Abstain for the game

August 17th, 2011 at 4:59 pm by David Farrar

This is the first of the videos for the Abstain for the game campaign by ’s Backing Black campaign. What do people think?

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87 Responses to “Abstain for the game”

  1. themono (132 comments) says:

    Whenever someone says Backing Black all I can hear is ACDC’s Back In Black, so this campaign doesn’t help when the second line of that song is “I hit the sack”

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  2. Pete George (23,149 comments) says:

    Bizarre, inappropriate, nuts, stupid, misguided, devoid of clues.

    In rugby terms it would be like Dan Carter having a conversion from in front of the sticks and hitting the TV cameraman on halfway.

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  3. George Patton (350 comments) says:

    They can get fucked.

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  4. AlphaKiwi (687 comments) says:

    This is more suited to a Labour Party political broadcast.

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  5. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    Am surprised it’s controversial. Are people so addicted to sex?

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  6. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    @themono……I hit the sack”..

    Obviously the clown thought of this hits his sack with the back of his hand reguarly..,. WTF was Fitzpatrick thinking?

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  7. RRM (9,597 comments) says:

    That’s pretty fucked up.

    I’ve always felt that “rugby culture” has a really bizarre undercurrent of suppressed sexual tension just below the surface. All those monosyllabic pet names, army showers, packing your head down between your mates’ rump etc.

    This thing just reaffirms my suspicions. Get your rocks off with a game of rugby, not with your partner? Righto….

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  8. mikenmild (11,193 comments) says:

    Just saw these important questions posed:
    Is sex OK if I switch to 2Degrees or Vodafone?
    Does the 23 October end date assume the ABs will make the final?
    Is it for the duration of the cup or just during the games?
    If Telecom were to go f___ itself, would it be in breach of the rules?

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  9. MajorBloodnok (361 comments) says:

    Will Telecom be lauded or pilloried for trying to shut down the red light districts?

    Is Rugby becoming an official religion?

    Will Hell Pizza respond with black condoms?

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  10. Murray (8,838 comments) says:

    Single must stupid bloody idea ever dreamed up.

    Another proud kiwi moment.

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  11. Murray (8,838 comments) says:

    What about Root for Black! or Take One For The Team!!!

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  12. Lucia Maria (2,238 comments) says:

    I don’t get it. In that, what is abstaining going to do?

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  13. Murray (8,838 comments) says:

    (EWSH is gay shhh, don’t tell anyone)

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  14. trout (914 comments) says:

    Stupid, stupid, stupid. Fitzy of course will be well rewarded. What was that about the oldest profession………….

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  15. Murray (8,838 comments) says:

    So… you’re supporting this then Lucia Maria?

    Ed: This worked better before you changed it from just “I don’t get it”

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  16. SPC (5,472 comments) says:

    It’s somewhat relevant where men are away from home to go to the games and the brothels are too busy catering to visiting supporters with more money – this must be why we have a former hooker fronting this campaign … though perhaps the advertising campaign should have been what people will do, for love of the game, rather than confusing it with being, on the game … or waiting for the games to finish before going back home to the one who will still have you, when you’ve blown all that money on tickets.

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  17. 103PapPap (129 comments) says:

    I would think that “I’m rooting for the All Blacks” would have been a winner!

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  18. jaba (2,092 comments) says:

    the missus has been following the edict for years

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  19. dime (9,607 comments) says:

    fitzy up until 98 – great all black. total legend.

    fitzy in the last 10 years – cocksucker pom wannabe.

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  20. Elaycee (4,318 comments) says:

    What an embarrassment. :(

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  21. kowtow (7,859 comments) says:

    Little wonder that NZ languishes at the bottom of the OECD in just about everything when our “corporates” (as the media arses like to call them ) can only come up with innuendo to sell themselves.
    Air NZ included.

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  22. Jimbob (641 comments) says:

    Again, how do these people get these jobs?

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  23. big bruv (13,452 comments) says:

    Yawn…Rugby world cup..

    We all know the NZ team will choke, we all know that this years tournament will be the least professional and worst organised of all, well all know it will be a national embarrassment.

