Robin Hood stamps

Call me daft, but I never knew space on Australian postage stamps could be bought by companies and used to advertise their products. In this case, a movie distributor spruiking an upcoming blockbuster.

Director Ridley Scott’s invariably action packed take on the Robin Hood legend, starring Australia’s own Russell Crowe (well he was actually born in New Zealand but whatev) this week received its own Australia Post limited edition collectable stamp pack. They are currently on sale at all leading, er, post offices across the country, conveniently in time for the film’s national release next Thursday.

This is clearly the fruits of an advertising deal brokered between Universal and Australia Post, despite the words of Australia Post Philatelic Group Manager Noel Leahy, who was quoted on the press release saying “we thought it would be very fitting to pay tribute to this great actor by producing the Robin Hood stamp pack in recognition of his talent and contribution to the film industry.” Yeah, right.

The trouble with that logic – if you actually believed it – is that Australia Post has already paid tribute to Crowe, sans the promotional tie-in. The burly bad-tempered star was one of four actors who appeared in the “Australian Legends of the Screen” stamp series released last year; the press release for the new stamps even makes a point of mentioning it. Australia Post didn’t even bothered to change the picture: the Robin Hood stamps use the same image of Crowe, but with press stills squeezed in along side it.

I wonder how much the deal was worth and whether it’s available to other companies, without the pretend nationalistic rationale.

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