Brits find offense with Tourism Australia's new campaign

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Australias new tourism marketing campaign has been banned from British TV because of its use of the term bloody hell, which British advertising regulators find offensive.

The slang is part of Australias $60 million international tourism push, which asks prospective visitors Where the Bloody Hell Are You? in a commercial promoting the countrys beaches, outback and culture, among other things.

In response to the ban, Tourism Australia took out ads in British newspapers directing readers to the uncensored version on the Internet at www.wherethebloodyhellareyou.com.

Britain is Australias most lucrative market, accounting for more than 700,000 visitors last year, according to Tourism Australia.

The campaign, and its controversial invitation, is scheduled to kick off on TV in the U.S. during an episode of ABCs Lost on March 22. 

It also will begin appearing in print media in April. Its available for viewing now on www.australia.com.

The new campaign is distinctively Australian, said Scott Morrison, managing director of Tourism Australia in a statement.

In an increasingly competitive and tough commercial environment we must be bold, aggressive and distinctive to win the business, Morrison added. But we also must be credible -- we must be true to what we are as a destination and focus on why the world loves us.

Tourism Australia spent $6.2 million testing the new campaign in its top seven tourism markets through the use of focus groups and market research.

The agency is hailing it as a worthy successor to the familiar TV ads of the 80s with actor Paul Hogan, of Crocodile Dundee fame, urging viewers to visit Australia and throw another shrimp on the barbie.

To contact reporter Jorge Sidron, send e-mail to [email protected].

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