Prime TV billboards axed after complaint
One billboard in Wakefield St, Wellington, and two in Auckland were removed yesterday after going up on Tuesday. The billboards were for Madmen: The Glory Years of Advertising, due out at the end of the month, and bore the slogan:
"Advertising Agency Seeks: Clients. All business considered, even from Jews."
The billboards were removed after a complaint from New Zealand Jewish Council chairman Geoff Levy, who was also angry about a two-page advertisement using the same wording in the latest Time magazine.
Mr Levy said Prime had acted quickly to remove the billboards and if the council received a written apology and a two-page apology in the next Time the matter would be resolved.
However, the damage had already been done and 26,000 copies of Time would remain on waiting-room tables and in houses for months to come, he said.
...Prime spokesman Tony O'Brien said approval for the campaign, which was to mirror "archaic" 1960s' attitudes prevalent in the show, had been given by the marketing department, which had made an error of judgment. All the billboards were immediately removed and an apology would run in the next edition of Time, he said. "We take full responsibility for this and we have totally apologised to the Jewish community. The campaign crossed the line from being provocative to being offensive."
...Adverstising Standards Authority executive director Hilary Souter said they had received a handful of complaints but the quick response of the broadcaster should settle the matter.
For New Zealand, the incident is unremarkable.
As one commentator noted
- New Zealand Universities have granted PhDs to Holocaust denial theorists,
- there have been instances of desecration of Jewish graves
- there was an attck on the Rabbi's car in Auckland
- anti-Semitic slogans ere spray painted on the Synagogue in Christchurch
- there were plans for a demonstration outside a Synagogue in Wellington to coincide with a Service there to comemorate those who had died in wars defending Israel
- there was a stabbing of school children at the Jewish day school in Auckland. The woman in question had a mental illness but even so, her drive for wanting to harm Jews had to have come from somewhere.
...So now an advertising agency taps into this growing undercurrent of anti-Semitism in New Zealand, as a cheap, cynical grab for controversy and publicity.However, what I find interesting is the tone of the comments posted in response to the article. The slightest whiff of DDT, and it's amazing how many cockroaches crawl out of the woodwork....
- "...the old saying "All Jewish are cheap and shrewd in business" I believe is quite true.
- "... The second you call a Jew a name the whole anti-semetic brigade has you called up to HR."
- "...Stereotypes are generally born out of a reflection of reality....."
- "... Personally I am just sick of the whole jewish thing..."
- "...Why keep using the guilt trap on people?..."
- "...some new state - let's just call it "Jewtopia"...