The preliminary decision of the United Kingdom television broadcasting authority, the Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre (BACC), to not allow the use of the term ‘bloody’ in Tourism Australia’s new advertising campaign on UK TV will deliver a massive PR boost to Australia, Tourism Australia Managing Director, Scott Morrison said today.
Mr Morrison, who will launch the new campaign in UK next week, said “The campaign was designed to achieve cut through and get people talking, especially online. After just two weeks, we’ve certainly achieved that.”
“Already, we estimate that over 100,000 people in the UK have already viewed the ad online through our website www.wherethebloodyhellareyou.com and after the BACC decision this is only going to get better.”
“More than 180 destinations advertised on UK television last year to attract tourists and only one of them, Australia, is now getting this type of reaction. The campaign is creating a talkability that marketers only dream about.”
Mr Morrison said the decision only relates to commercial television and that the rest of the campaign, including on-line and print, was unaffected by the decision and will run using the ‘uncut’ version.
Tourism Australia also plans to make the most of the decision by driving PR interest around the launch in the UK, and will run ads in major UK newspapers encouraging the UK public to go direct to the websites to see the ‘uncut’ versions of the ad.
At home, Tourism Australia will be inviting Australians to join the campaign, with advertisements in major Australian newspapers on Friday, encouraging them to go online to invite their friends, family and contacts in the UK and other countries using a viral email ‘postcard’ available at ‘www.wherethebloodyhellareyou.com’.
Mr Morrison said “We had always factored in the prospect of such a decision in the UK. We decided to press ahead knowing that a ban would only increase interest in the campaign and give us the PR equivalent of ‘a free kick in front of an open goal’”.
“We ensured we had alternative versions of the strap line, including ‘so where the hell are you’, which will now be used on UK TV, in ‘the can’ as part of our production,” Mr Morrison said.
Mr Morrison said “I’m sure that there will be a reaction to the campaign, after all that’s the point. Our extensive consumer research in the UK shows that our target audience does not take offence. Rather they appreciate the tone and warmth of the invitation as something that is uniquely Australian.”
Tourism Australia understands that the decision at this stage is based on a very narrow interpretation of six year old guidelines.
Tourism Australia is hopeful that the BACC will reconsider their decision as it is within their jurisdiction to do so, citing the broad usage of the phrase in UK broadcasting, film and literature, including ‘Harry Potter’.
Mr Morrison will be seeking further discussions while in the UK, including with the broadcast networks. The Australian High Commissioner, The Hon Richard Alston, has also written to the BACC urging the authority to approve the commercial arguing that the phrase is used in context and represents a uniquely Australian expression.
In the meantime, Mr Morrison said “We thank the UK authorities for the extra free publicity and invite them to have a ‘bloody’ good holiday in Australia, especially with the Commonwealth Games now on and the Ashes coming up later in the year. To show there are no hard feelings we are happy to extend them an invitation”.
Mr Morrison concluded by saying that “the best way to find out what all the ‘bloody’ fuss is about is to click on to www.australia.com or www.wherethebloodyhellareyou.com and see for your self. And while you’re there, send a copy to a friend”.
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