Monday, May 25, 2009

Princess Chelsea in centre of cycle safety shitstorm

"The $1.8 million Big Little City marketing campaign to attract more domestic visitors to Auckland has made a big little faux pas in its first week.

A 60-second television commercial featuring 84-year-old Dick West with locks of silver hair cycling through the central city at daybreak has been changed following a complaint he was not wearing a safety helmet.

Anticipating there could be a complaint, campaign organiser Heart of the City filmed Mr West with and without a helmet.

Heart of the City chief executive Alex Swney said he preferred the version showing Mr West's hair. It showed him as a slightly whimsical, non-threatening, elder statesman waking up to a city with cameos from well-known locals, including chef Peter Gordon, musician Boh Runga and fashionista Denise L'Estrange-Corbet.

"It's a domestic campaign. We want people from Invercargill, Oamaru, Ashburton and Taumarunui to not be intimidated by Auckland," Mr Swney said.

Most of the advert was filmed with Mr West on a trailer, he said. Only in a brief shot of him cycling down O'Connell St without a helmet was he pedalling for real.

The commercials began a six-week run on May 17."


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