‘Old Mate’ Coke tourism ad canned

The Marshall Liberal Government has been left red-faced, after spending taxpayers’ money shooting a new tourism ad featuring ‘Old Mate’, Crows captain Rory Sloane and a can of Coke – only for the ad to be canned before being broadcast.

Last night, Seven News revealed $15,000 of taxpayers’ money was spent shooting the ad in late October.
 
It’s the third ad featuring Old Mate, an older man who is infamous for appearing in a widely-panned ad where he cries while visiting Adelaide for the first time. Old Mate is the creation of a Victoria ad agency hired by the Marshall Liberal Government to promote South Australia.
 
The ad reportedly featured Old Mate and Rory Sloane on a deserted beach enjoying a can of Coke, with “Share a Coke with Old Mate” written on the side.
 
Only after the ad was shot - and taxpayers’ money was spent - was the decision made to not broadcast the ad.
 
The decision to promote Coca-Cola in a SA Tourism ad is particularly bizarre, given Coke’s decision to shut down its Adelaide plant last year and the significant previous investment promoting South Australia as a wine capital.
 
Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Tourism Zoe Bettison
 
Why on earth is the Marshall Liberal Government persisting with their failed Old Mate campaign?
 
The first ad featuring Old Mate crying was widely-panned, the second was just as bad and this third effort is arguably the worst yet.
 
It makes no sense to promote Coca-Cola, which has packed its bags and left SA, and it makes even less sense to promote Coke when we’re a wine state.
 
The Marshall Liberal Government outsourced promoting our state to a Victorian agency and now we’re suffering the consequences. Given the government is cutting $23 million from the tourism budget, we can’t afford to spend money on ads that don’t go to air.
 
Steven Marshall needs to step in and ditch this Old Mate campaign once and for all.