I can do that!

In case you haven’t seen it. And, to remind you of this blog’s ‘centrist’ roots, remember as you’re watching, it was Paul Keating who first introduced this style of advertising. Remember Bill Hunter clambering around the wide brown land telling us what a great thing ‘Working Nation’ was just before the 1996 election?

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6 Responses to I can do that!

  1. Peter says:

    It’s true Keating used more than his fair share of our money on media monitoring and government advertising.

    However there are earlier examples, eg:

    Medicare. Letters to householders featuring state premiers (if they were Labor, which most were) stating that Medicare was simpler and fairer. This were sent in an election year (1984).

    International Youth Year. OK, so 1985 wasn’t an election year, but there was some fed govt sponsored televised rock thing. They were supposedly interested in what youth thought, set up a phone hotline promoted as ‘Talk to Hawke’. I was in the target age but though that was unlikely, so all it did was furthered my cynicism.

    Worse, since these signs still pollute our streets today, are the ‘Roads to Recovery’ signs. About mid-90s, so I’m not sure whether to blame Keating or Howard. But Hawke is probably culpable given the forest of similar signs proclaiming ‘This is a Bicentenial Road Project’ several years earlier. ‘Roads to Recovery’ is offensive on several levels – the loaded term ‘recovery’ and its encouragement of a cargo cult infrastructure fetishism.

  2. Peter,

    I sympathise with Govt’s spending lots of money on things that people don’t notice. So I don’t feel bad about signs taking credit where it’s due. I think that’s quite different to what Keating did with the pre 1996 ads and what Howard has ramped up to such an extraordinary extent. Certainly some ALP State Govts have been nearly as shameless, but perhaps not quite.

  3. derrida derider says:

    Yep, I thought at the time that one day the ALP is going to rue the day it misused taxpayer’s money on election propaganda. Just as I now think the Libs are going to rue the day they expanded this boondoggle to new heights of shamelesssness. Their regrets will come in about 3 years time when the Rudd government saturates our airwaves with pre-election stuff.

    It’s just another thing that makes me think that the traditional Australian contempt for pollies of all stripes is well judged.

  4. Who’s to say that Keating’s shamelessness was necessary to provoke Howard’s. In any event, the ALP continues to do quite nicely (and nearly as shamelessly) in the states.

    :(

  5. Sacha says:

    Uuurrrggghh: Roads to Recovery. There are heaps of those signs in the City of Sydney – I wonder if they’ve popped up in the last two years. What is the recovery to which we’re heading and how does fixing up a road lead us there? Agree that it’s cargo-cultism.

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