WELLINGTON: New Zealand Rugby Union have defended an advertising campaign which urges All Blacks supporters to abstain from sex during this year’s Rugby World Cup.
The campaign has been devised by the advertising agency Saatchi and Saatchi for team sponsors Telecom and is fronted by former All Blacks captain Sean Fitzpatrick. It offers black finger rings to supporters who agree to abstain from sex during the Sept 9 to Oct 23 tournament.
The campaign will feature posters reading “touch, pause, don’t engage”, mimicking the instructions given by referees to forward packs when scrums are set.
Plans to place signs above urinals in restaurants and bars saying “think of your mum in a bikini” have been dropped, but critics maintain that the campaign is embarrassing and will make New Zealanders the subject of ridicule during the World Cup.
NZRU commercial manager Paul Dalton insisted the campaign was “something fun” and it should be “obvious to everyone that it is not to be taken too seriously.”
Telecom director of marketing Kieren Cooney echoed Dalton’s words.
“We’ve tried to take a way that is fun and is absolutely tongue–in–cheek and is absolutely based on what, we think, is Kiwi humor,” he told the New Zealand Herald.
Auckland University senior marketing lecturer Tom Agee told the Herald he thought the campaign was a practical joke. – AP