    And we all know that we have to pay for the fucking thing even if we hate the NZ team with a passion.

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  24. sagenz (30 comments) says:

    Absolute comedy gold!!! If you don’t get it you obviously don’t get it. The reaction simply makes it better.

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  25. KH (692 comments) says:

    So it’s
    “Abstain for the All Blacks”
    And
    “Score for the Wallabies”

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  26. Thomas the Unbeliever (141 comments) says:

    Just not funny! Which is a fatal flaw.

    Fitzy was a great AB, great captain, great hooker – but never made me laugh. The ad is wordy, nerdy and naff.

    A trifecta of marketing fails: Wellywood, adidas ….. and now this.

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  27. dion (95 comments) says:

    At least it’ll keep the parliamentary staffers safe from Iain Lees-Galloway over the course of the tournament.

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  28. hmmokrightitis (1,553 comments) says:

    Someone ask his wife what she thinks – like he abstained at any point. Read in to that what you will.

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  29. expat (4,048 comments) says:

    sagenz (29) Says:
    August 17th, 2011 at 6:43 pm
    Absolute comedy gold!!! If you don’t get it you obviously don’t get it. The reaction simply makes it better.

    errrrr, please explain for the rest of us sagenz.

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  30. orewa1 (428 comments) says:

    Unbelievably crass and puerile. Telecom Directors should fire people, customers should walk out, and rugby fans should cringe.

    Makes New Zealand look stupid and demeans the RWC. What a waste of an opportunity.

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  31. James Stephenson (2,076 comments) says:

    Come on Bruv, lay off the curmudgeon pills for a couple of months and go with it. The AB’s will win, and I’ll take a wee pin to the bubble by pointing out that you’re still second rate ‘cos you only win at home ;)

    Oh, and the main beneficiary of this campaign would seem to be Dime’s bank balance…

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  32. dime (9,607 comments) says:

    hes driving a giant fist.

    anyone see that homo on cambell live? the chief marketing officer trying to do a sell job. just sad.

    “its all about getting people to abstain from things to show their support”.

    as my brother said “how about you assholes abstain from billing us for the next 6 weeks”

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  33. SPC (5,472 comments) says:

    To explain with extreme prejudice

    1. many a time supporters have got out of bed to watch a game of rugby played overseas but this time the games will be played here. Played when he would, unless he had something better to do in bed, not be lying on it.

    2. the importance of earnestly doing nothing but follow the Cup for 6 weeks is stressed here, unless you have some reason to abstain and go to bed before you were ready to sleep.

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  34. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    I never thought I would see the day when ” Wellywood” was made to look like comparative marketing genius

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  35. hmmokrightitis (1,553 comments) says:

    A certain tall Scotsman with a vile temper will be shouting fuck into an 027 mobile tonight, and he should. Edgy, yup. Like Phil Goff is edgy.

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  36. Scott Chris (5,946 comments) says:

    I think Pete George is right. Inane and inappropriate. I’m surprised Lucia Maria hasn’t picked up on the fact that a promotion such as this isn’t really suitable for general consumption, kids especially. Sex should be talked about, but not trivialized.

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  37. Dazzaman (1,129 comments) says:

    Someone above said it,….puerile. Only Sean Fitzpatrick, the gay former hooker could front this……nice to see his vocabulary has increased somewhat though.

    We know bruv hates rugby…..sorry bruv, we’ll win this & with some style too.

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  38. sooty (56 comments) says:

    So mum will take one up the #@$% when the All Blacks choke!!!!

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  39. Shunda barunda (2,965 comments) says:

    You know, with so many dumb rugby players around I used to think, well at least there’s Fitzy, but now I realise that I have been deluded for a very long time.

    The All Blacks brand and corporate attitude stinks, this idea stinks, their stupid shirts stink.

    Quite frankly I am utterly uninterested in the world cup at the moment, actually, even the America’s cup is better now with those catamaran things they have been using, at least there is a chance of a collision or a high speed wipe out.

