After spending just 10 days on airways, Kylie Minogue’s stunning Tourism Australia ad has been “paused” from broadcast amid the country’s horror bushfire crisis.
The $15 million campaign, titled ‘Matesong’, was broadcast to British audiences immediately before the Queen’s speech on Christmas Day, encouraging UK viewers to take a trip Down Under.
Over three minutes, the advertisement – featuring surf, sand and speedos – invited Brits to take a break from “what ails ya” and “call on your friends in Australia” in the musical video, which also starred comedian Adam Hills and included cameos from Shane Warne, Ashleigh Barty and Ian Thorpe.
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Wearing her trademark overalls and baggy sweatshirts, Minogue dons an ’80s perm to recreate the iconic Neighbours character Charlene Robinson.
But soon after the advertisement’s easygoing launch – featuring cuddly koalas, clear skies and beautiful beaches – social media users questioned whether it should perhaps be pulled for being at odds with Australia’s current bushfire crisis.
“Not exactly an enticing look from Australia atm … ALL anyone is asking about is fires,” one person wrote.
“They couldn’t have timed this ad campaign worse if they tried,” another added.
Following the response, Tourism Australia decided to pause parts of the campaign while bushfires ravage the east coast of the country.
“In light of the current situation in Australia, we have reduced some of our campaign activity in the UK. We will continue to review our planned activity over the coming weeks and months,” a spokesperson told Mumbrella in a statement.
“As the Australian government agency responsible for attracting tourists to our country, Tourism Australia will have an important role to play in highlighting that Australia will continue to be a world-leading and safe tourism destination, whether in unaffected regions or those that will recover from these bushfires in the months and years to come.”
Earlier, Tourism Australia acknowledged the bushfire crisis but stressed to international visitors that many parts of the country had been untouched by the disaster and open for business.
“Like all Australians our sympathies go out to the families and communities who are impacted by the fires, and our gratitude grows stronger by the day for the front-line services facing the fires head on,” the statement read.
“While bushfires continue to impact parts of Australia, many areas are unaffected and most tourism businesses are still open.
“It is more important than ever that we rally around our communities and the tourism sector who may have been impacted.
“We would encourage all travellers coming to Australia to seek the most up-to-date information prior to departure and remain informed about changing conditions while on the ground.”