Airport no-fly zone for satirical advert

ALAN WOOD
Last updated 09:50 18/09/2013
Powershop poster
BANNED ITEM: Powershop's satirical promotion poster, "the general", won't fly at Christchurch Airport.
Powershop poster
GANGNAM STYLE: Another poster in Powershop's advertising campaign.
Powershop poster
NEW-LOOK THATCHER: Another poster in Powershop's advertising campaign.
Powershop poster
AFRO: Another poster in Powershop's advertising campaign.

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Christchurch Airport is refusing to let an electrical company's satirical promotion poster fly on its billboard spaces, apparently because it fears some passengers will not find it funny.

The Powershop poster portrays a "general" dressed in military garb with medals, but with the face covered by branding.

It could be a dictator figure from Africa, the Middle East, South America or Europe, but the typeface naming "the general" leans towards the Middle East.

Powershop chief executive Ari Sargent said he was mystified by the airport's stance.

The image was less pointed in its content than previous works in the online retailer's advertising series, which poke fun at power figures including Margaret Thatcher, Richard Nixon and Chinese leader Mao Zedong.

The billboard-sized poster had also run in Wellington and Auckland with no negative feedback that he was aware of, so they were "a bit surprised to see the objection from Christchurch".

Christchurch Airport chief executive Jim Boult, in a statement, said the airport company understood the intention of the advertisement.

However, the airport was "also conscious of the different nationalities and age groups which come through the airport daily and how they might perceive advertising which others might find amusing," Boult said.

Christchurch Airport caters to a number of airlines including Dubai-based Emirates and Singapore Airlines.

Sargent said Powershop's recent posters had been "tamed down" in terms of having a satirical edge with a bit more humour.

"The first part of our campaign, almost two years ago now I think, was Saddam Hussein collecting for charity, and we had an image of [North Korea's] Kim Jong-il, the old Kim, running a school sausage sizzle," he said.

Ads in the latest series depict Thatcher holding mistletoe aloft at Christmas-time pouting for a kiss, Nixon as a peacenik with an early 1970s afro, and Mao dancing Gangnam Style.

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- The Press

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