In a triumph of the regal and the pompous, monarchists [with a small ‘m’] have rebelled at the new advertising campaign by South Australian brewer ‘Coopers’. The fun concept with a tag line that says ‘Forget the monarchy, support the publicans’, has outraged the Australian Monarchist League’s National Chairman, Phillip Benwell. His complaint is with the phrase “Forget the monarchy” and the regal supporters didn’t miss when they complained to the Advertising Standards Bureau and the Electoral Commission.
The relevance of the Electoral Commission under the current circumstances escapes me, and I wonder why they didn’t included other august bodies such as; The Ministry of Defence, the RSPCA, the Women’s Electoral Lobby not to mention the United Nations.
I have to ‘fess up’ – I have a leaning towards a republic but I’m not over the line yet or perhaps its more correct to say, I wasn’t, Now, however this little charade by the King’s men has brought me closer to the conclusion that the sooner we get a republic the better. Who are these people?
Who ever they are, I think they’ve managed to deliver themselves a giant left hook. The campaign wasn’t a belly breaking, hilarious advertising concept, it was more of a quiet giggle – a chuckle even. Clever and mildly amusing, I would have said and a really good piece of communication. Trust the monarchists to crown the episode with hilarity. Maybe many of us want to forget the remarkable Bess, Charlie and good old Camilla; maybe we want someone who actually empathises and understands people, maybe we want to forget celebrity and coronations; banquets and tiaras. Best of all, some of us want to remember free speech and the right to express opinions. As a marketer I’d be expected to defend my colleagues in the advertising industry, but really folks let’s get real – this is not earth shattering stuff.
The final outcome for me is good and bad. Bad because Coopers didn’t have the intestinal fortitude to back their original judgement and maintain an advertisement that clearly wasn’t intended to offend but simply communicated on the back of a topical proposition. Good because the whole incident has exposed what stuffy, pompous, piety driven lunatics these people really are. The monarchist have snookered themselves, they’ve demonstrated a complete lack of tactical cunning and managed to lose me, for one and I think many others.
Ask yourself, have these guys won any new converts to their cause by demonstrating their lack of tolerence and pluralism? Have they won one new recruit by demonstrating their openness to debate and opinion? Have they persuaded anyone that under a monarchist regime we can expect free speech and the right to offer our views without fear or favour? Under their archaic reign anyone who speaks ill of the Crown will be off to the tower for a quick chop and there’ll be no mint sauce let me tell you. So to you, the King’s men, we have a message. You may have frightened off a brewer but you don’t scare the rest of us so easy. God save the people!