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8/18/11 8:54 AM
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Edited: 08/19/11 11:19 AM
Member Since: 3/28/05
Posts: 16162
 ABs abstinence campaign scrapped

ALL BLACKS sponsor Telecom has scrapped its controversial abstinence campaign after copping a bath of criticism.

The campaign, which was to be fronted by former All Blacks skipper Sean Fitzpatrick, called for fans to abstain from sex during the Rugby World Cup to show their support for the Men in Black. Those who signed up would’ve been offered black rubber rings to show they were on board.

Organisers hoped it will galvanise the New Zealand public in the same way Sir Peter Blake’s red socks did during Team New Zealand’s successful America’s Cup campaign.

But it did anything but, with the campaign being ridiculed and criticised by many fans, and Telecom has since decided to pull the pin on it.

"It's been a torrid 24 hours in the glare of public spotlight, as well as in that of our own team's views and opinions. Nothing like a full and frank exchange of views!” chief executive Alan Gourdie told staff in an email.

"This is a reminder that New Zealanders' passion for the All Blacks should never be taken lightly.

"All of us here at Telecom are as passionate as anybody. What the Telecom team thinks is very, very important to me and even if our people were split 50:50 for and against, that's still half of our workmates who weren't happy with it.

"That's not enough for me, and I give you all my personal apology for the angst or embarrassment this has caused."

The campaign was to run in various media. Posters bearing the slogan, ‘Touch, pause and don't engage’ were to be placed in bus shelters.

Originally, the plan also included signs above urinals in bars and restaurants, urging men to ‘Think of your mum in a bikini – Abstain for the All Blacks,’ but they were cut from the campaign.

Overseas media were quick to rip the concept to shreds.

“Oh dear. The Kiwis are so fearful of another failed World Cup they have bizarrely decided that a national sex ban will somehow get them there," said Australia Daily Telegraph.

In the Washington Post, Matt Brooks wrote New Zealanders "have a bit of an inferiority complex".

“And who wouldn't when you're a small island nation nearly falling off the bottom of the globe that rarely gets mentioned outside of a sentence that also includes England or Australia?

“Nevertheless, the Kiwis are a proud people who are conscious of their global image.”

The campaign also made headlines in The Telegraph, the Jakarta Globe, and other American and Australian publications.

8/19/11 12:07 AM
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Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 37244
Another failed Saatchi & Saatchi promotional campaign?


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