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B is for ... banned

Canadian advertising regulators ban Australian tourism ad

Mar 23, 2006 - Canada has banned a commercial for Australian tourism because in it a character invites would-be visitors by saying "We've poured you a beer."

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The same advertisement was first banned, though later the restriction was lifted, in England because it also uses the phrase "bloody hell."

"Buying a mate a beer is about as Australian as you can get. But the Canadian regulator has banned the shot because implied unbranded alcohol consumption is unacceptable," Australian Tourism Minister Fran Bailey said in a statement. Under Canada's restrictions, ads cannot feature anyone drinking alcohol. Full glasses are fine, but a half-empty glass indicates drinking.

The ads begin with characters saying: "We've poured you a beer and we've had the camels shampooed, we've saved you a spot on the beach ... and we've got the sharks out of the pool."

They end with a bikini-clad woman on a beach asking "so where the bloody hell are you?"

"What this decision shows is that Canada lags behind Americans, Brits and even Germans in the sense of humor stakes," Bailey said.

Tourism Australia launched the ad in the United States with a 30-second spot during the hit TV series Lost, which draws around 20 million American viewers each week. The American Family Association (AFA) has since mounted a protest. AFA members are expected to bombard Tourism Australia with thousands of emails and phone calls in coming weeks to vent their feelings.


Published : Mar 23, 2006
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