    So with rugby we have big men in tight sports clothing and occasionally makeup wearing homo erotic players telling me to stop having sex with my wife for a couple of months?

    Hmmm, Rugby just seems sooooo gay these days.

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  40. expat (4,048 comments) says:

    And the unofficial poll closes with broad condemnation of the Telecom “Chief Marketing Homo” and his crap marketing initiative.

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  41. Nookin (3,142 comments) says:

    Hmmm, Rugby just seems sooooo gay these days.””
    Maybe thats why they want you to stop heterosexual sex.

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  42. Cranberry (2 comments) says:

    I’ve heard you can “not have sex” cheaper from overseas on a website.

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  43. Positan (384 comments) says:

    It could be said of the vacant mind that conceived this, let alone was able to see merit in the utter inanity of mooting it – that it probably wouldn’t work even in a barrel of yeast.

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  44. big bruv (13,452 comments) says:

    James

    I love Rugby, one of the happiest days of my life was when my club team won its competition for the first time in over 100 years.

    It’s the All Blacks that I hate.

    And no…you will not win, they will choke again and I will enjoy listening to talk back the next day as the morons who have been conned into supporting the team spew their guts out once again.

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  45. big bruv (13,452 comments) says:

    “Lucia Maria (703) Says:

    August 17th, 2011 at 5:23 pm
    I don’t get it. In that, what is abstaining going to do?”

    WTF?????

    Has Lucia finally woken up to the joys of casual sex?

    You might be in with a chance there Dime.

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  46. BeaB (2,074 comments) says:

    Pathetic. Show your positive support by a negative. Patronize and offend your audience. Associate rugby with wowserism. No party central.
    Are advertising agencies and corporates all run by adolescents who think sniggering about sex is hilarious?
    Why not abstain from alcohol? I’d like to abstain from paying for it.
    The Aussies will have a field day especially as they see all the glum drongos wearing black castration rings. As one said, Kiwis truly are wankers.

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  47. Rich Prick (1,600 comments) says:

    Why? Just why? Advertising FAIL. Marketing 101, not every one is into your “brand”. Mind you, if it stops the stupid underclass breeding shit-bags that we all end up paying for, then I’m all for it. That ought to get the hand-wringers in a lather.

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  48. Longknives (4,624 comments) says:

    I’m in a similar boat to Big Bruv- I played rugby for 20 years, grew up with the game. I lost all respect for the fluoro boot, tight shirt wearing ‘Adi- Blacks’ several years ago. I think it was about the time they tried to cover up the fact a couple of players damn near broke O’Driscoll’s neck off the ball…Or it might have been when they turned up to the World Cup in 2007 strutting around like male models before losing in the bloody quarters, then making every pathetic excuse under the sun….since when is the World Cup ‘ours by right’??

    I find this whole advertising campaign laughable- but then is it even as cringeworthy as taking a pile of dirt to the tournament and sitting it in the stands watching the All Blacks (One speck of soil from each rugby ground in NZ- remember the embarrassment)??

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  49. John Ansell (874 comments) says:

    I suspect Saatchis will soon find themselves abstained from the Telecom account.

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  50. toad (3,671 comments) says:

    A better campaign would have been one to encourage people to abstain from domestic violence for the duration of the RWC – and then beyond that.

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  51. gump (1,538 comments) says:

    Creepy. Not edgy.

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  52. UpandComer (517 comments) says:

    This is such a joke. I will personally be creating as much friction as I can during this period. What is this? this is surreal. Sean fitzpatrick, what are you doing son..

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  53. James Stephenson (2,076 comments) says:

    Bruv – I’m still supporting England, and I don’t see us winning our QF, never mind the comp.

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  54. Brian Smaller (4,016 comments) says:

    Mark Watts, the Telecom ad guy says that the campaign is ireverant, humouress and edgy. No it isn’t. It is and will be embarrassing. The only humour will be people from other countries taking the piss. Another stupid idea by ad people who think they are so clever. By the way, Mark’s phone number (taken from his press releases so it is public info is 0272 504 018) if you want to ring and leave him a message.

