Criticism over misleading scene in new tourism ad
- Photo sent to media had incorrect caption
- Tourism Australia goes upmarket with new ad
TOURISM Australia has come under fire over a scene in its new television commercial, which shows a couple walking along a beach in South Australia where alcohol is banned carrying a bottle of wine.
Access to the beach, on Kangaroo Island, is by guided tour only in the presence of a ranger. Visitors have to stay in a group, and they can only observe the rare sea lions there from a distance, The Australian reports.
Some media organisations were also sent an inaccurate promotional package with a screenshot of Seal Bay on Kangaroo Island off South Australia wrongly labelled as Seal Rock in Tasmania.
Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson launched the $250 million advertising campaign in China – Australia’s fastest-growing tourism market – yesterday.
Tourism industry sources said several versions of the scene had been filmed but it was felt the one without a ranger and with a bottle of wine provided the best drawcard for international tourists.
“The agency filmed it with bottles and without bottles and with a ranger and without a ranger… but obviously the wine experience is key to promoting South Australia,” a source told The Australian. “There was a bit of creative licence used in the end.”
A Tourism Australia spokeswoman said a ranger was present at all times during the filming.
“This next phase of Tourism Australia’s global campaign is about putting our best foot forward and telling the world why there truly is nothing like Australia and its incredible attractions like Kangaroo Island in South Australia,” she said.
“The couple walking along the beach tells a narrative of the amazing experiences that can be had in South Australia and specifically Kangaroo Island. It depicts a carry-over from the previous scene where the couple are inside Southern Ocean Lodge looking outside and then they are outside walking along the beach, with rangers present at all times.
“On Tourism Australia’s website and its tablet application that supports the stories in this campaign, reference is clearly made that this experience can only be done with a ranger, with South Australian websites to click through to for further information.” The spokeswoman said a Tourism Australia employee had made an error in captioning material rushed to media outlets yesterday but that it was later corrected.
Opposition tourism spokesman David Ridgway said the blunder was embarrassing. “This comes on top of another embarrassing blunder in which the South Australian Tourism Commission is sending, via an outdated iPhone app, interstate and overseas tourists to attractions which have been demolished two months ago,” he said.
“After getting lost… the tourist tries to find the visitor information centre with the app, which takes them to an office which closed last year.”