In addition to the Daily Telegraph’s nasty hatchet job on Cate Blanchett, they’ve also decided to ignore the message in the pro carbon tax ads and spend their time attacking the delivery. Nothing better demonstrates the paucity of quality analysis on this subject than complaints about the imagery used behind Michael Caton during his part of the ad.
THE coal-fired power station shown in the new national carbon tax advertising campaign isn’t in Australia – it’s in South London and was closed in 1983.
Now, I’m no designer, or advertising guru, but I’m pretty sure that the point of the ad wasn’t to say that this particular stylised image of a power plant will be shut down. That said, if the Tele does want to see a power plant that will be affected by a carbon tax, how about we pop Hazelwood into the picture?
Is that better? Is the Tele all for the campaign now? I suspect not. The argument about the iconography in the ad is just a pointless diversion.
So why would the ad’s creators have used a stock photo of Battersea power station? Do you think it was:
“[designed to] make Australians think [the carbon tax] will be painless.
As suggested by Australian Coal Associatiton executive director Ralph Hillman? Or do you think it’s more likely that it was used because it’s a good shape and looked good on screen? I’d happily wager it was the latter.
If you take the Tele’s argument seriously does that mean that you distrust roadsigns if the curve on the sign doesn’t perfectly match the corner you’re about to take? Do you not bother to look out for wildlife because you’re not sure that the silhouette on the sign is a real kangaroo? Are you unable to use public toilets because you’re body shape isn’t represented anywhere?
The use of iconography to deliver a visual message isn’t new, and it’s not some kind of deceitful trick. For the Daily Telegraph to pretend otherwise, and to focus on the delivery rather than the substance of the message in this campaign, shows a bizarre view of the debate.