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  55. Thomas the Unbeliever (141 comments) says:

    Best marketing strategy for a major public event since “Sesqui” in 1990.

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  56. Griff (6,965 comments) says:

    Abstain for the game yeah right

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  57. joe bloggs (126 comments) says:

    NZ = laughing stock of the world within 24hrs

    Job well done you reckon, Telecom?

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  58. thedavincimode (6,578 comments) says:

    New Zealand marketing talent strides onto the world stage.

    Maybe its time for the All Blacks to provide for a measure of editorial control over advertising in their sponsorship arrangements. Retain a right of veto over dickhead ideas.

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  59. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    did they get infratil to run their campaign

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  60. thedavincimode (6,578 comments) says:

    No. Adidas.

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  61. Steve Wrathall (256 comments) says:

    Abstention is what the parents of these geniuses should have practiced.

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  62. labrator (1,814 comments) says:

    Driving that cart that looks like a fist, will he now be known as Fist-Patrick? Or Fisty for short?

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  63. ciaron (1,356 comments) says:

    Faarrrrrrkkkiiinnnn Stooooooppppid

    I hope someones decision making priviledges are revoked forthwith. Seriously, how can they get all the way to a finished advert without someone saying: “hang on, this isnt as funny as we thought it would be…”?

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  64. 3-coil (1,203 comments) says:

    Does masturbation count? :-)

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  65. Farmerpete (39 comments) says:

    I think Mark Watts should join Adidas. If Telecom think this is ‘irreverent, humorous and edgy’ they have completely lost the plot. Thanks for making us an international laughing stock.
    Watts and Reynolds – you are total plonkers! Another example of overpaid executives stuffing their brand! If the chairman of Telecom is worth his fee then he should be giving Reynolds a reprimand. One of the boards key roles is setting the corporate direction of the enterprise. Perhaps Reynolds and Watts could explain how this PR balls up assists in furthering Telecom’s corporate objective.
    I find it hard to express my contempt for this drivel. To associate a major brand with this tripe is stupidity. If any marketing exec or ad agency had shown this concept to me in my 25 years of corporate life I would have shown them the door.

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  66. nadir (100 comments) says:

    Would love to have been a fly on the wall at the “strategy” and “brain”storming sessions between Saatchis and Telecom to come up with this dross.

    I bet they referred to the Air NZ Rico viral campaign a lot, and this is an attempt to out edge and out humour Rico.

    It’s just too try hard and not funny. For a joke to be funny there has to be some relationship to a truth, and the contrast too, or imitation of that truth is where the humour comes from. How does a fat middle aged bloke like me, abstaining from sex, help the AB’s win? I can’t see any connection.

    But what I hate most about this campaign is that it is cheapening the All Blacks – the ultimate family brand in NZ. About the one thing that is capable of obtaining unconditional support from toddlers to pensioners, from pakeha to maori to PI to asian, straights and gays, men and women etc. I know everyone doesn’t like rugby but I can guarantee there would be strong support for the AB’s from someone in every demographic your marketing department could slice up. Why mess with that, the AB’s aren’t edgy and whoever thought that was the right thing to try is a moron.

    You can kind of excuse Saatchis for this compaign – after all they are in advertising and no-one should really expect adult behaviour from them, but the custodians (NZRU) of something we all own (the All Blacks) have miscalculated so badly they should be fired. Unless they are telling us the All Blacks no longer belong to ordinary New Zealanders, which judging by their administration of the game over the last decade may well be true. I don’t even blame Telecom – they have a long record of stupid decisions – but the NZRU have screwed up – they are destroying the bond the All Blacks have with their real owners and paymasters – us.

    Just not funny.

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  67. Raging Glory (45 comments) says:

    Laughable. What drugs were these advertising guys on, I mean besides pot and alcohol.

    A bad omen.

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  68. alex Masterley (1,494 comments) says:

    My 2 cents.
    A ghastly concept that will make we New Zealanders a laughing stock world wide.
    And how can children buy into it?

