TVNZ scraps text ads after backlash

BY CLIO FRANCIS
Last updated 15:35 09/06/2009
TOO SHORT: One of the ads which TVNZ has been forced to remove after a public backlash.

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Television New Zealand has been forced to scrap a new advertising campaign featuring promos with text language after a backlash from members of the public.

TVNZ spokeswoman Megan Richards said the new promos, which screen exclusively on TV2, were introduced around a fortnight ago and there had been a "clear message" from the public that they were not popular.

"We have learned in that period that vowels are extremely important to New Zealanders."

The ads featured abbreviations for upcoming shows, using 'TON' for 'tonight' and 'TMW' for tomorrow in the style of language usually used in cellphone text messges.

TVNZ were aware of the Facebook site created to fight the vowel-free promos and had received "dozens of letters and emails" on the matter, Ms Richards said.

More than 6000 people have signed up to the 'I hate TV2's new abbreviations' Facebook group.

"While TV channels don't stand still and we'll try new ideas and look for points of differences, there is no point in having a point of difference that people don't like," she said.

"It was an idea that was obviously not appreciated."

Ms Richards said the promo campaign had been created "in-house" and had involved "no extraordinary cost".

The new-look promos would be phased out in the coming days, she said.

"Progressively, over the next few days and weeks it will return to the way it was and you will see vowels once again."  

A blog by Moata Tamaira on Stuff.co.nz about the ads received more than 100 comments, most of them negative.

"It took me ages to figure out what 'TON' and 'TMW' meant," said one poster.

"I think it's ridiculous. 'TON' annoys me the most - it's like they forgot the rest of the word. Bring back the old format," said another.

* Will you be glad to see the ads go? Post your comments below.

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- Fairfax Media

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