The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Money Can Buy Pride.
August 17, 2006, 8:46 am
Filed under: Comment


In 2004, an Australian gameshow host, Ian Turpie, appeared in numerous advertisements under the headline TV Star’s Amazing Confession!

In the ads, Turpie [with his wife Jan by his side] explained “Impotence nearly ruined my life” and that Advanced Medical Institute’s ‘Nasal Delivery System helped him “get my sex drive back!”

Maybe it was the claim of a ‘Nasal Delivery System’ helping reverse impotence or maybe it was the desire to never see Turpie on TV again … but Australia’s Trade Practices Department took AMI to court for false advertising, and SHOCK, HORROR, they won.

Apparently the Federal Court was told Turpie never used AMI’s spray to treat impotence or erectile dysfunction and the interview, as described in the ad, never actually took place.

To totally rub salt in AMI’s wounds, the prosecution explained …

 “While Mr Turpie no longer had the sexual desire he had when he was a young man, he was still able to achieve an erection when he desired, and so did not suffer from impotence or erectile dysfunction”.

After consideration, Justice Kevin Lindgren [who somehow managed to not smile through the whole proceedings] found AMI had engaged in deceptive or misleading conduct by publishing the advertisement and that publicist Philip Somerset was a party to it.

Now ignoring the fact that using a sad, washed up gameshow host is never going to be a really great idea to sell erectile dysfunction medication [abit like Viagra’s use of Pele] …who really is at fault here? 

Sure, Turpie is a tosser for willingly taking money to lie and yeah, AMI are absolute blithering idiots to think this concept will work … but how come the ad industry doesn’t take more of a battering on this matter? 

OK, maybe an ad agency wasn’t used at all [maybe it was just Turpie’s publicist] but if one was, they should be hung, drawn and quartered … because what they’ve done is reassert in the consumers minds, that ads are lies and shouldn’t be taken notice of.

On the positive, Turpie can relax knowing the Neanderthal Aussie Man will no longer regard him as a ‘poof’ because they thought he needed help to ‘get it up’ … even though he is a money-grabbing, morally corrupt Tom Selleck lookalike!

6 Comments so far
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I think that’s the most insulting comparison Tom Selleck has ever been given…

Id like to think that no agency does those misleading and fake kind of ads, but im sure there are some who do.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

A few years ago, McDonalds launched the ‘grilled chicken’ burger to great fanfare.

Pity that it wasn’t actually grilled – and the ‘grill lines’ were actually ‘painted on’ at the ‘factory’.

Oh they got into a lot of trouble for that one I can tell you – but they had the nerve to ‘claim’ it was all a big mistake.

How you can spend millions on ads that say GRILLED when the reality is totally different shows it’s not just the little players who try and screw the public over.

That’s why I exist … haha!

Comment by Rob

And they wonder why people don’t trust them..!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Funny story …

Years ago I was given a project by McDonalds to understand why people didn’t ‘trust’ them.

As part of the process, I asked Micheael Moore’s production company to get involved [as they were more ‘intune’ with aspects of America than I could ever hope to be]

Macca’s only agreed to let him be part of it if he signed a disclaimer promising he wouldn’t do anything about them as a company and he agreed to this because the huge amount of money he was paid, helped fund Farenheit 9.11.

All went well and we really did some great stuff for them [and to be fair, they were very helpful] – and then completely independently, SUPER SIZE ME came out and we were treated like we were behind it.

Macca’s don’t deserve all the crap they get thrown at them – KFC is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay worse, but hey – is it a suprise people are sceptical about their ethics when some of the things they’ve done in the past are rather ‘misguided’.

Still, I’m more in favour of Macca’s than The Gap – they are worse than NIKE ever were interms of exploitation of 3rd World labour usage.

Right, I’m getting far too political now – I must be tired – so bed time for me.

Status Quo!

Comment by Rob

Haha! Thats ridiculously interesting on so many levels.

Ive always preferred KFC but recently I have been almost entirely disuaded from eating it.

Ive heard about Gap being worse than Nike; from my understanding Nike have been improving while Gap havent.

I always thought Starbucks were bad, but then my ethically knowledged friend (everyone has one) told me that actually they are one of the best coffee companies for honest 3rd world payment.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

NIKE are actually a half decent company interms of what they do for overseas manufacturing [and Maccas are positively wonderful with the companies that make their Happy Meal toys] but The Gap?

Oh dear …

There was a great company called STOREBRAND who were an ethical financial investment house – where they would only invest money in companies who ‘rates well’ on a number of ethical and moral issues.

Their criteria for evaluation was flawed – being good didn’t actually mean you were ‘clean from any issues’ – but it was a good place to get an initial impression of how a company was ‘behaving’.

I use the past tense because even though Storebrand is still around, I am under the impression they may have changed their company philosophy.

I could be wrong – but last time I checked it was very different from when we worked with them as a client.

Gotta sleep – I am buggered.

Comment by Rob

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