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  69. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    theme song should be the Korn song “A.D.I.D.A.S” (all day I dream about sex)

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  70. Peter (1,653 comments) says:

    There are a lot of wankers involved in rugby.

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  71. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    Telecom and the people who thought this up are quite simply fuckwits.

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  72. Pete George (23,149 comments) says:

    I don’t care about most stupid branding, advertising and marketing, including the Adidas jersey overcharging furore which was hardly a revelation. They either succeed appealing to a demographic and get more business or they don’t. Ok, somethings aren’t flash, coloured boots are an awful clash with the team uniform so shouldn’t be allowed, makes the players and the rugby union look like brand whores.

    This Telecom debacle is on a different scale. It’s up to Telecom regarding the impact on their market, but this campaign has a wider effect, it’s excrutiatingly embarrassing for the RWC, the NZRU and the country.

    It’s not just lame, it’s lamentable. It’s time I changed my mobile, I was going to wait until I had to to change next year but this is enough incentive to do it sooner.

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  73. nonpartisan (41 comments) says:

    I look forward to the world cup being over if this is the kind of crap that is going to be foisted upon us.

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  74. Lucia Maria (2,238 comments) says:

    The ad campaign has been pulled

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  75. joe bloggs (126 comments) says:

    headlines we’ll never see:

    Telecom ad jerked off

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  76. joe bloggs (126 comments) says:


    Ahmad Rini wrote
    “I’m getting mixed messages from the All Blacks sponsors. First Adidas told us to go f*** ourselves. Now we are being told not to?”

    Great observation

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  77. Griff (6,965 comments) says:

    The scary thing about the world cup is the amount of wife bashing that will happen when we lose

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  78. mikenmild (11,193 comments) says:

    Griff – I think that’s a bit of a myth. I seem to recall RNZ’s Mediawatch running an item about this a few years ago after it was reported that there were more incidents of domestic violence in Christchurch after an All Blacks loss.

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  79. KevinH (1,142 comments) says:

    Pity the ad was pulled, I was looking forward to the post cup orgy.Mmmm.

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  80. ross (1,454 comments) says:

    I am surpriused Fitzy is copping so much flak. This campaign would never have worked whoever had fronted it. Mind you, if Lucy Lawless had been at the helm it would have been easier to swallow.

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  81. ross (1,454 comments) says:

    nadir asked: “How does a fat middle aged bloke like me, abstaining from sex, help the AB’s win?”

    Clearly the campaign was too subtle for you. :)

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  82. ciaron (1,356 comments) says:

    We’re still a laughing stock…

    http://www.greenandgoldrugby.com/abstain-for-the-game-youve-got-to-be-joking/

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  83. mikenmild (11,193 comments) says:

    Fitzy is the big winner from this. He gets his fee for the ads, without having to suffer the cringing embarrassment of having them telecast.

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  84. ross (1,454 comments) says:

    I don’t agree Mike. Few people won’t have seen the above ad. I am sure he’ll cop plenty of flak.

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  85. nadir (100 comments) says:

    No – not too subtle. It just doesn’t work. The precis that the “joke” is built on

    a) isn’t funny (yet to see a comment from anyone except a Telecom marketing guy that claims “it’s funny”)
    b) has no internal logic
    c) has no connection to either the all blacks or AB supporters

    I appreciate subtlety but this is so obtuse it’s lost on everyone. Unless it’s a cynical ploy to create something so stupid that a controversy is created to get the mug punters to talk about brand Telecom/brand all blacks. But IMO there is “good” marketing buzz and “bad” marketing buzz.

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  86. adc (581 comments) says:

    Why is he driving a fist?

    Is he suggesting we should be bashing people?

    Or fisting them instead of f**king them?

    Nice

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  87. leftyliberal (642 comments) says:

    I think Telecom will be quite happy with their efforts: Look at the uproar – lots and lots of people will have seen the ad, they’ll be getting international mentions and everyone knows about Telecom. in addition they get to look contrite when they pull it and everyone is talking about it. Marketing win all around.

    After all, it’s not as if any of their customers will actually go to the effort of cancelling their subscription – far too p(f)lacid for that.

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