New advertising from the VIC Government targeting residents in NSW and the ACT are not going down well, with people comparing the heavy-handed messaging to the anti-refugee ads the federal government and Australian Border Force have previously distributed.
Just running the Geiger counter over these and I am detecting a similar energy pic.twitter.com/5nQep8v9UP
— jason wilson (@jason_a_w) July 28, 2021
The state border ads, which have been reportedly popping up on Facebook for ACT residents and playing during prime time free to air TV in Sydney, carry a bold massage in red, stressing that residents cannot enter Victoria without a permit, or run the risk of being fined.
In NSW, the TV ads apparently feature a voiceover confirming all NSW residents cannot get a permit whatsoever, and could be fined without an exemption.
This strong messaging comes as the Victorian Chief Health Officer declared the entirety of NSW as an ‘extreme risk zone’ from 11.59pm on July 23rd, a newly-created category added to the state’s traffic light system in response to NSW’s ongoing outbreak of the Delta strain, barring anyone from entering Victoria without an exemption.
I see the Victorian Government advertising on free to air commercial TV to a #SydneyLockdown audience, telling them they can’t come to Melbourne & can’t get a permit to come in. Is this a domestic equivalent those ads telling asylum seekers to not come to Australia?
— Oz (@redrabbleroz) July 28, 2021
Per the ABC, the Victorian opposition has slammed the ads as “mean and nasty”, and have demanded the adverts be pulled immediately and for the government to apologise to the targeted residents.
“Our friends in Sydney are doing it really tough. The last thing they need is a mean and nasty television advert from Daniel Andrews beamed into their homes,” a spokesperson for the Opposition Scrutiny of Government said.
“It’s not the Victorian way to kick people when they are down, and Daniel Andrews should pull his mean and nasty adverts immediately and apologise.”
In Monday’s Victoria’s Minister for Health, Martin Foley, was questioned on how much the new advertisements cost, and he doubled down on the advertising of the state’s restrictions and the need for hard messaging to be delivered to residents in high-risk zones.
“The level of risk in NSW has gone up considerably to the point where our public health team identifies NSW as an extreme risk zone,” he said.
“So, I think, it is only fair that we bring to the attention of people who might think, for whatever reason, of coming to Victoria, that they can’t, that the exemption process is pretty tough and what the new rules are.”
It’s understandable that the VIC Government wants to avoid winding up in a repeat of last year’s outbreak and extended lockdowns, but surely there’s a better way to communicate this than by putting the foot down so hard.