Retail magnate Dick Smith has claimed a controversial Australia Day advert featuring boat people and a play on the pun ‘I love Dick’ has been banned from a primetime slot by censors.
The ad has now been posted under the title ‘Dick Smith Foods Australia Day Ad – UNCENSORED’ on the brand’s YouTube page, amid claims a PG rating from Free TV’s CAD system meant it cannot be aired at a pre-booked 6pm time.
However, CAD would not comment on what rating they have given to individual ads due to privacy concerns.
In the ad the ever-outspoken Smith greets boat-people arriving in Australia with his own branded food, and says “Why else would thousands be trying to get here?”.
There are a number of innuendos with people saying ”I love Dick”
He also takes a broadside at traditional Aussie brands like Vegemite, as well as Kraft peanut butter and Masterfoods sauces, to spruik his own true blue line, and even a tongue-in-cheek jab at Sam Kekovic’s “jingoistic” ads for lamb, famously aired around Australia day.
The ad, directed by comedian Dan Ilic, has already generated comments on social media, with one posting: “The funny thing is, this would easily have been on air in the 70s, 80's and 90's.
“We had Alvin Purple, Auntie Jack, all sorts. Kenny Everett was end-to-end innuendo (as a lot of Brit comedy is). Now suddenly Aussie TV mustn't be too blue? Crivens.
“Someone should start a "we want dick" petition.”
However, others have accused the brand of a “clever marketing ploy” by generating earned media coverage on mainstream media with an “I can’t believe this ad has been banned' type segment”.
In a post on his blog Ilic said: “I wrote the funniest script I thought I could muster on our tiny $10k budget. Then convinced Dick that it’d be fine to run with the innuendo and the boat people joke. (Which is my favourite considering Dick’s stance on population control).”
He then claims Smith sent him a “barrage” of angry texts after the ad was given a PG rating, claiming a $100,000 media spend had already been arranged for the 6pm news bulletins on Saturday.
The text messages Ilic claims were sent to him by Smith after the ad was banned.