The Australia Tourism Ad Controversy: ‘Has the World Gone Mad?’

Travel Blog  •  Michael Yessis  •  03.24.06 | 11:04 AM ET


Now that the Canadians have joined the Brits in objecting to Tourism Australia’s “Where the bloody hell are you?” campaign, and the U.S.-based American Family Association is poised to make its concerns known, Australians are asking themselves, “Is the ‘bloody hell’ ad campaign a growing embarrassment for Australia? Or is it the greatest marketing ploy of all time?” The comments are flowing on both sides at the Sydney Morning Herald news blog.

“An absolute disgrace,” one person writes. “I think the Canadians and Brits are going all spacey on us!!!” Another writes: “This is a stuff up of monumental proportions. We have an advertising campaign that we can’t use oversea!”

The Canadians, by the way, aren’t objecting to the use of “bloody” as the Brits are. The CBC just doesn’t like the word “hell.” “‘Hell’ is a problem for us in terms of kids and family viewing. It comes under the category of taste and in these situations we listen to what our audience tells us,” Canadian Broadcasting Corporation spokeswoman Ruth-Ellen Soles told Toronto’s The Globe and Mail. As for the American group, it seems to protest, well, everything that’s on TV.

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