Friday, July 09, 2004

Government’s $130m ad campaign hits follow-through stage

If you spend enough buying media ad space, the unwritten rule seems to be that you get dibs on any follow-ups to be run as news. Not that the big-spending Howard Government really cares about getting freebies as such; rather, party advertising disguised as news can’t even be bought, carrying with it, as it does, the all-important element of third-party endorsement

Medicare to open Saturdays. Who’s the genius who just realised, in mid-2004, that "Most people are in their shopping centres on a Saturday morning”? While pensioners are presumably unlikely to remember and digest the fact of Medicare’s new opening hours – not without the aid of high-rotation TV ads, that is – they will be left with an indelible, if vague, feeling of Howard Government largesse when it comes to voting on election day.

PM laments culture of aggression. Translation: PM says "I bet that the tens of millions of dollars we have just spent suggesting that violence against women is only perpetrated by men under 40 has been wasted on the young men themselves. Which is so very typical of them – and if bigger-than-big ad campaigns haven’t instantly worked to retrospectively lower young men’s violence against women, then you can be sure that pensioners are next in line to be on the receiving end of such violence".

Fortunately though, casting a vote for the Howard Government on election day will pre-emptively inoculate a pensioner against such a risk. How? Because “Big government and hyperactivity are not the answer”. Meaning an even bigger-than-Ben-Hur ad campaign deploring young men’s violence against pensioners is the answer. It will run during the next term, with the aim of deflecting young male violence back to being against their female peers - at least until the next election.

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