” ad banned in the UK, they’re now doing it again — this time in Canada. The Canucks have banned the ad from TV and say there’s no point in the Aussie Tourism Minister coming to the Great White North to appeal the case as she did in the UK because they’re not going to change their minds. Well, I bet Ms. Bailey still makes the trip as the point of her trip won’t be to change the decision but to get publicity and I bet it will again work like a charm. Hmmmm, what mildly racey word can they put in the US version?
BREAKING NEWS!!! Turns out they didn’t have to ad anything to get free publicity in the US. Adjab points out that the ever looney American Family Association (motto: We Make PETA Look Rational) has gone on the offensive and found something offensive. According to a story in the Sydney Morning Herald:
AFA members are expected to bombard Tourism Australia with thousands of emails and phone calls in coming weeks to vent their feelings. Members are also expected to boycott Australia as a holiday destination. “I just feel pretty sure the typical American family who is watching TV with their children and they’re exposed to this ad are going to be upset,” AFA director of special projects, Randy Sharp, said. “I don’t want my children to hear that phrase. It’s a shocking phrase because we’re not familiar with it. I guess they use it all the time in Australia, but it’s a foreign language here so I think it’ll have a negative impact rather than positive.”
Nervous Aussie tourism officials said losses from the AFA’s decision could mount into the high single digits. They were actually more worried as to what would happen after the boycott ended. “Wasn’t ’til they stopped the ‘cott of Ford that Ford really started to lose money,” said one Australian stereotype.
Don’t Randy Sharp’s quotes sound so dumb as to be made up? Sadly, it’s in keeping with everything else I’ve read about him. Can we nominate the AFA for some sort of award for “PR Person’s Best Friend”?
- The UK’s Broadcasting Advertising Clearance Centre has agreed to stop providing free publicity for the Australian tourism industry and lifted its ban on TV because of concerns over the campaign’s use of the word “bloody.”
- Further proof that Mamon trumps God. Ennobled Body Shop founder “Dame” Anita Roddick is getting flooded with feces for selling out the allegedly ethical firm to L’Oreal. Hmmm, whatever happened to Ben & Jerry’s anyway? Oh, yeah, Unilever owns them…
- Here’s the next game on my must play list: Patriot Act: The Home Version.
… in the UK, at least, is bloody. As has been widely noted elsewhere, the Australian tourism authorities recently unveiled a new ad campaign withthe “Where the bloody hell are you?” The slogan, which has widely been referred to as “cheeky” in the UK/Aussie/Kiwi press, has been banned from the airwaves in the UK. Officials at the British Advertising Clearance Centre have decided that it is just to damn, bloody much to hear the phrase on the air even though it “has been emblazoned across full-page advertisements in the British press with full approval of the regulators.” Australian Minister for Tourism Fran Bailey is flying to London to “confront” the BACC over the decision– we use the word confront here in its traditional sense: to grab as many free headlines as possible. For those of you like me who haven’t actually seen the ads, a description:
The television campaign features natural Australian icons such as beaches, the Great Barrier Reef, the outback, Sydney Harbour and Uluru. The ads end with a girl in a bikini saying “we’ve saved you a spot on the beach”, before she poses the colourful question, “Where the bloody hell are you?”
The only possible answer: In my bloody cubicle.