The Bloody Good Saga of Tourism Australia’s Latest Advertising Campaign

Travel Blog  •  Michael Yessis  •  03.17.06 | 10:20 AM ET


Tourism Australia recently debuted a new advertising campaign that turns on the slogan, “Where the bloody hell are you?” Very cheeky. Very Australian. And quite offensive to the ears of the members of Britain’s Broadcast Advertising Clearance Center. (With an uptight, bureaucratic name like that, it probably doesn’t take much to offend.) Last week, the group banned the campaign from the country’s televisions because it uses the word “bloody,” which, according to The Age, is the 27th most offensive word to the BACC. That’s behind bollocks (No. 6), bugger (No. 21) and sodding (No. 24).

The action horrified Australian officials—Brits account for a vast amount of the country’s visitors—and gave them an unexpected publicity blast. The Web site featuring the commercial,, has received a huge traffic spike. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the ad has been downloaded more than 250,000 times.

Still, Australian officials didn’t take the ban lightly. Tourism Minister Fran Bailey flew to London with Laura Bingle, the bikini model featured in the offending ad, to lobby for the repeal of the ban. “The regulators have clearly misplaced their sense of humour,” Bailey said, according to a report in The Times. ““The regulator is out of touch with British opinion. Based on our research and the initial feedback, the British are loving our cheeky sense of humour.” It looks like her efforts may have been successful. Reuters reports that Britain’s regulators have agreed to review the ban.

So what of the ad? I watched it and I’m ready to pack my bags and book a flight. It’s quite an effective piece of advertising. Paul Hogan was never this good.

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