massive ad campaign failure - Australia

In 2006, Tourism Australia spent 180 million dollars on a disastrous global campaign featuring the swimsuit model Lara Bingle, who posed the question: “So where the bloody hell are you?” The proper question, perhaps, would have been whether or not foreign standards authorities would allow the slogan at all. The United Kingdom, Australia’s third-largest tourist market after New Zealand and China, banned the ad for being vulgar, and tourism numbers from there and other target markets plunged.

Partly as a result of that debacle, and also because of the success of the 2009 Tourism Queensland campaign, the Tourism Australia managing director, Andrew McEvoy, said that campaigns run through social media represent the future of the industry.

Although Australia is not planning to abandon anytime soon the broad campaigns that form the bulk of the agency’s annual budget of more than 150 million dollars, he said, it is clear that targeted campaigns are the future.